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Margaret A. Colliton Papers

Collection MS-1990-010: Margaret A. Colliton Papers


  • Creation: 1906 - 1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1975 - 1984

Scope and Contents

These papers document the personal and professional life of Margaret A. Colliton. Materials include Colliton’s teaching and program organization notes, articles, presentations and projects; her personal and professional correspondence; diaries and other personal ephemera; photographs of Colliton and her family; articles on nurses and nursing, and other publications. The collection also contains material relating to Colliton’s non-profit work including Shiloah, a non-profit foundation concerned with the spiritual dimension of nursing and healing in general, and Promisek, a non-profit concerned with the healing relationship between individuals and land.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Margaret Annette Colliton was born in 1938, in Washington, D.C., to Claire Irene (Kelly) and William Francis Colliton. She grew up with one older and one younger brother. Colliton attended high school at The Academy of the Holy Names in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the Summer School for Catholic Action at Fordham University in 1951. In 1952, Colliton attended the Saint Agnes Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1955. She then attended the Catholic University of America, earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1957 and her Master of Science in Nursing in 1959. While in Washington, D.C., she also worked as a psychiatric nurse at the National Institute of Mental Health. After travelling in Europe from 1959 to 1960, Colliton entered the Doctorate in Nursing Sciences program at Boston University, completing the program in 1964.

Colliton began her teaching career as an instructor of psychiatric nursing at Saint Xavier College in Chicago in 1963. She became an assistant professor there in 1965, and associate professor in 1966. In 1967, she left Chicago for the jointly appointed position of Director of Nursing Education at the Yale Psychiatric Institute and assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing. In 1970, she was promoted to associate professor.

During the mid-1970s, Colliton adopted an eleven-year-old daughter, Sonora (Nora) Claire. In 1975, she left Yale for a career in private psychiatric nursing. Colliton served as a consultant to the Franciscan Life Center and the Mary Wade Home, as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Sciences beginning in 1983, and as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Wellspring Intermediate Care Facility in Connecticut from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, she co-founded Shiloah, Inc., a center for the study of the spiritual dimension of nursing, with Mary Ann Urbin. As President of Shiloah, Inc., Colliton programmed outreach workshops for the nursing community on location at Shiloah House, a farmhouse in Bethlehem, Connecticut. After several years of operating at a deficit, Shiloah House was sold to Wellspring, Inc. in 1984.

In 1984, Colliton entered into formation with the Franciscans and traveled to Jerusalem and Italy to work and study with the Franciscan Life Center and Catholic Relief Services. In 1986, she participated in Benedictine Monastic Life as a guest at the Priory of Our Lady of the Rock in Shaw Island, Washington. Colliton died in New Haven, Connecticut, on September 24, 1998.


American Men and Women of Science: A biographical directory of today’s leaders in physical, biological, and related sciences. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1973. 12th edition.

Biographical Directory of the American Public Health Association. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1979.

Margaret A. Colliton Papers, John J. Burns Library. Boston College.


3.5 Linear Feet (13 containers)

Language of Materials



Consists of manuscripts, personal and professional correspondence, diaries, photographs of Margaret A. Colliton and her family, articles on nurses and nursing, and other publications. Some of the material relates to Shiloah, a non-profit foundation concerned with the spiritual dimension of nursing and healing, and Promisek, a non-profit concerned with the healing relationship between individuals and the land.


Arranged in seven series. I. Correspondence; II. Academic material; III. Professional material; IV. Geneaological material; V. Printed material and ephemera; VI. Journals and personal notes; and VII. Yearbooks.

Related Materials

Nurses and nursing:

Josephine A. Dolan collection of nursing history, MS.1988.004, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Madeleine Clémence Vaillot papers, MS.1989.011, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Margaret A. Colliton papers, MS.1990.010, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Cynthia E. Northrop papers, MS.1998.002, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Nursing associations:

Visiting Nurse Association of Boston records, MS.1989.006, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The American Association of Nurse Attorneys records, MS.1997.018, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Nursing schools:

New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing records, MS.1989.008, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital School of Nursing collection, MS.2000.018B, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Processing Information

One scrapbook from series IV tracing much of Colliton’s genealogical research has been separated into textual materials and family photographs.

Margaret A. Colliton Papers
1906-1989, (bulk 1975-1984)
Elizabeth Uzelac, Fall 2003, updated
2009 December 3
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States