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Edward James Parrish papers, 1888-1926 and undated 9.2 Linear Feet — 31 boxes; 3 oversize folders; and 6 volumes — Approximately 1500 items

Tobacco manufacturer, resident of Durham, North Carolina, and Tokyo, Japan. The papers of Edward James Parrish primarily consist of business and personal papers, correspondence (chiefly 1900-1921), and photographic collections of Parrish and of his wife, Rosa Bryan Parrish. Items include a notebook on tobacco trade in China and Japan (1894-1900), letter books (1900-1904), and a scrapbook created by their only daughter Lily Parrish. Turn-of-the-century photograph albums relate to the Parrishes time in Japan (circa 1899-1905) and form a large series of their own. Two were assembled by Kichibei Murai of the Murai Brothers, a Tokyo cigarette manufacturing company of which Parrish was the first vice-president; they contain photographs of his residences and of banks, mines, oil fields, farms and tobacco factories in which he had an interest. Also included are seven fine souvenir albums with large hand-tinted albumen prints from noted Japanese studios, including that of Kusakabe Kimbei. There are also personal photograph and postcard albums of the Parrish's travels in Japan, Korea, and China, and Mrs. Parrish's reminiscences and impressions of her life in Japan. Loose family photographs and portraits dating from about 1890 to 1920 round out the collection.

The Edward James Parrish Papers include business and personal correspondence (chiefly 1900-1921) of Parrish and of his wife, Rosa Bryan Parrish. There are also various bills, a notebook on tobacco trade in China and Japan (1894-1900), letter books (1900-1904), photographic collections, several postcard albums, and a scrapbook created by Lily Parrish.

The papers also include Rosa Parrish's reminiscences and impressions of her life in Japan, as well as her writings on the status of women. There are also materials relating to Kichibei Murai's family and to Murai Brothers Company in Japan, close partners and friends of the Parrish family.

Photographic formats include glass plate negatives, loose prints, photo postcards, and over 20 albums. Two of the photograph albums date from the late 19th century and were owned by Kichibei Murai; they contain photographs of his residences and of banks, mines, oil fields, farms and tobacco factories in which he had an interest. Also included are black-and-white late 19th and early 20th century loose albumen and early gelatin silver prints of family members.

The photograph albums document the Parrish family's travels in Japan, China, and Niagara Falls, and include personal snapshots taken at these locations as well as in their home of Durham, N.C.; there are also many commercial souvenir photographs from Japan. The latter take the form of large finely handtinted albumen prints of Japanese scenery, landscapes, cultural sites and temples, clothing, entertainment, and transportation, housed in high-quality souvenir photograph albums; many of these feature highly decorated lacquer inlay covers, elaborate bindings. Most include captions. The studio of Kusakabe Kimbei, a noted photographer, created many of the prints and albums, and the work of other notable studios have also been identified.