Ellen M. Barrett, a scholar specializing in medieval monastic history, was the first openly gay person, and one of the earliest women, to be ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. Beginning in 1975, when she was ordained deacon, through 1977 when she was ordained priest, the collection documents her path to ordination and the far reaching international reaction to her ordination. The collection covers her subsequent, nearly thirty-year career as priest in the Episcopal Church and her eventual postulancy in an Anglican women's monastic community.
This small collection of materials consists of scattered correspondence; travel brochures, maps, and postcards; memorabilia; printed materials; photographs and photographic slides; ephemera; and various artifacts, including an antique stereoscope with accompanying glass slides. The sum total of this collection offers a glimpse into the social and intellectual life of William A. Spicer, III, a Brown University alumnus and administrator, world traveler, and expert in the care and restoration of clocks. The materials date from 1901 to 2004, with the bulk from the 1960s to 2004.