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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

“We Will Be Ready for You Christmas Eve”: A Letter to Santa

December 18th, 2018

Spencer’s collections contain a wealth of books, documents, and photographs by, to, about, and for children. One of my favorite items is an adorable – and somewhat lengthy – letter to Santa written by a young girl named Berenice Boyd. Born in February 1903, Berenice lived most of her life in Paola, Kansas – located in the east-central part of the state.

The letter and other items from Berenice’s collection are currently on display as part of Spencer’s “50 for 50” exhibit, which¬†will be installed in the Library’s Exhibit Space through early January.

Photograph of Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Photograph of Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Photograph of the envelope to Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Berenice Boyd’s letter to Santa Claus with its envelope, undated [circa 1910].
The letter is transcribed below. Call Number: RH MS 1366. Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of Berenice Boyd, undated

A studio photograph of Berenice Boyd, undated [circa 1910].
Call Number: RH MS 1366. Click image to enlarge.

Dear Santa Claus.

I have had a good time all summer, and wish to have a good time all winter. I have not wrote to you for a long time. That is all I have time for now.

I will begin.

Please bring me a high grade violin.
A doll as big as Edna Emery. (1)
And a large baby [bump?].
Please bring me a doll cradle.
I please want a kodak [possibly a Brownie camera].
I would like a Christmas tree If there is a enough –
I would like a white fur and muff For my doll.
And a muff and fur for my self.
And I will hang my stocking up.
I speck [expect] to see you to the church.
we will have a fine time on Christmas.
And will put my Christmas tree out for you.

I speck [expect] all your boys and girls Have all been good.
And get the presents to.

I saw in Kansas City two weeks ago that they had a Tea party and each little girl Must bring her doll.
We will be ready for you Christmas eve.

I want a postal card from you and as soon as I get Yours I will send one to you.

I will have to clouse [close] now.

Go by [good bye]. I wish you a merry Christmas.
Go night [good night].

I please want to kittys [two kitties].
And a dog.
I please want a pony.

Merry Christmas.
Berenice Boyd

(1) Preliminary research suggests that Edna Emery was a couple of years younger than Berenice and that the two girls were childhood friends.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services