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Papers of Earl Murray

Identifier: MMUR

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Earl Murray consists of documents dated 1973 to 2003, with the bulk falling from 1980 to 1999. The materials include correspondence to and from his publishers, draft and final copies of a few of his novels, hand-written notes, and ephemera related to his books including copies of book jackets, and maps and illustrations. The collection also has 89 floppy disks that contain copies of Murray's novels and stories. Other materials include professional papers related to his writing workshops and teaching employment.


  • Creation: 1973-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1999


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, the collection is stored off-site so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Earl Patrick Murray was a northern Colorado author of fiction and non-fiction focused on the American West. His stories combined his passions for botany, history, and Native American culture.

Earl Murray was born on August 25, 1950, in Great Falls, Montana. He was raised on a ranch near Stanford, Montana, and graduated from Montana State University with a bachelor's degree in agronomy in 1972. After graduation, Murray worked with the United States Department of Agriculture in the Soil Conservation Service. Murray eventually left the USDA but worked as a private consultant.

Murray's first novel, The Journeyman, was published in 1976. In 1992, he was a Spur Award finalist for his novel, Song of Wovoka. His 41st novel, Sacred Stone, was published posthumously in July 2003. He was an active member of the Western Writers of America. In addition to writing and consulting, Murray taught classes at Montana State University and also conducted writing workshops.

Earl Murray died on May 10, 2003. He was survived by his second wife, Victoria, and his children, J. Paul, Ryan, Tina, and Pamela.


4.5 linear feet (3 record cartons, flat files)

Language of Materials



Earl Murray (1950-2003) was a northern Colorado author of American Western fiction. His career included over forty published novels, as well as poetry and short stories. The bulk of the collection contains research notes and draft copies of some of Murray's novels. Materials include notes, writings, newspaper clippings, and correspondence.


The collection consists of 2 series in 3 record cartons and flat files:

Series 1: Writings, 1973-2003 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Research and notes, 1973-1996 and undated

Subseries 1.2: Publications, 1980-2003 and undated

Series 2: Personal files, 1974-2003 and undated


The Papers of Earl Murray was donated by Victoria Murray in March 2006 and January 2007.


Processing was completed in March 2016. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. All paper clips and rubber bands were removed. Duplicates beyond a second copy were discarded. Murray's original Kaypro computer and printer were removed from the collection. Murray's personal library of research books was transferred to Special Collections.

Inventory Note

Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed.


Guide to the Papers of Earl Murray
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Amy Meger and Karen Spilman
Copyright 2016
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA