John E. Parsons, Jr. Print History Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of volumes of prose, poetry, drama, and political and philosophical discourse from England, Italy, France, and Germany from 1650 to 1903. Included in the collection are 18 of the 19 volumes of The Works of Jonathan Swift, half of which were published by James Ballantyne & Co. The Plays of William Shakespeare contains six of Shakespeare's plays along with notes from the Shakespearean commentator, George Steevens.
Numerous texts on Roman politics include works by Adam Ferguson, Oliver Goldsmith, Battista Nani, Leopold von Ranke, and Paolo Paruta, whose Discorsi et Perfettione Della Vita is the oldest volume in the collection. Also included in the collection are French philosophy texts by Denis Diderot, Claude Adrien Helvétius, François duc de la Rochefoucald, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- Parsons, Fanny Wilkes (Donor, Person)
Collection is predominantly in English. Several editions in French, German, Latin, and Italian.
Contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.
The John E. Parsons, Jr. Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.
Biographical / Historical
John E. Parsons Jr. was born on January 11, 1938, the youngest of three children of John E. Parsons and Fanny Haven Wickes. Although very little is known about him, an invoice accompanying the book collection, dated November 5, 1978, indicates that he lived on his family estate of four generations, Lounsberry, in Rye, New York. The collection was purchased to be added to the estate’s library. John E. Parsons, Jr. was already deceased at the time of the death of his mother, Fanny Wickes Parsons, in 1987.
Fanny Wickes Parsons married John E. Parsons in 1927. They made Lounsberry their primary residence and raised three children in the house. John E. Parsons died on July 20, 1976 in Harrison, New York, and Fanny Wickes Parsons died on August 18, 1987 at Lounsberry.
The Parsons Family is known as one of the major benefactors to the development of Rye in Westchester, New York. John E. Parsons, the elder, was a collector of American antique firearms and wrote the catalog Percussion Colt Revolvers and Conversions for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1942, later publishing The Peacemaker and its Rivals, Henry Deringer's Pocket Pistol, The First Winchester, and Smith & Wesson Revolvers, all books praised for their authoritativeness and objectivity. He was a vice president of the New York Historical Society and contributed many articles to its quarterly. He was a member of the Lenox Library Association of Lenox, Massachusetts for nearly 50 years and was senior trustee at the time of his death. Herbert Parsons, John E. Parsons, Jr.’s grandfather, was a Republican U. S. Representative from New York. The family was well regarded and the Lounsberry estate is still run by descendants of the Parsons.
10 Linear Feet (148 volumes comprising 41 editions)
The John E. Parsons, Jr. Collection consists of 148 volumes. The collection covers a wide range of subjects, including poetry, drama, and political and philosophical discourse. The publication dates span the period 1650 to 1903, and the locations include 18 cities throughout Europe and the United States.
The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by author.
Donated by Fanny Wilkes Parsons from the library of her son, John E. Parsons, Jr.
Processed by Megan Milewski, Fall 2012, Hiroko Suda, Summer 2013, edited and approved by Alexandra Dolan-Mescal, Fall 2013. Machine-readable finding aid created by Dan Brenner, Fall, 2014.
- John E. Parsons, Jr. Collection
- Processed by Megan Milewski, Fall 2012, Hiroko Suda, Summer 2013, edited and approved by Alexandra Dolan-Mescal, Fall 2013. Machine-readable finding aid created by Dan Brenner, Fall 2014.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Collection is predominantly in English. Several editions in French, German, Latin, and Italian