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John Murray Papers,

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-2008-036

Scope and Contents

The John Murray Papers document the participation of John Murray, a Virginia Tech chemistry professor, in Virginia's ornithological community. Collected materials include manuscript articles, scholarly correspondence, and bird watching logs. Major correspondents are John J. Murray of Lexington, VA; Charles Handley, Jr., the assistant curator of the Division of Mammals at the Smithsonian Institute; Fred R. Scott, editor of The Raven; and faculty from Virginia Tech's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Salient topics consist of the yearly Christmas Bird Count sent to the Audubon Society and the publication and alteration of "A Checklist of the Birds of Montgomery County, Virginia." Most provided bird sightings cover the area inside Montgomery County, Virginia, but some included sightings come from more tropical areas. The collection also includes a picture of the founders of the American Ornithologist's Union from 1883, given to John Murray by A. L. Dean.

Dates

  • 1883 - 1999

Creator

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

John Wolcott Murray was born in 1909 to Harris King Murray and Arabella Prime Murray of Flushing, New York. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Colgate University in 1930, Murray received his Ph. D in Chemistry from John Hopkins University in 1933. In 1939, Murray wed Ruth Terborgh. The union produced two children: John Harris Murray and Beulah Mae M. Fincham.

Murray taught chemistry at Virginia Tech from 1942 to 1971 and was promoted to full professor in 1954. In addition to his knowledge of chemistry, Murray was an ardent lover of birds. Murray published many articles and a yearly inventory, "A Checklist of the Birds of Montgomery County, Virginia," in the Journal of the Virginia Society of Ornithology, The Raven, while also participating in local Christmas Bird counts. In 1994, Murray furthered his ornithological studies by logging 55 new species of birds during a trip to the Amazon Rain Forest.

Following the loss of his first wife after 51 years of marriage, Murray married Nancy Slocum whom he met at the age of 85. While living at Warm Hearth Community, Murray continued to study nature and was named "Volunteer of the Year" in 1994 for his services in the creation and maintenance of a trail system at the community. John Murray died on August 19, 2002.

Extent

0.5 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Abstract

The John Murray Papers document the participation of John Murray, a Virginia Tech chemistry professor from 1942 to 1971, in Virginia's ornithological community. Collected materials include manuscript articles, scholarly correspondence, and bird watching logs which focus largely on Montgomery County, Virginia.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by subject matter. Items within subject headings appear chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

The John Murray Papers were donated to Special Collections in 2000.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the John Murray Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the John Murray Papers occurred in July, 2008.

Title
A Guide to the John Murray Papers, 1883-1999
Status
Completed
Author
Emily Cook
Date
2008 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-15: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US
540-231-6308