Processing of the papers of Thomas B. Murphy (1924-2007) in the University of West Georgia’s Ingram Library’s Special Collections has been completed more than 18 months after the project began. With the work of four graduate assistants from the university’s Public History program, the collection has been arranged into 245 boxes or 121 linear feet of files from the late House Speaker’s office.
According to Head of Special Collections Suzanne Durham, the project was a priority in light of the re-creation of Speaker Murphy’s office, the focal point of the university’s $8 million library renovation funded by the Georgia Legislature in 2008 in honor of Murphy’s service. “We knew we needed to catalog this material to meet the needs of an exhibit curator,” Durham said. “Not only is there information in these files that would help inform the exhibit, but there are photographs and pieces of paper that will be replicated for display in the exhibit.” The construction project will be completed in 2011.
Murphy served in the Georgia House from 1961-2003, and he was speaker of the Georgia House from 1973-2003. Murphy donated his papers and the contents of his State Capitol office to the university when he left office. Under the terms of the donation, the university agreed to re-create his office on its campus. The collection, spanning the years 1967 to 2003, contains material from Murphy’s time as speaker as well as some material that predates his speakership. His papers contain an assortment of correspondence, photographs, budget material, committee material, candidate information, Democratic Party material, and miscellaneous other material. The finding aid for the collection is available in PDF format at http://libguides.westga.edu/content.php?pid=33218&sid=272238.
The papers join other Murphy collections, specifically, four interviews with Murphy conducted by Georgia’s Political Heritage Program between 1985 and 1997, and the contents of his Capitol office, which will be used in the office re-creation exhibit.
For further information, contact Suzanne Durham at email@example.com or