Correspondence in the collection includes materials from 1885 to 1919. The “Circle” correspondence includes letters of Lloyd Balderston, Mary Alsop Balderston, Esther Balderston Jones, and others, which were written in a round-robin fashion and circulated among the family. Contents include family news, weather, and the rules of the letter writing. Esther Balderston Jones correspondence, primarily written from Japan to her future husband, family, friends, and the Mission Board in Philadelphia, dates from 1914 to 1919. Some of the letters are photocopies. Letters report on details of life in Japan, Esther’s work at Friends Girls School and the students there, references to other missionaries, Tokyo as a city, and events surrounding the coronation of Emperor Yoshihito.
The Esther Balderston Jones materials date from 1911 to 1917. The two diary volumes are in “paragraph a day” format. They document Esther’s leading to become a missionary, her training for missionary work, and her early impressions of Japan. They also document her deep roots in the Quaker communities of Philadelphia and Japan, as well as her friendship with Inazo and Mary Nitobe. Reports and essays include “True Education,” “Two New Monthly Meetings,” and reports from Japan.
The Lloyd Balderston materials include an autobiographical essay written in 1931, covering his life up to that time. The genealogical notebook includes biographical sketches for the Balderston, Kite, Lloyd, Clement, Alsop, Canby, Walton, and other families. There are also materials about William Warner and the Warner tract, which may be part of Haverford College.
Photographs date from the 1910s through 1930s, and include images of Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hawaii, and Vladivostok. Photographs are of people and places; only some photographs are labeled. Some of the photographs taken in China include William Warder and Catherine Cadbury, Quaker missionaries in China.
The addition includes miscellaneous correspondence and postcards Esther sent to her family during her 1911 trip to Germany. The notebook “Trip to Jamaica and Cuba” from 1948 documents Esther’s trip, sights, and experiences, including a list of people met and information on the costs of bananas and coconuts. “Travels Abroad...Return to Japan” from 1960 documents Esther and Tom Jones’s return visit to Japan. A notebook containing diary entries from 1915 and 1916 in Japan also includes comments on books she is reading, scripture notes, lecture notes, and personal expenses, mostly from the 1950s. Accounts, stock holdings, notes, 1950-1964 includes accounts, an itinerary for a trip to Puerto Rico, addresses, and reading lists. Notes include book notes, meeting notes, and book lists. Lists and notes, 1960, includes mostly lists of various sorts.
The scrapbook, 1907-1926, includes photographs from Esther Balderston Jones’s childhood, young adulthood, and wedding. Alsop and Balderston family photographs are mostly individual photographs; they are labeled. Wellesley College materials include Esther’s invitation to Phi Beta Kappa. The play “Plus and Minus” was a Westtown faculty play to celebrate its 150th anniversary; the essay “Wonder” is about two psalms. The pressed flowers and doily were removed from other parts of the collection.
“Much Love to All” is an edited version of Esther Balderston Jones’s letters and diaries by Cathy Gaskill. There are several drafts of this work. Diary transcriptions, 1912-1915 are typed versions of a section of the diaries in the first part of this collection. The biographical sketch of Esther Balderston Jones was written by her husband, Thomas E. Jones, and unpublished.
Artifacts include a lacquer writing box and sumi writing brushes presented to Lloyd Balderston upon his departure from the Imperial Japanese University in Sapporo, Japan.