Zicafoose-O'Toole Papers, 1931-1935

Manuscript Collection #258

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Zicafoose-O'Toole Papers
Creators: O'Toole family
Zicafoose family
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1931-1935) including correspondence, reports, photo albums, missionary work, etc.
Extent: 0.061 Cubic feet, 16 items, 3 volumes , correspondence, reports, and photograph albums.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

March 8, 1974, 16 items and 3 volumes; Correspondence (1931-1935) and photograph albums reflecting missionary life in the Congo, Africa. Gift of Miss Myrtle Zicafoose and Miss Ruth O'Toole, Asheville, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Zicafoose-O'Toole Papers (#258), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Miss Myrtle Zicafoose
  • Gift of Miss Ruth O'Toole

Processing Information

  • Processed by R. Faulkner, May 1975

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Miss Myrtle Zicafoose and Miss Ruth O'Toole were Methodist missionaries who served together in a leper colony in the Congo from 1931 to 1960. Miss Zicafoose, who was born in Asbury, West Virginia in 1903, attended Concord State Normal College, the University of West Virginia, and Scarritt College. She received A.B. and M.A. degrees from Scarritt before arriving in the Congo in 1931. Miss O'Toole, born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1899, attended Scarritt College, graduated from nursing training at City Hospital, St. Louis, and went to the Congo as a nurse in 1930. Since retirement, they have lived at Brooks-Howell Methodist Home in Asheville and maintain a summer home near Asbury, West Virginia.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The collection consists of correspondence, reports and photo albums of African life in the Congo.

A report by Miss Zicafoose entitled "The African Family" reviews the tribal breakdown of Africa with various aspects of the daily lives of the natives discussed, including home life, children, marriage, diet, and religion (1931). Correspondence (1933-1935, undated) concerns the Wembo Nyama school, Congo, Africa, including curriculum, school layout, teaching of sewing, daily schedule, and kindergarten classes. Also of significance are commentaries on the Williams Girls Home, efforts to Christianize the natives, persistence of primitive marriage customs, the life and custom of the Batetela (Otetela) tribe, and the work at Minga Leper Colony, Ngelw K'Ongenongeno.

There are also three albums of photographs which picture the life of the African woman, missionary work, African scenes, and various types of illnesses (leprosy, elephantiasis, etc.) which afflict the natives.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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