Emily Carr (1871-1945) was a British Columbia artist and writer. The Emily Carr papers in MS-2763 (sometimes known as the Parnall collection) consist of approximately half of the papers and books which Emily Carr bequeathed to Ira Dilworth, her helpmate and literary executor. When Dilworth died in 1962 Emily's papers were divided between his two nieces and adopted daughters, Mrs. Edna Parnall and Mrs. Phylis Inglis. The Inglis collection (MS-2181) is also held by the BC Archives. The two collections are complementary, containing correspondence from the same people over the same period of time.
The Parnall collection includes diaries, notebooks, correspondence, a scrapbook and a collection of books and pamphlets. The diaries, notebooks and correspondence are a rich source of detail regarding Emily's life and travels. The correspondence dates from 1890 to 1945, the bulk having been received between 1941 and 1944. The inward correspondence series includes letters from fellow artists Lawren Harris, J.W. G. Macdonald and A.Y. Jackson, her publisher, Oxford University Press, and Mr. Ira Dilworth. There are also letters from family, fans, and birthday congratulations from many Victoria organizations. The majority of the books relate to the study of art, writing and poetry. Most of books contain annotations, providing interesting insights into her thoughts. There are sketches and photographs in some of the books, as noted in this finding aid. With the exception of one book in Box 7 - How to see modern pictures - the books and pamphlets have not been microfilmed.