0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Genevieve Allen Murray papers, circa 1863-1981

details | guide | text


Processed by Janice Childers under the supervision of Deirdre A. Scaggs, University Archivist.; machine-readable finding aid created by Janice Childers


Genevieve Allen Murray papers


circa 1863-1981


University of Kentucky Libraries, Special Collections


This collection is arranged in ten series by subject:

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

1984ua018: [identification of item], The Genevieve Allen Murray papers, University of Kentucky Archives.


3.5 cubic feet (29 boxes)


The Genevieve Allen Murray papers document the Murray family as well as UK affiliated programs.


Genevieve Allen Murray was born in Milan, Illinois on October 5, 1894 to Andrew Allen, who worked for the Great Northern Railroad, and Elizabeth Penman Allen, a nurse. The Allen family moved as homesteaders to Williston, North Dakota where Genevieve finished high school. She began teaching in North Dakota and Montana schools in 1913, alternating teaching and attending Montana State (now University of Montana), where she received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Journalism in 1928 and 1929 respectively. She married Frank Murray, who was the superintendent of the Fairview, Montana school system in which she taught, on August 14, 1919. They moved to Massachusetts in 1929, where Frank received his law degree, then to Lexington, Kentucky in 1930 when Frank accepted a position as a law professor at the University of Kentucky, a position he held until his death in Chico, Montana while on vacation, August 28, 1951.

Genevieve gave up teaching when she moved from Montana, but remained very active in the community in Lexington. She was a courthouse beat reporter for the Lexington Herald for three months in 1941 and served in local, regional and national Girl Scout organizations, taking a troop to England in 1947 to participate in an international folk festival. She also served on the Public Health Center board (1933-1944), Community Chest board (1940-1945) and was the community training chair for Civil Defense (1940-1943).

After her husband's death, Genevieve seems to have thrown herself into a variety of projects and interests. In 1953 she took an extensive tour of Europe, extending her trip for an additional month to do genealogical research in Ireland. She was active in several organizations, including AAUW (American Association of University Women), Theta Sigma Phi (an honorary journalism society), National League of Pen Women and the National Association of Social Workers. She also opened her home to several students from Turkey and other areas of the U.S.

Genevieve often found herself the subject of awards and publicity, including a named fellowship from AAUW (1968), the Sullivan medallion (1975) and an outstanding honor from Theta Sigma Phi (1976). She was also featured in several articles on aging in America, a topic that received a lot of press in the aftermath of the 1958 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) act and subsequent WHCOA in 1961.

A dedicated writer since her college days, she published small works of non-fiction, fiction and poetry throughout her life. Late in life, her interest in writing was renewed, and she became a participant in the Donavan scholar program during its second semester of existence at UK (the Donavan scholar program was begun in 1964 to allow those over 65 to enroll in college courses free of charge). Genevieve took creative writing, journalism and photography courses.

In 1967, Genevieve presented a proposal to the Council of Aging for a writing workshop for older persons. This became the "Writers Workshop for People Over 57" which Genevieve coordinated. The workshop was very popular and attracted participants from around the world to learn from writers including Harriette Arnow, James McConkey, Jessamyn West and Hollis Summers. It was conducted annually for over 35 years.

In addition to community organizations, Genevieve was a proponent of historical architecture and farm preservation in Lexington and wrote impassioned pleas against development in letters and articles during the late 1960s and 1970s.

Genevieve Murray remained an active voice in the Lexington community until her death on December 17, 1983.

Scope and Content

The Genevieve Allen Murray papers contain a wide variety of materials from 1863-1981. Most are from the period between the early 1900s through the 1970s and include: photographs, negatives, manuscripts, notes, correspondence, programs, documents, diaries, address books and sketches. Most of the materials relate to Genevieve, her husband Frank Murray, brother Raymond Allen, and sister-in-law Ethel Murray, as well as various other family members and friends. There is also a significant amount of material relating to the University of Kentucky Donovan Scholars program and the Council on Aging/University of Kentucky Writer's Workshop for People over 57.


  • Murray, Genevieve Allen, 1894-1983.
  • Murray, Frank, 1893 - 1951.
  • Allen, Raymond, d. 1975.
  • Murray, Ethel, d. 1962.
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Montana
  • Council on Aging (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Girl Scouts -- Kentucky.
  • Lexington (Ky.)
  • Montana
  • Writers Workshop for People Over 57 (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Adult education -- Kentucky -- Lexington.
  • Women -- Kentucky -- Lexington.
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Negatives
  • Manuscripts
  • Programs
  • Clippings

User Restrictions

The intellectual rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Related Material

Guide to the Genevieve Frances Allen Murray papers, 1926-1983. K. Ross Toole Archives, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, the University of Montana-Missoula.

Collection Inventory

I. Correspondence
Scope and Content Note:

The Correspondence series is comprised of letters written to Genevieve Murray, as well as by her. Included are letters and postcards to (brother) Raymond Allen; legal and personal correspondence following (husband) Frank Murray's death; legal and personal correspondence regarding (sister-in-law) Ethel Murray's hospitalization and death; other legal and financial correspondence and general correspondence. Materials are arranged by subject and further arranged chronologically within each subject whenever possible.

Correspondence to Raymond Allen, circa 1953
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Legal correspondence regarding Ethel Murray's death, 1959-1960
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Personal correspondence regarding Ethel Murray's death, 1959-1960
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Legal and person correspondence regarding Frank Murray's death, 1951-1953
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Foreign correspondence, 1953-1976
[box: 1, folder: 5]
General business and legal correspondence, 1925-1975
[box: 1, folder: 6]
General personal correspondence, circa 1942-1976
[box: 1, folder: 7]
General postcards, 1908-1981
[box: 1, folder: 8]
II. Photographic Materials
Scope and Content Note:

The Photographic Materials series includes over 450 photographs in black and white and color; 766 negatives; and 16 color slides. Images include a wide range of subjects but mostly people including Genevieve Murray, Frank Murray, Raymond Allen, Ethel Murray and Elizabeth Allen. Many of the photos were taken in Montana either before 1929 or on trips back after the Murrays moved to Kentucky. Also included are photos of family pets, the Murray homes in Lexington and vacation photos from California, Yellowstone Park and Europe. Materials are arranged by genre and size, and organized under four subjects: people, animals, landscape and architecture, and other. Photos and slides are further arranged using the terms 'identified' and 'unidentified'. Identified photos and slides have been marked on individual envelopes; unidentified photos and slides have been described briefly on individual envelopes. Negatives are not described. Photo albums (2) are also included, which contain unidentified photos, most of which appear to be from the turn of the century and early 20th century.

5 x 7 black and white photographs, people -- identified (34)
[box: 2, item: 1-34]
5 x 7 black and white photographs, people -- identified (49)
[box: 3, item: 1-49]
4 x 6 black and white photographs, people -- identified (60)
[box: 4, item: 1-60]
4 x 6 black and white photographs, people -- identified (28)
[box: 5, item: 1-28]
4 x 6 color photographs, people -- identified (7)
[box: 5, item: 29-35]
4 x 6 black and white photographs, people -- unidentified (63)
[box: 6, item: 1-63]
4 x 6 black and white photographs, people -- unidentified (60)
[box: 7, item: 1-60]
4 x 6 black and white photographs, people -- unidentified (33)
[box: 8, item: 1-33]
4 x 6 color photographs, people -- unidentified (23)
[box: 8, item: 34-56]
4 x 6 photographs, animals -- identified (12)
[box: 9, item: 1-12]
4 x 6 photographs, animals -- unidentified (31)
[box: 9, item: 13-43]
4 x 6 photographs, landscape and architecture -- unidentified (36)
[box: 10, item: 1-36]
4 x 6 photographs, landscape and architecture -- identified (6)
[box: 10, item: 37-43]
8 x 10 photographs, animals -- identified (2)
[box: 11, item: 1-2]
8x 10 photographs, people -- identified (8)
[box: 11, item: 3-11]
8 x 10 photographs, people -- unidentified (2)
[box: 11, item: 12-13]
Photo albums (2)
[box: 12, item: 1-2]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 13, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 14, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 15, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 16, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 17, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 18, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (80)
[box: 19, item: 1-80]
Negatives, people (67)
[box: 20, item: 1-67]
Negatives, landscape and architecture (14)
[box: 20, item: 68-81]
Negatives, landscape and architecture (34)
[box: 21, item: 1-34]
Negatives, animals (34)
[box: 21, item: 35-68]
Color slides (16)
[box: 21, item: 69-84]
Negatives, people (50)
[box: 22, item: 1-50]
Negative, landscape and architecture (1)
[box: 22, item: 51]
Negatives, strips (9)
[box: 22, item: 52-60]
Portrait of a family (1)
[box: 23, folder: 3]
III. Certificates and Documents
Scope and Content Note:

The Certificates and Documents series contains legal documents relating to personal estates for which Genevieve Murray served as executor; personal wills; financial documents, some of which are joint accounts; certificates and degrees; and personal documents. The series is arranged by genre and further divided chronologically whenever possible.

Bounty land grant (1), 1863
[box: 23, folder: 1]
Legal documents:estates of Bessie, Frank and Ethel Murray; Genevieve Murray's will, circa 1943-1952
[box: 24, folder: 1]
Legal and financial documents: deeds; mortgages; real estate, circa 1937-1971
[box: 24, folder: 2]
Personal documents: awards; certificates; degrees; marriage license; birth certificate; passport, circa 1908-1981
[box: 24, folder: 3]
IV. Donovan Scholars Program, circa 1965-1976
Scope and Content Note:

The Donovan Scholars Program series relates to the program by the same name instituted by the University of Kentucky to offer scholarships for students over the age of 65. Genevieve Murray was an early participant of the program and retained publicity materials, class assignments and grades from her experiences. The materials are separated by genre and further divided chronologically whenever possible. Photographs and negatives originally attached to journalism class assignments have been retained in this series.

Donovan Scholars program publicity, circa 1966-1975
[box: 24, folder: 4]
Class assignments, notes and grades, circa 1965-1976
[box: 24, folder: 5]
Class assignments, notes and grades, circa 1965-1976
[box: 24, folder: 6]
V. Writers' Workshop, circa 1968-1978
Scope and Content Note:

The Writers' Workshop series contains plans, workshop materials, publicity, manuscripts from participants, participant lists and notes from the Writers' Workshop for People Over 57 offered by the Council on Aging and the University of Kentucky. Genevieve Murray originated and proposed the idea for the workshop and also participated in it. The materials are arranged by genre and further divided chronologically whenever possible.

Planning, schedules, participant lists and materials, circa 1974-1978
[box: 25, folder: 1]
Workshop materials, circa 1972-1978
[box: 25, folder: 2]
Workshop materials, circa 1972-1978
[box: 25, folder: 3]
Publicity, circa 1968-1973
[box: 25, folder: 4]
Publicity, publications, circa 1967-1974
[box: 25, folder: 5]
Participant manuscripts and notes, circa 1968-1978
[box: 25, folder: 6]
VI. Family Papers, 1922-1950
Scope and Content Note:

The Family Papers series consists of documents, certificates and correspondence relating to Genevieve Murray's husband, Frank Murray and her brother, Raymond Allen. A large portion of the correspondence from Frank Murray relates to his sister Ethel's legal issues, including an unsettling episode of allegedly forced hospitalization and improper treatment in which he defended her as her attorney. Other correspondence largely pertains to legal cases and offers of positions at law schools. Raymond Allen's correspondence consists of letters to his mother and sister. Materials are arranged by subject and further divided chronologically whenever possible. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Documents and certificates; correspondence, 1922-1942
[box: 26, folder: 1]
Correspondence, 1944-1950
[box: 26, folder: 2]
Documents and certificates; correspondence, 1942-1944
[box: 26, folder: 3]
VII. Manuscripts
Scope and Content Note:

A 1968 Courier Journal article claims that "For 50 years, all manner of historical notes, travel notes, and notes on personal experiences have competed for storage space in her [Genevieve Murray] various homes." The Manuscripts series consists of these notes, as well as typescripts, rough drafts and notebooks. Materials are arranged by genre: typescripts are arranged in alphabetical order; rough drafts, notes and notebooks are not arranged.

Typescripts -- poetry, untitled through "D"
[box: 27, folder: 1]
Typescripts -- poetry, "G" - "Y"; prose untitled - "A"
[box: 27, folder: 2]
Typescripts -- prose, "B" - "D"
[box: 27, folder: 3]
Typescripts -- prose, "F" - "P"
[box: 27, folder: 4]
Typescripts -- prose, "P" - "S"
[box: 27, folder: 5]
Typescripts -- prose, "T" - "W"
[box: 27, folder: 6]
Rough drafts
[box: 27, folder: 7]
Rough drafts
[box: 28, folder: 1]
[box: 28, folder: 2]
[box: 28, folder: 3]
Notebooks (7)
[box: 28, folder: 4]
Notebooks (4)
[box: 28, folder: 5]
Notebooks (3)
[box: 28, folder: 6]
VIII. Subject Files
Scope and Content Note:

The Subject Files series focuses on three different subjects. Box 28, Folder 7 contains materials concerning historical preservation: clippings documenting development and sprawl in the Lexington area, correspondence concerning the importance of preserving historical sites and general information on the subject. The materials are arranged by genre and chronologically when possible. Box 29, Folder 1 contains general newspaper clippings from several different sources, including the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Courier Journal. Subjects include obituaries, awards, and topics of personal interest. The materials are not arranged. Box 29, Folder 2 contains materials related to Genevieve Murray's work with the Girl Scouts including: a state report naming Genevieve Murray as the Sixth Congressional District Commissioner, "A Book of Negro Songs", and clippings about Girl Scouts in Kentucky. The materials are not arranged.

Historical preservation - clippings; correspondence; research, circa 1950-1967
[box: 28, folder: 7]
General Clippings, circa 1921-1979
[box: 29, folder: 1]
Girl Scouts - Report of the KY Youth Guidance Commission, songbook, clippings, 1945-1975
[box: 29, folder: 2]
IX. Personal Papers
Scope and Content Note:

The Personal Papers series contains biographical information, a telegraph announcing Genevieve Murray's birth, keepsake writings from Murray's childhood, original artwork, address books and memo books. Materials are arranged by subject and genre.

Biographical information, written keepsakes
[box: 29, folder: 3]
Memo and address books (6)
[box: 29, folder: 4]
Memo and address books (4)
[box: 29, folder: 5]
[box: 29, folder: 6]
Watercolor (1), circa 1953
[box: 23, folder: 2]
X. Miscellaneous
Scope and Content Note:

The Miscellaneous series contains travel itineraries, programs from various events (many pertaining to the University of Kentucky) and personal mentions in publications. Materials are arranged by genre.

[box: 29, folder: 7]
Travel iteneraries, notes; personal mentions in publications circa 1953-1979
[box: 29, folder: 8]

Hosted by the University of Kentucky

Contact us: