Carol R. Murphy Papers, 1918-1993

(8 boxes; 3.5 linear feet)

RG 5/195

©Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College 
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Carol R. Murphy (1916-1994) was a Quaker writer and thinker. She was the daughter of Mildred Knight Murphy (1889-1974) and Charles R. Murphy (1884-1936), who were convinced Friends. Carol R. Murphy was a member of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting and active at Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center, Wallingford, Pennsylvania. The papers of Carol R. Murphy, late twentieth century Quaker writer, are organized into two series. Series 1 contains autobiographical material and memorabilia, literary manuscripts, published articles, and notes by Carol R. Murphy. Series 2 contains Mildred K. Murphy's commonplace and sketchbooks, dating circa 1918 to 1969.

Background note:
Carol Rozier Murphy (1916-1994) was a Quaker writer and longtime editor and contributor to publications produced at Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.
1916-1928 She was born in Boston, Mass., Dec. 7, 1916, the only child of Mildred Johnston Knight (1889-1974) and Charles Rozier Murphy (1884-1936). Her father was a Harvard graduate and poet and her mother an amateur artist and musician; according to her autobiography, they had married contrary to the wishes of their families who were well-to-do Philadelphians. After a childhood of home schooling and little contact with children and outsiders in rural Massachusetts, the family moved to the Philadelphia area so that Carol might attend Quaker schools. Her father had become interested in the tenets of Quakerism and began a compilation of Quaker poetry, working at Friends Historical Library. In 1928 the family became convinced Friends, joining the Swarthmore Monthly Meeting. The little family was tight-knit, reading aloud together nightly until Mildred's death in 1974.
1929-1952, 1950s-1990s Carol Murphy attended Westtown School 1929-33, and the family moved to Swarthmore when she began her studies at Swarthmore College. She graduated Swarthmore Class of 1937 and earned an M.A. in International Affairs at American University in 1941. In 1947, she began her long association with Pendle Hill, where she found her true vocation in writing, editing, and contemplation. She wrote more than seventeen pamphlets for Pendle Hill as well as for other Quaker publications on topics such as pastoral care, comparative religion, religious psychology, and meditation. In 1951, she took a course on pastoral counseling at the Garrett Biblical Institute, and in 1952 she joined the Pendle Hill Publications Committee. In her later years, Carol Murphy also was active on various Quaker library boards and in the Swarthmore Monthly Meeting.
Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT This collection contains copies of Carol Murphy's published articles, notebooks, personal papers including a typescript of her autobiography, and other miscellaneous papers which give insight into her insular upbringing and unusual lifestyle which focused on religious intellectual study. She also kept copies of minutes and related papers from her work with Quaker library committees, Pendle Hill Publications Committee, and Swarthmore Monthly Meeting Worship and Ministry. Her mother's commonplace books, sketch books, and music transcriptions were placed in a separate series. The commonplace books contain excerpts and selections of poetry on primarily religious topics from a wide range of authors which she began collecting in 1918 and continued until about 1969.

Arrangement The collection is divided into two series:

Added entries

  • American poetry
  • Murphy Family.
  • Pennsylvania -- Quakers
  • Quaker authors.
  • Society of Friends -- Pastoral life.
  • Society of Friends -- Pennsylvania -- Delaware County.
  • Society of Friends -- Theology.
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Murphy, Charles R., 1884-1936.
  • Murphy, Mildred K., 1889-1974.
  • Pendle Hill (School: Wallingford, Pa.)
  • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
  • Swarthmore Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)
Processed by: SKM
Date: 1997
Restrictions: Use Restrictions Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.


Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Carol R. Murphy (1916-1994) documents & correspondence, 1928-1992

Autobiography MS (typed and handwritten, 62 pp.) Box 1: 1

Genealogical material Box 1: 2

Personal memorabilia (photos, journal) 1991-92 Box 1: 3

Personal material
Relates to meeting worship at Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, including meditations and "A Search for Meaning," a spiritual autobiography.
Box 1: 4

Commonplace book on mysticism
Includes book list (bound volume). "For the Inward Traveler," an anthology compiled by Carol Murphy. Ms in bound volume with personal notes.
Box 1: 4

Herbert Hoover to Carol Murphy Nov. 17, 1928 (TLS) Box 1: 5

A.S. Eddington to Charles R. Murphy April 14, 1929 (ALS) Box 1: 6

Correspondence from Lillian Hughes 1953-94 Box 1: 5

Miscellaneous personal correspondence Box 1: 6

"Naturalization Procedures in the U.S."
Typscript with notations. Submitted to American University.
1941 Box 2: 7

Typed MS, "Comments on Current Affairs" n.d. Box 2: 8

"Pendle Hill, The First Twenty Years"
Typed MS and related materials
1950 Box 2: 9

Miscellaneous manuscripts Box 2: 10

Published articles, Charles R. Murphy Box 2: 11

Published poem, Mildred K. Murphy Box 2: 12

Published essays, Carol R. Murphy Box 2: 13

Articles published in Friends Journal and Friends Intelligencer Box 2: 14

Articles published in Journal of Pastoral Care and The Personalist Box 2: 15

Miscellaneous articles, published letters by Carol Murphy Box 2: 16

Rough notes on various subjects (2 files) Box 3: 17

Rough notes Box 3: 18

Counseling Courses Box 3: 19

Notebooks, commonplace collections and notes on various topics and courses
(16 small notebooks)

Notes and copies of minutes from committee work, 1952-1993 Box 4

Library Committees and workshops ca. 1987-93 Box 4: 20

PYM Library Committee Box 4: 21

Pendle Hill Publications Committee 1952-1992 Box 4: 22

Swarthmore Monthly Meeting Poetry Programs 1987-1991 Box 4: 23

Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, Worship and Ministry Committee Box 4: 24

Misc. information on Quaker meetings Box 4: 25

Ser. 2. Mildred Johnson Knight Murphy (1889-1974) papers

Commonplace Book
Compilations of poetry and excerpts on religious and philosophical topics
1918-1969 Box 5-7

Sketchbooks and musical transcriptions Box 8