Skip to main content

Carol R. Murphy Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-195

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1918-1993


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

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.


3.5 linear ft. (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



Carol R. Murphy (1916-1994) was a Quaker writer. 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.


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

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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.

Related Materials

See also:

  1. See the Library catalogue for Carol R. Murphy's publications and for The Fields of Thought by Charles R. Murphy, 1937
  2. RG 4/066, Pendle Hill Records

Processing Information

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.

Carol R. Murphy Papers, 1918-1993
Susanna Morikawa
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA