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C. Brian Kelly Papers - addition 1

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: ViU-2023-0042

Content Description

This addition to MSS 1056, C. Brian Kelly papers, contain drafts, notes, research files, clippings, interviews, publications, contracts, certificates, and photographs documenting the work and life of Charles Brian Kelly, writer, journalist, and professor. The bulk of this addition contains drafts and working files on books created by Kelly and Ingrid Smyer, his wife. Research and drafts represented include Kelly's "Escapes" series along with Kelly's interviews with Harry Seidel, a former professional cyclist who helped people escape from East Germany, draft works of Kelly's play on Nathaniel Bacon, a book on the Iron Curtain, and significant research and drafts chronicling the Vietnam War. There are many newspaper clippings collected by Kelly over fifty years, most of which are about American involvement in warfare and other conflicts. In addition to the research files, drafts, and manuscripts, included are publishing agreements, copyright certificates, reviews of Kelly's work, and other literature that pertains to the publishing and authorship of Kelly's various books. Also documented in the collection are aspects of Kelly's personal life, including Air Force paperwork, holiday and birthday cards, and a few photographs of Brian and his children. Charles Brian Kelly was born in Manhattan before relocating to Virginia. He attended Yale University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English in 1957. Kelly joined the Air Force Reserves shortly after, being deployed to Europe following the construction of the Berlin Wall. While in the Service, Kelly began his journalism career in 1958. Upon his release from active duty in 1962, he started a sixteen-year stint as a reporter for the Washington Star, with his stories routinely reprinted in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other nationally syndicated papers. After leaving the Washington Star, Kelly became the first editor of the newly launched Military History and World War II magazines and helped in the start-up of sister magazines on subjects ranging from the Vietnam War, the American Civil War, Sports History, Biblical History, and Napoleon Bonaparte. He began teaching journalism at the University of Virginia in the Fall of 1980. He has written eleven books with Ingrid Smyer, his wife, on the World Wars, the American Civil War and Revolutionary War, a history of Virginia, the United States Marine Corps, and the life and times of Winston Churchill and Churchill's American-born mother, Jennie Jerome. He and Ingrid Smyer-Kelly have seven children and sixteen grandchildren.

Acquisition Type



Gift of Charles Brian Kelly, 2 February 2023.

Restrictions Apply


Access Restrictions

Boxes 3 and 4 contain materials with Personally Identifiable Information and require Archivist review before materials can be viewed.


  • Creation: 1968-2022


4 Cubic Feet (4 cubic-foot boxes)


4 cubic boxes