Kipling-Balestier-Dunham Papers

Scope and Content

The bulk of the letters (c. 100) are from Rudyard Kipling s wife, Caroline Starr Kipling ( Carrie ) to her mother, Anna Smith Balestier (1838-1919). They record the personal life of the Kiplings. Letters for the years 1914 to 1917, record the military career and early death of John Kipling (1897-1915), their only son, killed in action in 1915. Included are typed copies of two letters from comrades, John F. Bird and Frank Witt, who had served with John, describing the events connected with his death.

The second reel of film contains chiefly letters and some verses of Rudyard Kipling addressed to his mother-in-law, his sister-in -law Josephine Balestier (1890-1939), and her husband Theodore Dunham (1862-1951).

Administrative / Biographical History

Wolcott Balestier Dunham, Jr. of New York is a grandson of Josephine Balestier (1870-1939) whose sister Caroline Starr Balestier (1862-1939) in 1892 married Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), author. In 1997 he presented to the University of Sussex Library microfilm copies of about 150 letters written by and to members of his family between the 1880s and the 1930s. The donor's prefatory notes include biographical and genealogical notes about the Balestier and Dunham families.

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Special Collections Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Wolcott Balestier Dunham, Jr., of New York , 1997

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available in the Library and also on its website .

Alternative Form Available

The Houghton Library, Harvard University also holds a copy of these microfilms.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction for either private study or for publication is only with the consent of the owner. The National Trust is the owner of the copyright in the works of the Kipling family.

Custodial History

The letters to Anna Smith Balestier presumably passed to her daughter Josephine (1870-1939) who augmented them with correspondence of her own, and the collection then remained on her death with her husband Dr Theodore Dunham (1862-1951). On his death they passed to his daughter Josephine Dunham (b. 1908) and then to his son Dr Wolcott Balestier Dunham (b. 1900), in whose custody the originals were in 1994. They were filmed by the latter s son, Wolcott Balestier Dunham, Jr., who was the donor, in April 1994.

Related Material

This collection supplements the main collection of the papers of Rudyard Kipling, his parents, his wife and his daughter, which accumulated at Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge and which is deposited at the University of Sussex as SxMs 38, Kipling Papers - Wimpole Archive The record for that collection includes a list of all the supplementary collections.

Additional Information

In 1994, in the custody of Dr Wolcott Balestier Dunham.