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Special Collections and Archives

Judith Murphy, Papers

Judith Murphy, Papers

Inventory prepared by Katherine Murphy (15 August, 1995)

Two slim document cases, one cubic foot.


This material was donated to the University Archives by Dennis Hearn, a Kent State graduate and friend of Ms. Murphy, in 1995.

Judith Murphy was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Smith College in 1932. Her career as a freelance writer and editor centered around New York City and included positions as consultant to and director of various educational organizations. Most of the collection relates to two churches with which Ms. Murphy was associated: Judson Memorial Church and Rauschenbusch Memorial Church. Judson Memorial Church, founded in 1892, has been called "the conscience of Greenwich Village." It has a long history of commitment to social and political activism; the Judson Poets' Theatre and Judson Dance Theatre were leading voices in the avant-garde movement of the 1960's and '70's. Rauschenbusch Memorial Church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, was also active in theater and the arts. The link between the two churches is Al Carmines (1938- ), minister, composer, and performer. Mr. Carmines was minister at Judson from 1961 to 1981; in 1982, he became minister of Rauschenbusch.

The bulk of the collection is made up of three series: materials relating to Judson, materials relating to Rauschenbusch, and programs from theatrical and musical productions. One group deserving special mention is a file of sermons given at Judson, including a handful of photocopied first drafts. Both the Judson and Rauschenbusch series also include files of bulletins from worship services. The programs are mostly from Judson Poets' Theatre productions or from other Carmines shows. Series seven contains reviews of many of these performances, in addition to articles concerning Judson, Mr. Carmines, and related topics in the arts. All files except series five and six are arranged in chronological order.

This collection should be of value to researchers interested in the avant-garde movement in New York or in Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater. It will complement the other Kent State holdings in the field of contemporary theater. An associated collection -- a series of taped interviews recorded at Judson -- is located in Kent State Special Collections (cassettes 146-165, 167).

Box 1

Series 1 -- Personal Papers

Folder 1 -- Resumés, Professional Work (1977?-1984?) Includes resumé of Ms. Murphy dated 5/7/79.

2 -- Notes: Al Carmines, Judson Memorial Church (1973-1977?) Notes (outlines and rehearsal notes) for two unfinished writing projects.

3 -- Correspondence (1974?-1981?) Personal letters, both received and sent.

Series 2 -- Judson Memorial Church

4 -- General (1970-1981) Pamphlets, church mailings; includes a 1981 membership directory.

5 -- Sermons (1962-1981) Given by Al Carmines, Howard Moody, and Margaret Kornfeld.

6 -- Bulletins (1973-1976)

Series 3 -- Rauschenbusch Memorial Church / Rauschenbusch Memorial United Church of Christ

7 -- General (1982-1987) Newsletters, financial matters.

8 -- Bulletins (1982-1984)

Box 2

Series 4 -- Programs

9 -- Judson Memorial Church / Judson Poets' Theatre (1972-1981)

10 -- Al Carmines (1973-1988)

11 -- Miscellaneous productions (1982-1986)

Series 5 -- "Camp Meeting"(12) script, costuming notes, and program for a 1986 production of the Carmines musical.

Series 6 -- Lyrics and Libretti(13)

Series 7 -- Reading file (1966-1988)(14) newspaper and magazine clippings, almost all photocopied in the course of processing.

Series 8 -- Miscellaneous(15)


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