Skip to main content
Please contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for assistance with accessing these materials.

Sister Michael Kilmer Family Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: GTM-20230802

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Kilmer family photographs, correspondence, poetry, clippings, and printed materials that belong to Sister Michael Kilmer (the daughter of Joyce and Aline Kilmer). Of note are letters written by Joyce Kilmer to Aline Murray Kilmer (1907-1918), photographs of Joyce Kilmer, and materials related to Joyce Kilmer's military service in World War I. The collection also includes “The Lantern” poem manuscript (signed by Joyce Kilmer) and “October Warning” poem typescript (signed by Aline Kilmer).

Box 1 Inventory:

Letter from Joyce Kilmer to Aline Murray, 1907 (original).

Letters from Joyce Kilmer to Aline Murray Kilmer, 1907-1918 (photocopies).

Kilmer family photographs (JK, Aline, children), original prints and reproductions, 1880s-1980s? Includes images of JK as a child and a lock of his hair.

“October Warning” poem typescript, signed by Aline Kilmer.

“The Lantern” poem manuscript, signed by Joyce Kilmer.

JK Army honors, including a medal.

Army rank insignia, dog tag, and various papers found on JK at the time of his death.

Copies of newspaper clippings related to JK and Aline.

Sister Michael Kilmer letters from her family, 1935-1996. Includes poetry sent by Kenton Kilmer.

Michael Barry Kilmer letters to his family, 1927.

Kenton Kilmer correspondence, 1987-1994 (includes copy of his birth certificate and an obituary).

Box 2 Inventory:

“Memories of My Father, Joyce Kilmer” typescript by Kenton Kilmer, 1991.

“Before a Poet Old: The Life of Joyce Kilmer” typescript by John Covell, 1998. Includes letters from the author to Sister Michael.

“Aline Kilmer - Singer of Songs” thesis typescript by Sister Roberta Marie Sherry, 1939.

“The Life and Works of Aline Kilmer” thesis typescript by Sister M. Arthemise Dalton, 1947.


  • 1880s-1994


Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Note

Sister Michael (Deborah) Kilmer (1914-1999) was born in New York to Joyce and Aline (Murray) Kilmer. She entered St. Benedict's Monastery on June 20, 1934; made her first vows on July 11, 1935; and final vows on Jury 11, 1938. After earning her teaching certificate from Dickinson State Teachers College in North Dakota, she taught at schools in Wadena, Bismarck, ND, and White Earth. She then earned her degree in biology from the College of St Benedict, studied medical technology at St Cloud Hospital and did graduate work in Atlanta and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She achieved national recognition in that field in the 1940s. While working in the pathology laboratory at St. Cloud Hospital, she also taught chemistry and microbiology at St. Cloud School of Nursing and directed die School of Medical Technology for eight years. She later was administrator of Mother of Mercy Nursing Home in Albany. Due to ill health, she retired to St. Scholastica Convent in 1990, where she continued to participate in Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Fish Programs.



0.75 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Saint Benedict's Monastery (St. Joseph, MN), 2023.

Related Materials

See also the Joyce Kilmer Papers (GTM-GAMMS83) and the Kilmer Family Papers (GTM-980703 and GTM-190919).

Processing Information

The collection has been rehoused in acid-free boxes and folders.

Sister Michael Kilmer Family Papers
John Zarrillo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057