Ethel A. Killgrove sits next to Mr. Harold Braden in the radio studio.
Image courtesy of SCUA - UMass

Collection Overview

The Ethel A. Killgrove Papers (1919-2002) primarily contain correspondence from Killgrove to her mother, Amelia M. Killgrove, her brother Thomas O. Killgrove, and his wife, Ruth, spanning the years of 1949-1951. The collection also contains several folders of photographs, primarily from 1949-1952, and one folder of ephemera, mainly missionary prayer cards and greeting cards for holidays sent to Killgrove by friends and family. The collection focuses on her time as a missionary in Aden (Yemen), and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

In her papers, Killgrove frequently recalls her interactions with fellow missionaries, daily life, living conditions, entertainment, as well as the time she spent running programing for a radio station in Addis Ababa. The letters and photographs in this collection sometimes interpret daily life and culture in these regions through a racial and religious lens influenced by European colonialism and the Christian evangelism of the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). Killgrove’s correspondence conveys both the cultural richness of the regions where she proselytized, and her own biases towards Arabs and other non-European groups.