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Elizabeth Parker Roberts scrapbooks

Identifier: NCC-0154

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Parker Roberts scrapbook collection consists of 70 scrapbooks created by Roberts between 1921 and 2000 documenting her family's life in Durham, North Carolina. They include materials related to local social events in which Mrs. Roberts participated, as well as many family-related materials, including items concerning her two sons, Bennett and Surry. Also well represented are items relating to organizations in which she was involved, including St. Philip's Episcopal Church, the Auxiliary of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina, Junior League of Durham, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Colonial Dames of America. Materials related to Watts Hospital, where Elizabeth's husband Dr. B. W. Roberts was a pediatrician, and from American Tobacco Company, where son Bennett worked, are also included.


  • 1921 - 2000

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical Information

Elizabeth “Libby” Parker Roberts (January 11, 1904-October 20, 2001), daughter of Surry Parker and Mary Shepard Odom Parker, was born in Pine Town, N. C., a town planned and built by her father, who manufactured logging equipment. She attended Salem Academy for three years, beginning in 1918, continuing her education at Salem College, where she played violin in the orchestra, participated in intramural sports, and joined a sorority. In 1925, she graduated from college and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, to teach school.

In 1936 she married Bennett Watson Roberts, son of Edward Rascoe Roberts and Annie Elizabeth Cowper Roberts, of Gatesville, N. C. A pediatrician in private practice, he worked with the first pediatrician to practice in Durham. Dr. and Mrs. Roberts lived in a log cabin on Bellamy Street in Durham until 1942. They had two sons, Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, born 30 April 1937, and Surry Parker Roberts, born 4 March 1940. In 1942, the family moved to 1503 West Pettigrew Street, where they lived for 25 years. After Dr. Roberts was paralyzed by a stroke, they moved to a one-story house without entrance steps, 1406 Kent Street, where they both lived until their deaths.

During her years in Durham, Elizabeth Parker Roberts became involved in many organizations. For three years she was a Cub Scout den mother. While her children were in school, she was a member of the Parent-Teacher Association (P.T.A.), including a stint as president of the P.T.A. at Carr Junior High School. In 1937, she joined Durham's Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church, where she was very active in the Women’s Auxiliary, serving as president, starting a long-running fundraising bazaar, serving as bazaar chairman and chairman of the book booth, contributing to the church cookbook, serving as mission chairman, chapter chairman, pansy chairman, United Thanks Offering (UTO) chairman, member and chairman of the altar guild, and as a member of the vestry. In 1940, she became a charter member of the Daughters of the King, where she was active in visiting homebound residents.

In 1939, after living in Durham for two years, she joined the Service League (later the Junior League), serving on the board of directors and later as a sustaining member.

She was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America for many years. She was also a member of the Salvation Army Maternity Home and Hospital, the Better Health Foundation, Watts Hospital Staff Wives, United Way, and the Town and Campus Book Club. Before there were pink ladies, she worked for several years at the Duke Hospital clinic visiting patients and giving out magazines. In 1959 she was chosen to serve on the board of trustees of Salem Academy and College by the alumni and served three years. In the Auxiliary of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina she served as president and as chairman of that organization’s committee on handbook publication.

Mrs. Roberts remained an active community member until her death. She is buried next to her husband in Gates County Cemetery in Gatesville, NC.


14.5 Linear Feet (29 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



The scrapbooks in this collection are arranged chronologically.

Physical Access Restrictions

Some of our materials are stored offsite. These items are not available for same day access and require advance notice to retrieve. Contact North Carolina Collection staff at to plan your visit.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Snow Roberts

Related Materials

Hope Valley Country Club records (NCC.0101)

North Carolina Collection Newsletters and Periodicals (NCC.NEWSPERIOD)

North Carolina Collection Subject Files (NCC.SUBJECT)

Condition Description

Some of the scrapbooks are very fragile and must be handled with special care.

Collection Name

The name of this collection was changed in Summer 2022. Boxes and folders in the collection may be labeled with the previous name, which was Elizabeth (“Libby”) Parker Roberts Scrapbook Collection. The current title should be used when referring to or citing the collection.

Finding Aid for the Elizabeth Parker Roberts Scrapbooks
Kristen Merryman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023 February 09: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace by Jo Overstreet.
  • Gift Agreement

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States