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 File — Box: 28, Folder: 8
Identifier: Folder 8

Scope and Contents

From the Sub-Series: This series contains items of general correspondence primarily to Frederick Buechner from 1926-2008. The correspondences range from letters and news or magazine articles to postcards and excerpts from manuscripts written by both Buechner and his correspondents. Although most of the letters in this box are written to Buechner, a few are written by him to his friends or family or in response to certain letters. Items are organized by time spans of several years and then by name. There are about 214 inches of content. Buechner exchanged letters with individuals, some of whom Buechner did not know, and organizations such as churches and colleges.

As many items are written to Buechner over a long period of time, they have a wide variety of purposes. Some are fan letters from individuals to Buechner demonstrating gratitude for writing books or for speaking at conferences or churches. These letters often have anecdotes informing Buechner of the impact he has had on the lives of some of his readers. Many letters contain requests to Buechner. Some request Buechner to review manuscripts or agree to meet with some of his correspondents. In the earlier years of his career, Buechner received some letters written with advice on how to write. In the second half of these series, Buechner is the one who gives out advice on how to write. Buechner also writes to friends and family with updates in his life. Other letters, especially those from organizations, invite Buechner to attend certain events or speak in certain conferences.

In this series, two of Buechner’s most contacted correspondents are Katherine Kuhn, Buechner’s mother, and James Merrill, a poet and Buechner’s life-long friend. The majority of letters exchanged between Buechner and his mother, also affectionately referred to as “Mither” or “Kaki,” are directed to Katherine Kuhn with updates in Buechner’s life. These letters start from the time Buechner attends boarding school in Lawrenceville and continue until about 1958, when Buechner has already started his career as a writer. The majority of the correspondence between Buechner and Merrill are to Buechner. These letters contain updates in life and are sometimes concerned with the manuscripts of both writers.


  • Created: 1926-2017
  • Existence: Date acquired: 1982

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the Buechner papers are made based upon which category  the respective materials reside.

Access to published books, essays and articles; newspaper and magazine clippings; published reviews and similar documents (the “Public Materials”) are guided by the general access policies of the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections (i.e., those policies generally used by Wheaton in similar situations, which policies govern any copying, reproduction or duplication of any Public Materials for personal use only). Any person accessing the Buechner Materials who wishes to copy, reproduce or duplicate materials for other than personal use must contact Frederick Buechner Literary Assets, LLC (hereinafter “FBLA”) at for such rights.

Access to private correspondence, business correspondence, personal diaries, holographic manuscripts, audio, video or other recordings of any type, and personal memorabilia (the "Private Materials") shall not be disclosed, displayed or made available or accessible during Rev. Buechner’s lifetime without the prior written consent of FBLA. These materials will become available on the same conditions of the aforementioned "Public Materials"  forty years after Rev. Buechner’s death.  (Exception for Public or Commercial Recordings: if a public or commercial recording has been made involving Rev. Buechner or his writings (original or derivative works) (collectively, “Recordings”) and such Recordings are subject to a written release executed by Rev. Buechner or FBLA, then Wheaton shall be free to use and share such Recordings pursuant only to the requirements of  the copyright holder. If the Recordings are not subject to such a written release executed by Rev. Buechner or FBLA, then such Recordings are subject to the terms of this paragraph.)

A subset of Private Materials (the “Special Private Materials”), such as Rev. Buechner’s copy of Gone with the Wind and other papers, so designated, are unavailable until seventy-five years after the death of Rev. Buechner and that time will retain the restrictions for those items classified "private materials."

A fourth category are those materials received from Princeton University. These retain the originally agreed upon restriction (manuscripts closed during Buechner’s lifetime with access available upon written permission from Buechner. The Held correspondence is closed until 25 years after Buechner’s death).

Researchers desiring access to those portions of the collection classified as Private Materials or Special Private Materials must obtain written permission from FBLA.

Rights of publication must be secured from FBLA, which entity holds the copyright to Buechner’s unpublished archival material, or from the author or author’s agent in the case of secondary works.


From the Collection: 139 boxes

From the Collection: 53 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Buswell Library Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 US