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Kliene Family Collection



Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Albert A. Kliene Files

Denis G. Kliene Files

Ronald I. Kliene Files

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Kliene Family Collection, 1878-2012 | Special Collections & Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Kliene Family Collection, 1878-2012Save to your list.

Predominant Dates:2000-2002


Primary Creator: Kliene Family

Extent: 2.02 Linear Feet


Series I: Albert A. Kliene Files, 1878-2012

Series II: Denis G. Kliene Files, 1920-2002

Series III: Ronald I. Kliene Files, 1998

Date Acquired: 00/00/2000. More info below under Accruals.

Forms of Material: Paper records, Publications

Languages: English, Chinese


The Kliene Family Collection includes publications, research materials, photographs, and artifacts that reflect the Kliene brothers’ participation and interest in the Boy Scouts in Shanghai, the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, and their own family history in China. Albert and Fernande Kliene, along with their sons Albert (Bert), Denis, and Ronald, lived in Shanghai from 1922 to 1947. All three brothers were active members of the British Boy Scouts Association, serving with the 9th Western District Public School Group and the 7th Rover Scout Crew.

Biographical Note

The Kliene family consists of Albert Kliene, his wife Fernande, and their three sons Albert (Bert), Denis and Ronald. Albert was a Danish citizen who had voluntarily fought for the British during World War I, before settling in France with his wife Fernande and their first son, Bert, who was born in 1920. The family moved to Shanghai in 1922, where Albert worked for the Shanghai Municipal Council, and where Denis and Ronald were born soon after.

The Kliene boys all became very active in the British Boy Scouts Association, joining the 9th Group of the Shanghai Boy Scouts which was the official troop of their school, the Western District Public School for Boys. Bert later helped to form a separate Rover Crew for older Scouts, called the 7th Rovers, in 1938, where he eventually became Rover Scout Leader. In 1945, Denis and Ronald were appointed Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster, respectively, for the 9th Group.

Bert also served in the Shanghai Volunteer Corps, as a part of the Scottish company, from 1938 until 1941, when the occupying Japanese forces disbanded the Corps. During the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, as Danish citizens the Klienes were not interned, but they were not allowed to work either, and Albert lost his job at the Shanghai Municipal Council. The family survived on rations and some aid from the Danish Consul.

After the war, the men of the family found work with the U.S. forces stationed in China. They attempted to secure visas to the United States, but the Chinese quota for immigration had a large waiting list. Most of the family managed to get visitors' visas to Great Britain due to Albert's service in World War I, so they traveled to England in 1947. However, as Bert was born in France, he was able to easily secure a visa to the United States and he emigrated to San Francisco in February of 1948. After their visas in England expired, Denis and Ronald were left stateless, as the Danish Consulate had terminated their citizenship. Ronald chose to remain in England after marrying Joy Stallabrass, a British woman, and he became a naturalized British subject in October of 1954. Denis, Albert and Fernande chose to emigrate to the United States with Bert's assistance, arriving in California in 1953.

Bert Kliene became an officer at the Bank of America in their International Division and was stationed in several parts of the world before retiring to Brentwood, California. He married Ina Dell, and after her passing married Gloria May Curtis. He died on May 17, 2012. Denis worked as a graphic designer for a number of companies before retiring to northern California with his wife, Barbara. Ronald started a company in England focusing on plastics technology.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Kliene Family Collection consists of publications written by members of the Kliene family, research materials, photographs, and artifacts related to aspects of life in Shanghai, including Boy Scout Groups and the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. The collection is divided into three series: Albert A. Kliene Files (1878-2012), Denis G. Kliene Files (1920-2002), and Ronald I. Kliene Files (1998).

Series I, Albert A. Kliene Files, includes a Glengarry bonnet belonging to a fellow member of the Scottish Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps and a collection of Chinese postage stamps collected by Albert (Bert). Bert’s own life is documented in an article he wrote remembering a Scout Camp event and in a memorial letter written by his brother Denis. These materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series II, Denis G. Kliene Files, consists of research, writing, and edited works by Denis that primarily relate to the history of Boy Scouting and specific British and International Scout Groups operating in Shanghai. Several essays document family history and include contributions from all three Kliene brothers. The series is arranged alphabetically within boxes.

Series III, Ronald I. Kliene Files, consists of a manuscript researched and written by Ronald on the history of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps and the Corps' Scottish Company.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Accruals: 2002, 2012, 2017

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Denis Kliene, Albert Kliene

Related Materials: Old China Hands Archives

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Processing Information:

Jessica Geiser, 2013

Mallory Furnier, 2017

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Albert A. Kliene Files, 1878-2012]
[Series II: Denis G. Kliene Files, 1920-2002]
[Series III: Ronald I. Kliene Files, 1998],

Series I: Albert A. Kliene Files, 1878-2012Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 1: Chinese Postage Stamps, 1878-1937Save to your list.
Folder 2: Dah Fung: A True Story That Occurred in China in 1937 by Albert Kliene, 2008Save to your list.
Folder 3: Kliene, Denis, In Memoriam Correspondence, 2012 May 20Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Item 1: Knox, Richard, Shanghai Volunteer Corps Scottish Company Glengarry Bonnet, ca. 1938Save to your list.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Albert A. Kliene Files, 1878-2012]
[Series II: Denis G. Kliene Files, 1920-2002]
[Series III: Ronald I. Kliene Files, 1998],

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