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John F. Parr - D. Harrison Smith collection

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS103

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Parr-Smith Collection consists primarily of correspondence, clippings, medals and photographs collected by D. Harrison Smith and John F. Parr, most relating to their friendship with Edmund S. Walsh, S.J. and their connections with Georgetown University. The collection consists of 1 linear foot of material arranged in 24 folders in 2 boxes. The Smith-Parr Archives contain correspondence relating to John F. Parr's tenure at Georgetown University. Manuscripts by Parr and Smith are also in the Archive, including 'My Three Musketeers' ('Mes Trois Mousquetaires'), about Smith and Parr's close friendship with Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Medals received by Smith and Parr are also in the collection including the Bronze Star, the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta, the French Academic Wreaths and a medal received by Smith from Pius XII during an audience with him in 1956. Also in the Archive are a number of photographs collected by Smith and Parr, mostly involving their stay at Georgetown, but including one photo of D. Harrison Smith in audience with Pius XII and one signed photo of President Dwight D. Eisenhower with John F. Parr.

Extent: 1 linear foot Number of Boxes: 2 Span Dates: c.1930 - 1981

Abbreviations ALS Autograph Letter signed by the author TDS Typed Document Signed TLS Typed Letter Signed by the author TMs Typed Manuscript


  • 1940-1981

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

John F. Parr was born in 1917 in Michigan. He attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he began lifelong friendships with Donald Harrison Smith, a fellow student, and Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. In 1940, after Parr had received his BSFS and MA from Georgetown University, Walsh appointed Parr Private Secretary to the Regent of the School. In 1941, Parr war called up to active duty as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and was sent to the Panama Canal Zone. In 1943, Parr was transferred to the North Atlantic Fleet and began regular trans-Atlantic convoy services to Europe. After the War, Parr obtained his doctorate at the University of Fribourg and began a professorship there. In 1956 Parr returned to Georgetown at the request of Reverend Walsh as Assistant Dean of the School of Foreign Service, and in 1958 he was raised to full Dean. Parr worked for the University of Maryland in Germany from 1961 to 1969 as the resident Dean of its undergraduate two-year college. Parr was Dean of Liberal Arts at Anne Arundel Community College from 1970 until his retirement in 1977. John F. Parr and D. Harrison Smith then moved to the Villa de la Grangette in Lens-Lestang, France. Donald Harrison Smith was also born in 1917 and began attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1935 with John F. Parr. After receiving his BSFS and MA from Georgetown in 1942, he signed up for the Foreign Service, believing that he would be ineligible for the Armed Forces because of a heart condition and spent a year at the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro. After continued appeals to the Navy for a commission, Smith was finally called up as Ensign and assigned as American Vice-Consul at Montevideo, Uruguay. After a short stationing in the North Atlantic's Amphibious Forces on the American East Coast, Smith was assigned to the South East Asia Allied Staff Headquarters in Ceylon. After the War, Smith returned to Georgetown to receive a PhD in 1950, and later received a Doctorate at the University of Fribourg. Smith taught History at Georgetown University off and on until 1961, and then moved to the University of Maryland in Germany and Anne Arundel Community College until 1977. Smith was an authority on Malta and wrote several books on Maltese history and government.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Provenance: Gift of John F. Parr and D. Harrison Smith, 1981 Processed by: Michael J. North Date: 23 April, 1991

John F. Parr - D. Harrison Smith collection
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Local Practice
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057