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Beresford Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1257

Scope and Contents

This collection contains letters mainly to Dorothy Beresford from her sons Peter and David, as well as letters between David and Peter, and various other correspondents tied to the Beresford family such as Peter’s wife Natalie and daughter Loretta. These letters were primarily written between 1929 and 1932, although they span to 1949. The Beresford family originated in England, but first David and later Dorothy emigrated to New York, while Peter traveled between various continents during his career as a ship’s assistant engineer, eventually settling in Australia. The letters touch on a wide range of topics, including simple family matters such as David’s daily life in New York, Peter’s experiences traveling between various port cities in Scotland, England, Australia, China (including mention of Sino-Japanese hostilities), New Zealand, South Africa, Panama, etc., the effects of the Great Depression, and the progress of technology.


  • 1929-1949
  • Majority of material found within 1929 - 1932


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Peter Aldbury Beresford (June 18th, 1909 - May 17th, 2006), originally of Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, England, worked as an assistant engineer on the S.S. Tongariro, traveling between port cities in Scotland, England, Australia, China, New Zealand, South Africa, Panama, and more. He settled in Botany, New South Wales, Australia, with his wife Natalie and daughter Loretta. He was the older brother of David O. Beresford and the son of Dorothy and Frank Beresford. Peter eventually moved to Albany, New York, where he died in 2006.

David Osmond Beresford (October 2nd, 1910 - April 10th, 2004), originally of Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, England, emigrated to Delanson, Schenectady County, New York. He worked as a cattle farmer, as an assistant to farmer Harold J. Gorst at ‘New Acres’. He was the younger brother of Peter A. Beresford and the son of Dorothy and Frank Beresford.

Dorothy Beresford (January 26th, 1880 - December 16th, 1962), maiden name Mahomed, lived in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, England, and in 1931, emigrated to live with David in New York. She worked as an actress. She was the mother of David O. and Peter A. Beresford and the wife of Frank Beresford, formerly Francis Binstead, who also was an actor.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)




Included are letters between Peter A. Beresford, David O. Beresford, and Dorothy Beresford, as well as various other writers, mostly written 1929-1932.


The collection is organized alphabetically by correspondent.


The Beresford Family papers were purchased by Special Collections, Haverford College in December, 2014 from Carmen Valentino.

Physical Description

133 traditional handwritten letters, 36 airmail letters, 1 postcard, 5 envelopes, 1 address book, 1 handwritten recipe, 1 business card, 1 typed letter excerpt

Processing Information

Processed by Natalia Gutierrez-Jones; completed July, 2015.

Beresford Family papers, 1929-1949
Natalia Gutierrez-Jones
July, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting reproductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US