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Collection Title: Kirkland (J. Brackin) Papers

Collection Number: M15

Dates: 1886-1983

Volume: 27 cu. ft.

Provenance: Donated by Mrs. J. Brackin Kirkland in 1977 and by Joseph Brackin Kirkland, Jr. in 1985 and 1986.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

J. Brackin Kirkland (1892-1974) grew up on a farm in Jones County, Mississippi, graduated from the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell University, and pursued a career in education and youth work in New York and Alabama for thirty years before retiring to Mississippi in 1950. During the course of his professional career he was associated with three institutions: George Junior Republic in Freeville, N.Y., Boys Clubs of America, Inc., in New York City, and Southern Industrial Institute in Camp Hill, Alabama. He served approximately a decade with each in various capacities, but most notably as executive director of the George Junior Republic (1920's), financial director of the Boys Club of America national office (1930's), and president of Southern Industrial Institute (1940's).

After Kirkland's retirement to Mississippi, he worked as an active cattle and tree farmer in Jones County, was a member of the local Universalist Church and the Jones County Republican central committee, and served on the Board of Directors of the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation.

Scope and Content:

The papers of J. Brackin Kirkland consist chiefly of correspondence, office memoranda, speeches, reports, publications, clippings, and photos, divided almost equally between personal and professional papers. Together they comprise some 27 cubic feet of material. Inclusive dates of the collection are 1886 to 1983; however, the great bulk of the material falls between 1918 and 1976. The professional series document the three major phases of Kirkland's career in education and youth work: his service as superintendent and executive director of the George Junior Republic, financial director of Boys Clubs of America, Inc., and president of the Southern Industrial Institute, as well as his associations with Cornell University. The personal papers series are made up chiefly of correspondence, together with clippings, photos, and family histories. Much of the personal correspondence is addressed to Mrs. Kirkland, and the largest subseries of correspondence is that from her mother, Esther Brewster George.

Mrs. Kirkland made annotations throughout the collection while preparing the papers for donation to the University of Southern Mississippi in 1977. Two smaller bodies of material were added by Joseph Brackin Kirkland, Jr., in 1985 and 1986; they have been integrated into the rest of the collection.

The papers of J. Brackin Kirkland are divided into eight major series:

  • Biographical material and family histories
  • Correspondence
  • Family and personal papers
  • Cornell University papers
  • George Junior Republic papers
  • Boys Clubs of America, Inc., papers
  • Southern Industrial Institute papers
  • Miscellaneous small series

The Kirklands divided the papers into these groups prior to their donation. They also established many of the major files within each series, particularly the larger files of correspondence. The second series consists chiefly of family and personal correspondence; much more correspondence may be found in the other series as well.

Box and Folder List Available


Related Collections

J. Brackin Kirkland Oral History Interview, transcript call number F341.5 .M57x, Vol. 41.

Kirkland (L. Clinton) Papers, M 244

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