Fonds SC624 - Kidman family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Kidman family fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Title statements of responsibility

Kidman Family

Title notes

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1829- 1930, predominant 1895- 1912 (Creation)
    Kidman (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

3 albums

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Henry Oscar Kidman (1833-1918) was born in Biscot, in the county of Bedfordshire, England, to parents James Kidman (1799-1886) and Mary Ann Elliott Lines (1811-1968). Henry Kidman became a farmer, and by 1851 he was working at Porters End Farm in Kimpton, Hertfordshire. In 1876, he married Louisa Rosetta Coxall (1844-1929) in the village of Chesterton, Oxfordshire. The couple had four children: Walter James Kidman (1878-?), Lilian Leigh Kidman (1879-?), Ella Kidman (1880-?), and Lester A. Kidman (1882-1939). In 1881, the family resided at Nast Hyde Farm in St Albans, Hertfordshire. By 1901, they had moved to Buttermere, in Wiltshire, where Henry Kidman was lord of Buttermere Manor and continued to work as a farmer.

Henry Kidman and his two daughters, Lilian and Ella, were all artistically inclined. They drew and painted in a variety of mediums (including watercolours, ink, and pencil) and worked collaboratively on several art projects: notably, autograph albums and art albums.

Little more is known about the Kidman sisters. Lilian Kidman seems to have resided at Bateman House, Bateman Street, Cambridge in 1895, during which time Ella Kidman sent her many elaborately illustrated letters. Ella Kidman had moved to Sutton by 1911, and she immigrated to New York on 19 April 1914. Later, she married John Patrick Millington (1882-?) who, although born in Essex, was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba by 1911. The Kidman family art albums were presented to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 1979 by a Mr. Millington, suggesting that Ella Kidman and John Millington or their family may have eventually moved to Victoria, British Columbia.

By 1911, Henry Kidman had retired from farming, and he and Louisa Kidman moved to Sutton, Surrey, and then to Chiswick, Middlesex.

Custodial history

Gift of Mr. Millington to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, December 1979. Transferred to University of Victoria Libraries, date unknown.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of three family-owned albums. Each album was produced with different degrees of collaboration between Henry Kidman, Lilian Kidman, Ella Kidman, as well as their other family members and friends. The collection includes one art album: a scrapbook consisting mostly of art created by the Kidman family. Additionally, the scrapbook contains original artwork by non-family members, greeting cards, and some family memorabilia—including a letter addressed to Mary Ann Elliot Lines, Henry Kidman’s mother, written on the evening before her wedding. The collection also contains two autograph albums: one owned by Lilian Kidman and one owned by Ella Kidman. Given to the two sisters as Christmas gifts in 1897, the two commercially made albums match aside from the colour of their covers. Both Lilian and Ella Kidman employed their albums to collect autographs, inscriptions, and artwork from their family and friends. The sisters had many mutual friends, and their respective autograph albums contain similar entries from their shared connections.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, date unknown.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Digitized versions of the Lilian L. Kidman autograph album and the Ella Kidman autograph album are available through UVic Libraries Digital Collections.

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

This finding aid for the Kidman Family fonds provides fonds-level and item-level descriptions.

Generated finding aid

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No further accruals are expected.

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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