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Alice Griffith Carr Papers

Identifier: MS-135

Scope and Content

The Alice Griffith Carr Papers include extensive correspondence, journal articles, reports, working papers, clippings, genealogical materials, and photographs.

The heart of the Alice Carr Papers is the correspondence in Series 1. The first part of this series consists of correspondence from Alice Carr and is arranged in simple chronological order. The individuals she wrote to most frequently were her sister, Katherine Carr Harris in McRae, Georgia and her aunt, Alice Ladley Totten, and cousin, Bessie Totten in Yellow Springs. Spanning the years 1901-1962, these letters cover the bulk of her life and are a rich source of information about her. They show her development from a bright, enthusiastic teenager, to a young nurse in World War I and postwar Europe, to her internationally recognized work as a public health administrator in Greece, to her retirement in Florida where she continued to be active, thoughtful, and innovative. She wrote candidly about her feelings and opinions as well as her experiences, and her personality, her views of life, and her work are interestingly and often humorously brought to light.

The rest of the correspondence series consists of letters written to Alice Carr from various family members and friends. It is arranged so that major correspondents are given their own file folders while the remainder of the letters are arranged chronologically. Span dates for the entire series are 1901-1968.

Series 2, Red Cross Materials, and Series 3, Near East Foundation Materials, contain correspondence, reports, journal articles, and personnel papers connected with Carr's professional life and work for these two organizations. The most interesting materials are the reports she wrote for the Near East Foundation concerning rural medical cooperatives, village rehabilitation, public health, sanitation, and disease control. Balkan Journal, An Unofficial Observer in Greece written in 1944 by Laird Archer, the Foreign Director of the Near East Foundation, is included in Series 3 and contains many references to Carr's work in Greece. Series 2 covers the years 1917-1944, and Series 3, 1926-1947.

Series 4 is a miscellaneous collection of Carr's personal papers and includes biographical and genealogical materials, newspaper clippings, her will and death certificate, files on various organizations, a file on Melbourne Village Community and some of her projects there, a file of grade reports from Antioch, a short story she wrote in 1903, and her collection of passports and visas. Materials in this series cover the years 1898-1968.

The Lizzie B. Schilling Estate Papers, Series 5, consists of legal documents pertaining to Alice Carr's cousin who died in 1948. Carr was the executor of the estate and the papers have mainly genealogical value because they trace the ancestry of Carr's paternal grandmother, Sophronia Thomas Carr, in order to establish heirs of the estate. This series also contains Lizzie Schilling's diaries from 1918-1926 which give an insight into the routine life of a Springfield housewife during the period.

The photographs in Series 6 are arranged into several categories including portraits, family and friends, France and World War I, Greece, Florida, and trips. The bulk of the photographs date from around 1905 until the mid 1960s, but date as early as 1869.


  • Creation: 1869-1968


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Alice Griffith Carr

Alice Griffith Carr was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1887, the youngest daughter of William and Mary Ladley Carr. Her maternal grandfather, Rev. D.F. Ladley, was among the founders of Antioch College, and her father was the founder and proprietor of W.W. Carr Nurseries, a well known Yellow Springs firm.

Alice graduated from Antioch in 1904, and after teaching high school in West Mansfield, Ohio and working as a beautician in Georgia, she enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Nurses Training School in Baltimore, graduating in 1914. Carr then joined the first contingent of American Red Cross nurses to see service in World War I. She sailed for France in June, 1917 and was attached to a base hospital near Verdun for two years. It was the beginning of her long and distinguished career in nursing and public health in Europe and Asia, and except for a few brief furloughs home, she remained abroad until 1941.

Carr stayed on with the Red Cross after her release from the base hospital and served in Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, Smyrna, Czechoslovakia, and Syria during the early 1920s. In 1923 while stationed in Greece, she joined the staff of the Near East Foundation, an American philanthropic organization working to aid nearly a million Greek refugees who had been driven from Turkey after the World War. She spent the next 22 years working for the Near East Foundation, and in the 1930s, served as the foundation's Director of Public Health in Greece.

During her tenure in Greece, Carr received international attention for her skillful organizing and tireless work fighting typhus, malaria, and tuberculosis, establishing child welfare and medical service centers, and teaching refugee women home industries and sanitation. She was three times decorated by the Greek government, and in 1937, returned home briefly to receive several honors including LL.D degrees from Ohio State University and her alma mater, Antioch. By the late 1930s, Alice Carr was being written of as "one of the world's best known women."

In the fall of 1941, the Nazi army occupied Greece and all Americans were expelled. Carr returned to New York City to be the Advisor in Public Health for the Near East Foundation. During the closing years of World War II, she traveled widely and lectured for the Foundation before going home to Yellow Springs to retire. In 1948, she joined the Melbourne Village Community in Florida. There she designed and supervised the construction of her new home, gardened extensively, raised chinchillas and bees, rented rooms to tourists, and was very active in the affairs of the community. She died in 1968 at the age of 81.


4 linear feet

Language of Materials



Born and raised in Yellow Springs, Carr had a long, distinguished career working in Europe for the Red Cross and the Near East Foundation as a nurse and public health administrator. Her papers include extensive correspondence, journal articles, reports, working papers, clippings, genealogical materials, and photographs.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into six series.

  1. Series 1: Correspondence
  2. Series 2: Red Cross Materials
  3. Series 3: Near East Foundation Materials
  4. Series 4: Miscellaneous Personal Papers
  5. Series 5: Lizzie B. Schilling Estate Papers
  6. Series 6: Photographs

Acquisition Information

The papers of Alice Griffith Carr were accessioned into the Wright State University Department of Archives and Special Collections in October 1982. They were donated by Dr. Carr's grandnieces and grandnephew, Corrine Odiorne Pelzl, Eve Odiorne Sullivan, and Ken Odiorne.

Related Material

MS-117 Derostus F. Ladley Papers

MS-121 American Red Cross, Dayton Area Chapter Records

MS-137 Totten Family Papers

MS-138 Oscar D. Ladley Papers

MS-139 Jerusha Hall Peacock Papers

MS-140 Oscar Edwin Carr Papers

MS-155 Ladley / Carr / Totten / Harris / Odiorne Families Photographs

MS-161 Louise Odiorne Papers

Processing Information

Processed by Dorothy Smith, January 1984. The finding aid was reformatted in June 2014. The photographs were rehoused in June 2014.

Guide to the Alice Griffith Carr Papers
Finding aid prepared by Dorothy Smith, 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA