Fiske Kimball Papers : II. Personal papers and records : B. Letterbooks and other journals

Subseries B. Letterbooks and other journals

1909-1911, 1954

Scope and Content Note

Dating from 1909 and 1954, the two appointment books in this subseries are like bookends to the career of Fiske Kimball, chronicling some of his youngest days as an undergraduate at Harvard as well as his final days as director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Notations in the 1909 book include academic activities, such as architectural lectures, tests and "all day sketch[es]" and occasional social dates for tea, the opera and the symphony. Perhaps even more personal is his entry for February 12 in which he reminds himself to "send Helens Val." (Based on comments Theodora makes in several letters to her brother in the summer of 1911, the full identity of this woman is probably Helen L. Ely.) Another appointment regularly entered is "Amicirclum." Kimball, along with a few of his fellow undergraduates, apparently established their own informal fraternity, which they referred to as "Brothers in Amicurclum" and "Brother Amicocks." The group kept in touch other over the years, even holding a reunion in 1920. Processed as "Brothers in Amicurclum," their correspondence is filed in the "General Correspondence" series. Kimball's 1954 appointment book includes entries indicative of an established scholar and director of a major museum. His year begins with a Van Gogh opening, and continues with numerous luncheons, meetings, speaking engagements, and by the middle of summer, another trip to Europe, simply notated as "to Versailles."

The letterbooks pertain to Kimball's Harvard days, particularly his 1911 trip to Europe as a Sheldon Fellow. Kimball used part of the earliest book as a diary, beginning with the summer of 1909 and his school commencement. Following several blank pages, he makes one more entry, dated June 27, 1911, which was his first day en route to Europe. The rest of the journal is used as a letterbook, containing copies of letters to his parents and sister. Most of the original letters are part of the "Family correspondence" subseries. However, the letterbook contains copies of additional letters not included in the correspondence subseries, such as those to his sister Theodora dated July 16, 23 and August 8. There are also copies of letters to other individuals, including his cousin Marguerite Kimball, a "Mrs. Moore," and an apparent friend addressed as "Lawrence." Kimball kept a tally of all the letters and cards he wrote while in Europe. Based on his calculations, which are inserted in this letterbook, Kimball wrote 149 letters and 61 cards over a 165-day period, and spent $7.00 in postage. The second letterbook, covering September 8 to November 12, 1911, also contains copies of letters to other individuals, including several Harvard professors, his Amicurclum brother Norman Foerster, and "Helen." The third letterbook concludes Kimball's European travels. This letterbook also appears to include copies of family letters for which there are no corresponding originals, such as the one to his mother dated December 14, 1911.



639 Appointment books.1909, 1954
501 Letterbook/diary.

See Also:

Fiske Kimball Papers / II. Personal papers and records / C. Subjects / f. Student records. Harvard University. Sheldon Fellowship. Appointment certificate and correspondence.

Fiske Kimball Papers / II. Personal papers and records / C. Subjects / f. European travels. Sheldon Fellowship trip. Travel documents and receipts.

Fiske Kimball Papers / II. Personal papers and records / A. Family correspondence / f. Fiske Kimball w/ Edwin Fiske Kimball.
511 Letterbook.Sept.-Nov. 1911
521 Letterbook.Nov.-Dec. 1911