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Josephine Dibble Murphy collection

 Collection — Box: 1-28
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0101

Scope note

The collection documents the life of Josephine Dibble Murphy as a community leader, educator and international traveler. The collection dates span the years from 1900 to 1974 with the bulk of the materials from 1950-1974. The bulk of the materials consist of organizations that she was affiliated with, which includes her work with the Atlanta University Alumni Association, NAACP and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Also included are correspondence, photographs, printed materials, and artifacts.


  • 1900-1976
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 1974


Rights Statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical Note

Josephine Heriot Dibble Murphy was born in Camden, South Carolina on July 31, 1888. She attended the Mather Academy, a private school in Camden. She later attended Atlanta University, where she graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1909.

Following her graduation in 1909, Josephine worked with the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. before going to Miles Memorial College in Alabama to become head of the home economics department. She married Harry Sanders Murphy, Sr.and lived in Madison, Wisconsin while he attended the University of Wisconsin from 1912 until 1916. He graduated with a degree in journalism.

In the early 1920's, they moved to Atlanta where Harry established a printing business called, The House of Murphy. For over twenty two years, Josephine Dibble Murphy worked at Atlanta University as the Hostess to Diplomats. Visitors from all over the world who were on tour were tended to by her. During those years, she became friends with many well known personalities including former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt. Also, she served as President fo the Atlanta University National Alumni Association for over fifteen years. Murphy left office in 1966, after completing a fundraising campaign for the school's Centennial Celebration.

She was an active member and one of the founders of the local branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1959, she represented the branch at the international meeting held in Stockholm, Sweden. Murphy also visited Denmark, Moscow, Leningrad during the Cold War.

In 1966, Murphy, her husband and two sisters took a three month tour around the world. She visited the countries of several students she had helped educate. Josephine and Harry Murphy had four children, Doris Murphy Coates, Sarah Murphy Lemon Palmore, Mabel Murphy Smythe Haith and Harry Sanders Murphy, Jr. She died in October 1974.


14 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This series is arranged into five series: 1. Personal Papers; 2. Organizations; 3. Writings by others; 4. Family Papers; 5. Photographs; 6. Oversize
Josphine Dibble Murphy collection
Finding Aid Prepared by Derek Mosley, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository

111 James P. Brawley Drive, SW
Atlanta 30314 USA
404-978-2109 (Fax)