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Rudyard Kipling Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: SEH
Date: Mar 1993

Biographical History

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English author and poet. His best-known works include the novels and short story collections The Jungle Book (1894), Just So Stories (1902), Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), and Kim (1901), as well as a number of poems such as "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), and "If--" (1910).

Kipling was born in Bombay, India, into an artistic family: his father was a sculptor, pottery designer, and professor of architectural sculpture and two of his aunts were married to painters (Georgiana to Edward Burne-Jones and Agnes to Edward Poynter). At the age of six and he his sister were sent back to England to school, as was common with the children of British colonial India. After six unsatisfactory years with a Mr. and Mrs. Holloway, Rudyard and Trix were taken in by their aunt Georgiana.

Kipling attended the United Services College in Devon and then went to Lahore in what is now Pakistan to become assistant editor of a small newspaper. In addition to editing, Kipling contributed a great many stories to the paper (approximately 39 in one year) and several travel sketches. In 1889 Kipling returned to London via a roundabout eight-month journey that took him to Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, and various cities in the United States and Canada. Upon his arrival in London he began building a reputation as a writer, publishing two novels in two years along with several short stories.

In 1892 Kipling married Carrie Balestier and shortly thereafter the couple moved to the United States, settling in Vermont, where Kipling began writing the Jungle Book stories and produced four novels in four years. In July 1899, despite their pleasant life in Vermont, Kipling decided to return to England and came to Torquay on the Devon coast. Kipling soon earned a reputation as "the poet of the Empire" and when he and his family paid a Christmas visit to the British colonies in South Africa (which became an annual tradition) they were warmly received.

In 1907 Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author," becoming the first English-language recipient.

After World War I, during which Kipling's only son John was killed, he wrote (1923) a two-volume history of his son's regiment, the Irish Guards, which is considered to be one of the finest examples of regimental history. He also became a "roving correspondent" for the British press. Among his other occupations, in 1922 he developed "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer" for the University of Toronto, a statement of duties and responsibilities to be recited by graduates in engineering; the ritual is sometimes called the Kipling Ritual and is still in use today. In 1925 he became Lord Rector of St. Andrews University in Scotland, though his writing began to slow somewhat in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Kipling died in 1936 and his ashes were interred in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, in the company of other luminaries of British literature including Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Samuel S. McClure (18570-1949) and Herbert Henry McClure (died 1938) were cousins and members of a publishing family, who founded the first American newspaper syndicate. Together they lauinched and/or supported numerous authors including Willa Cather, Booth Tarkington, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Charles Dana Gibson. H.H. McClure counted Kipling amond his personal friends. E.W. (Ernest Walter) Martindell (1873-1951) was a British lawyer, member of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Kipling's first bibliographer. No information can be found about Alan D. Wilson.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rudyard Kipling Collection contains the papers of the British author, novelist, poet, and journalist, as well as three small collections of Kipling material formerly owned by H.H. and S.S. McClure, E.W. Martindell, and Alan D. Wilson.

Correspondence contains more than 950 items, both incoming and outgoing, with the vast majority from Kipling. Some items were written by his secretaries on his behalf. Correspondents include publishers and editors (H.H. and S.S. McClure, Doubleday), other authors (Somerset Maugham, Frederick W. Childs) collaborators (Louise Sington, who set some of Kipling's verse to music), and relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins). There is also some correspondence of Kipling's close family (wife, parents, children) and a small amount of correspondence between third parties.

Writings include Kipling's prose, speeches, verse and dramatic works, and so on. Formats include manuscript (handwritten and typed), proofs, galleys, and published versions. KpR numbers in this section refer to those assigned by Barbara Rosenbaum in the Index of English Literary Manuscripts (London; New York: Mansell, c1990, Vol. 4, pt. 2).

Memorabilia consists of legal material, photographs, and portraits and caricatures. Of particular interest is a power of attorney concerning the estate of Cecil John Rhodes, British politician and South African Prime Minister for whom Rhodesia was named.

Printed material includes clippings about Kipling and miscellaneous items such as dealer catalogues, and writings by others about Kipling. Published editions originally in this series have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging; a list of titles is retained in the inventory.

Miscellany includes bookplates, Kipling's pipe and typewriter, several scrapbooks, and assorted other items. There is also a printed meeting notice listing Kipling as an honorary member of Masonic Authors Lodge No. 3456.

The McClure collection contains a few items of correspondence, writings (one item by Kipling, the rest by McClure), some notes on Kipling's lawsuit against Putnam, and memorabilia (clippings, photographs, etc).

The E.W. Martindell collection contains one letter, a folder of 29 uncollected Kipling verses, and a folder of clippings with a short explanatory piece by Martindell.

The Alan D. Wilson collection, the largest of the three private collections included here, consists of correspondence (one item is from Kipling and one from his secretary; the rest are to/from others), several pieces of writing about Kipling (most are by Lloyd H, Chandler), and some personal memorabilia of Wilson's

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged by correspondent's name. Correspondence of his close family (wife, children, parents) is arranged by family member. Third party (neither from nor to Kipling) is arranged alphabetically by sender. Writings and Memorabilia are arranged alphabetically by type. The three smaller collections are arranged alphabetically by type of material.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Published editions of Kipling's work, and a few other published items, have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging, as noted in the inventory below. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

Subject Headings


Arkwright, John S. (John Stanhope), 1872-1954.
Ballard, Ellis Ames, 1861-1938.
Barton, D. Plunket (Dunbar Plunket), Sir, 1853-1937.
Bensusan, S. L. (Samuel Levy), 1872-1958.
Besant, Walter, 1836-1901.
Bisland, Elizabeth, 1861-1929.
Blackburn, Vernon, 1866-1907.
Blanchan, Neltje, 1865-1918.
Blumenfeld, Ralph D. (Ralph David), 1864-1948.
Bok, Edward William, 1863-1930.
Booth, J. B. (John Bennion), 1880-1961.
Boothby, Guy, 1867-1905.
Brisbane, Arthur, 1864-1936.
Buckle, George Earle, 1854-1935.
Bullen, Frank Thomas, 1857-1915.
Burlingame, Edward L. (Edward Livermore), 1848-1922.
Chandler, Lloyd H. (Lloyd Horwitz), 1869-1947.
Chappell, Henry, 1871-
Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, 1886-1959.
Childs, F. W. (Frederick W.), 1849-1946.
Colvin, Ian Duncan, 1877-1938.
Curties, Arthur William Statter, -1943.
Dawson, Bertrand Edward Dawson, Viscount, -1945.
Dodge, Mary Mapes, 1830-1905.
Drury, W. P. (William Price), 1861-1949.
Farrere, Claude, 1876-1957.
Feilden, H. W. (Henry Wemyss), 1838-1921.
Flight, Claude, 1881-1955.
Frazer, James George, 1854-1941.
Frewen, Moreton, 1853-1924.
Fry, O. A. (Oliver Armstrong), 1855-1931.
Gollancz, Israel, 1864-1930.
Gosse, Edmund, 1849-1928.
Grosvenor, Caroline, 1858-1940.
Gurlitz, Augustus T., 1842-1928.
Gurney, J. H. (John Henry), 1848-1922.
Gwynne, Roland Vaughan.
Henley, William Ernest, 1849-1903.
Hodgson, W. Earl (William Earl), -1910.
Johnson, Charles Plumptre, 1853-1938.
Keyes, Roger, 1872-1945.
Kipling, Caroline, 1865-1939.
Kipling, Elsie.
Kipling, John Lockwood, 1837-1911.
Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936.
Lawrence, T. E. (Thomas Edward), 1888-1935.
Lawrence, Walter R. (Walter Roper), Sir, 1857-1940.
Legouis, Emile, 1861-1937.
Lessing, Bruno, 1870-1940.
Low, Sidney, Sir, 1857-1932.
Lucas, E. V. (Edward Verrall), 1868-1938.
Mais, S. P. B. (Stuart Petre Brodie), 1885-1975.
Marconi, Guglielmo, 1874-1937.
Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965.
McClure, H. H.
McClure, S. S. (Samuel Sidney), 1857-1949.
Milner, Alfred Milner, Viscount, 1854-1925.
Milner, Violet Georgina Milner, Viscountess, 1872-1958.
Parkin, George R. (George Robert), 1846-1922.
Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911.
Rawlinson, A. R.
Rhodes, Cecil, 1853-1902.
Robinson, Harry Perry, 1859-1930.
Sington, Louise.
Tallents, Stephen, 1884-1958.
Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943.
Tregaskis, James, 1850-1926.
Young, Filson, 1876-1938.

Corporate Bodies

D. Appleton and Company.
Freemasons. -- Authors' Lodge No. 3456 (London, England)
S.S. McClure Company (New York, N.Y.)


Dramatists, English.
English literature -- 19th century.
English literature -- 20th century.
English literature -- Illustrations.
English literature.
English poetry.
Journalists -- England.
Novelists, English.
Poets, English.
War stories, English.

Genres and Forms

Catalogs (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drafts (documents)
Galley proofs.
Manuscripts for publication.
Proofs (printed matter)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rudyard Kipling Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Bulk of collection purchased from various dealers, starting in 1950.

Some items, gift of William Pearson Tolley, David J. Holmes, and Lisa Lewis.

Table of Contents




Printed material


McClure collection

E. W. Martindell collection

Alan D. Wilson collection