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Rita Murphy papers and phonographs

Identifier: Mss 0015

Scope and Contents

The Rita Murphy papers documents her interest in Irish culture and history. There are two series within this collection; series I consists primarily of letters, newspaper clippings, and book reviews and information, series II consist of phonographic records. In series I, the letters document communication between Ms. Murphy and various Irish people of importance and the newspaper clippings document Irish cultural history. In series II, the phonographic records include various folk and classical Irish music, as well as popular Western music and spoken word.


  • Creation: 1898-2001

Conditions Governing Access

This collection includes audio-visual materials. Access copies of audiotapes, audio cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, film reels, or other audio-visual materials may need to be ordered prior to on-site research. Please contact us to inquire about access to audio-visual materials.

Otherwise, materials are available for research at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.

Biographical / Historical

Rita M. Murphy was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1912, to Edward Murphy and Mary Collins. She attended school at Sacred Heart Grammar School in Jersey City, graduated from St. Aloysuis Academy in 1930, and was one of the first female graduates from Seton Hall University (urban division) in 1937, earning her bachelor's and master's degrees.

Miss Murphy began her career as a teacher at Sacred Heart School in Newark, New Jersey. She then became an assistant professor of American History at Seton Hall University, as well as worked for the university's research department. In later years, she was a history teacher at Snyder High School and retired as the department chair.

Miss Murphy was an active member and enthusiast of the Irish community. She was among New Jersey television pioneers when she produced and narrated a live Irish television show, "Ireland's Heritage", on WAAT, channel 13 in Newark from 1955-1957. She also hosted a weekly radio program, "Pageant of Ireland", on WSOU from 1957-1994. In the 1950's and 1960's Miss Murphy was the chairman and director of the Institute of Irish Culture at Seton Hall University. In 1968, she earned the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice papal honor from the Archdiocese of Newark for her work in religious education.

Miss Murphy died in April 2003 at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey.


6.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers and phonograph records relating to Rita Murphy's interest in Ireland and Irish culture.


The papers are arranged into two series:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection is the gift of Rita Murphy to the Archives and Special Collections Center in 2002. Terms of accession unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid created by Teddie Alvater, July 2007, and Jamie Brooks, November 2007. Finding aid updated and html finding aid created by Tracy M. Jackson, 2014.

Rita Murphy papers and phonographs, 1898-2001
Collection processed by and finding aid prepared by Teddie Alvater and Jamie Brooks
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US