Main content

Carol R. Murphy Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

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.

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 family was tight-knit, reading aloud together nightly until Mildred's death in 1974.

Carol Murphy attended Westtown School 1929-1933, 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.

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.

The collection is divided into two series:

  1. Manuscripts, correspondence, and publications by Carol R. Murphy
  2. Commonplace and sketch books by Mildred K. Murphy, her mother

Accession information

Gift of Pendle Hill, 1993, 1994; Accession number 93-049 and 94.014

In her will, Carol R. Murphy bequeathed her personal papers and books to Pendle Hill. Pendle Hill transferred the papers and some of the books to FHL where they could be accessible and stored archivally.

An earlier gift from Carol Murphy to FHL was added to this collection. Publication were sorted out and books added to the Library duplicates collection. The Papers were sorted into series and stored in eight boxes in Record Group 5, with a checklist.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Collection Inventory

Autobiography manuscript.
Box 1 Folder 1
Physical Description

typed and handwritten, 62 pp.

Genealogical material.
Box 1 Folder 2
Personal memorabilia (photos, journal), 1991-92.
Box 1 Folder 3
Personal material.
Box 1 Folder 4
Scope and Contents

Relates to meeting worship at Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, including meditations and "A Search for Meaning," a spiritual autobiography.

Commonplace books . 3 volumes.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes book list (bound volume). "For the Inward Traveler," an anthology compiled by Carol Murphy (2 copies). Manuscripts in bound volumes.

Physical Description

3 volumes

Herbert Hoover to Carol Murphy, Nov. 17, 1928.
Box 1 Folder 5
Physical Description


A.S. Eddington to Charles R. Murphy, April 14, 1929.
Box 1 Folder 6
Physical Description


Correspondence from Lillian Hughes, 1953-1994.
Box 1 Folder 5
Miscellaneous personal correspondence.
Box 1 Folder 6
"Naturalization Procedures in the U.S.", 1941.
Box 2 Folder 7
Scope and Contents

Typscript with notations. Submitted to American University.

Typed manuscript, "Comments on Current Affairs", n.d.
Box 2 Folder 8
"Pendle Hill, The First Twenty Years", 1950.
Box 2 Folder 9
Scope and Contents

Typed MS and related materials

Miscellaneous manuscripts.
Box 2 Folder 10
Published articles, Charles R. Murphy.
Box 2 Folder 11
Published poem, Mildred K. Murphy.
Box 2 Folder 12
Published essays, Carol R. Murphy.
Box 2 Folder 13
Articles published in Friends Journal and Friends Intelligencer.
Box 2 Folder 14
Articles published in Journal of Pastoral Care and The Personalist.
Box 2 Folder 15
Miscellaneous articles, published letters by Carol Murphy.
Box 2 Folder 16
Rough notes on various subjects.
Box 3 Folder 17
Physical Description

2 files

Rough notes.
Box 3 Folder 18
Counseling Courses.
Box 3 Folder 19
Scope and Contents

Notebooks, commonplace collections and notes on various topics and courses

Physical Description

16 small notebooks

Library Committees and workshops, ca. 1987-93.
Box 4 Folder 20
PYM Library Committee.
Box 4 Folder 21
Pendle Hill Publications Committee, 1952-1992.
Box 4 Folder 22
Swarthmore Monthly Meeting Poetry Programs, 1987-1991.
Box 4 Folder 23
Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, Worship and Ministry Committee.
Box 4 Folder 24
Misc. information on Quaker meetings.
Box 4 Folder 25

Commonplace Book, 1918-1969.
Box 5-7
Scope and Contents

Compilations of poetry and excerpts on religious and philosophical topics

Sketchbooks and musical transcriptions.
Box 8

Print, Suggest