Kalimpong Papers

Scope and Content

Acc. 6039 consists of the personal archive of the Very Rev. Jon Anderson Graham D. D., founder of the Kalimpong homes, and much of the general archive of the Homes themselves from the beginning of Graham's ministry there in 1889 until 1972.The importance of the collection lies in the detailed account it gives of the early development and later growth and organisation of one of the great Scottish mission centres in India, and in the light it throws on the social and educational problems of the Anglo-Indians which the Homes were designed partly to alleviate.The correspondence of Dr. Graham and his wife (boxes 1-4) is of particular interest. Whenever they were apart they wrote to teach other almost ever day, and sometimes several times a day. Apart from being the record of a fine partnership, this series of letters gives an extremely detailed picture of the day to day working of the homes. Dr. Graham's diaries (boxes 6-8) are important for similar reasons. The general correspondence of the Homes which contains all Dr. Graham's letters after his wife's death in 1919, and also much that relates to fund raising in Great Britain as well as to the Homes themselves, carries the general history of Kalimpong down to 1962, after which the correspondence tails off coming to an end in 1972. James Purdie's correspondence (boxes 13-14) is of great interest as showing the problems of individual Anglo-Indians especially in the years after 1947.Acc. 6073 consists of further material relating to the Very Rev. John Anderson Graham DD and to the homes he founded at Kalimpong. The papers include further biographical material on Dr. Graham, material relating to Bhutan, and the correspondence of the donors with James Purdie which gives a detailed history of the homes in the quarter century following Dr Graham's death, as well as material relating to the other members of the Graham connection.

Administrative / Biographical History

GRAHAM, Very Rev. John Anderson (1861-1942), CIE 1911; VD, FRGS; Kaiser-I-Hind Gold Medallist (Delhi-Durbar, 1903, Bar, 1935); Silver Jubilee Medal; MA (Edin.), DD (Edin. and Aberdeen); Moderator of Church of Scotland, 1931-1932; Missionary of the Church of Scotland, at Kalimpong, Bengal, since 1898; Hon. Superintendent of the St Andrew's Colonial Homes for poorer Anglo-Indian children; born 8 September 1861; son of David Graham, formerly of HM Customs, London, latterly of Cardross, NB; married 1889, Kate M'Conachie (died 1919), Edinburgh (Kaiser-I-Hind Gold Medallist, 1916); two sons four daughters.Education: Cardross Parish School; Glasgow High School; Edinburgh University.Work: Was in the Home Civil Service in Edinburgh, 1877-1882; graduated, 1885; ordained, 1889.Publications: On the Threshold of Three Closed Lands; Missionary Expansion of the Reformed Churches; Education of the Anglo-Indian Child; Possibility of a Universal Religion.Address: Kalimpong, Bengal. Died: 15 May 1942


Consult manual handlist for further details. Acc. 6039 - Box 1: 1. Letters of Dr Graham to his wife Katherine McConachie, 1886-90. 2. Do. 1891-6. 3. Do. 1897-1907. Box 2: 1. Do. 1908-19. 2. Letters of Mrs Graham to her husband, 1886-8. 3. Do. 1889-93. Box 3: 1. Do. 1894-7. 2. Do. 1899-1903. Box 4. 1. Do. 1904-8. 2. Do. 1909-19. Box 5: 1. Letters of Mrs Graham to her mother and family, 1889-1904. 2. Letters of Dr. Graham to his wife's family, 1889, 1892-3. Miscellaneous letters to Mrs Graham, 1884-1916. Letter of Mrs. Graham to her mother-in-law, nd. Letter of Mrs. Graham to Mrs. Charteris, 1890. Boxes6-8: Dr. Graham's diaries. Boxes 13-14: James Purdie's correspondence. Acc. 6073 - 1. F.1. Papers and correspondence relating to the executry of Dr. Graham, including a list of his collection of Tibetan brass, and correspondence relating to its dispersal, 1942-3, 1946. F.2. Biographical material relating to Dr. Graham, including an address from St. Bernard's Church, Edinburgh, on the occasion of his moderatorship, 1931, and memoirs of him by his daughters Isa and Betty. F.3. Papers, correspondence, and photographs, 1916-ca. 1960, connected with Bhutan, and to a lesser extent with Sikkim, Nepal, and Tibet. Most of the material concerns relations between India an Bhutan, especially in connection iwht Bhutan's export of alcohol.2. Album, containing photographs of the Homes, ca. 1954-5, and of O. G. Bs. Ca. 1942-55.3. F.1. Correspondence of James Purdie with Mrs. Norman Odling and Mrs. George Sherriff, daughters of Dr. Graham, 1943-65, with Purdie's notes on his time (1898-1904) as a prison visitor at Barlinnie. F.2. Home's Weekly periodicals transferred 12/7/94. Index to Home's Magazine, to 1944, compiled by Norman Odling. F.3. Letters to Mrs. Norman Odling from members of the Everest expeditions of 1936 and 1938, with one from Ernst Schfer of the 1938 Deutsche Tibet Expedition. F.4. Papers and correspondence relating to the stay in and escape from Denmark by Mrs. Isa Coffey, 1939-48, 1952. F.5. Press cuttings and correspondence, 1948-62, concerning John M. Rollo of the St. Andrews Works, Bonnybridge. 4. Microfilm (Mf. Mss. 224) of 'Life and Works of the Very Rev. John Anderson Graham', a PhD thesis by J. R. Minto.

Access Information

Acquisition Information

immediate source of acquistion

Custodial History

The original deposit of Graham's papers (Acc 6039) was presented to the National Library in 1974 by Mrs E. Sherriff, Dr. Graham's youngest daughter. An additional deposit (Acc. 6073) was made by Mrs. B. Odling and Mrs. E. Sherriff, his daughters, in continuation of their previous gift.


Closed collection.