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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 145

Papers of Anne Murray Morgan, 1905-2001


Papers of Radcliffe graduate and Harvard/Radcliffe official Anne Murray Morgan and her parents, Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray.


  • Creation: 1905-2001

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Records of the Harvard University Governing Boards, #6.18-6.19, 8.1-8.14, 8.16, are closed for 50 years from date of document. All other files are open.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


8.25 linear feet ((4 file boxes, 4 folio boxes, 2 folio+ boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder.)

This multi-generational collection includes the papers of Anne (Nancy) Murray Morgan and her parents, Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray. The collection has been arranged in three series.

Series I, Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray, 1905-1918 (#1.1-#2.9), consists largely of the correspondence from Robinson Murray to Margaret Wessell Piersol and Margaret Wessell Piersol to her family during World War I while both were stationed in France, 1917-1919. The letters describe their daily activities: Margaret Wessell Piersol's work as a nurse's aide for the American Red Cross and the work of Robinson Murray as an intelligence officer in the United States Army. In addition there is correspondence with Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray from family members, 1917-1918. The correspondence is arranged chronologically. Other materials include: Margaret Wessell Piersol's diary (1911-1915), which describes her life at Vassar College, the University of Pennsylvania, and teaching at the Mary Lyon School (#1.3); Margaret Wessell Piersol's description of a summer spent in Germany at the outbreak of World War I (August 1914), (#1.4); an account book (1918) including Margaret Wessell Piersol's notes while working for the Red Cross, a list of wedding presents, and an inventory of house furnishings (#1.6); a birthday book which identifies family members and friends; and miscellaneous biographical material.

Series II, Anne (Nancy) Murray Morgan: School, College, and Early Married Years, 1935-1956, (#2.10-6.7, 7f.1-7f.7, 9f+.1-10f+.2) consists of correspondence with her parents while she was at Radcliffe, 1942-1946, and scrapbooks: 1935-1942 (#3f.1-5f.2), 1942-1946 (#9f+.1-10f+.2), and 1949-1956 (#5f.3-5f.6, #7f.1-7f.7).

Series III, Anne (Nancy) Murray Morgan: Voluntary Activities (#6.8-6.19, 8.1-8.19), consist of memos, minutes, correspondence, and reports regarding Morgan's service on the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, Harvard Alumni Association, Harvard University Board of Overseers, and the campaign for Radcliffe. Other papers document Morgan's voluntary service with various museums. The papers are arranged chronologically in three sub series: Radcliffe activities (#6.8-6.17), Harvard activities (#6.18-6.19, 8.1-8.17), CLOSED until January 1, 2051 except for #8.15, 8.17, and non-Harvard/Radcliffe activities (#8.18-8.19).


Anne (Nancy) Murray Morgan was born on August 2, 1925, to Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray. She lived in France, 1930-1935, Scarsdale New York, 1935-1937, and England, 1937-1939. Morgan attended Queens College School in London, England for two years before entering Scarsdale High School, New York, in 1939. Morgan attended Radcliffe College, class of 1946, where she was treasurer of the Radcliffe Choral Society, treasurer of the Student Government Association, chairman of the Chapel Committee, chairman of the Volunteer Services Committee, and member of the Varsity Swim Team. Morgan married Paul Shepard Morgan, Harvard class of 1945 in 1947. He became president, CEO, and chairman of Morgan Construction Company. Anne Murray Morgan and Paul Morgan have four children.

At Radcliffe College Morgan was a trustee from 1973 to 1985. She served as president of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association from 1973 to 1975 and was one of the first women to be elected to the Harvard University Board of Overseers where she served on numerous standing and visiting committees. In 1977, she became the first woman to be elected president of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Morgan was a prominent leader in educational and cultural organizations. In Worcester, Massachusetts, she served as director of the Worcester Children's Friend Society, president of the Junior League of Worcester, Inc., first woman trustee of the Worcester Memorial Hospital, first woman president of the board of the Worcester Art Museum, member of the American Antiquarian Society, and member of the Director's Council for the Worcester Natural History Museum. She was trustee and overseer of Plimoth Plantation and also served for six years on the Smithsonian National Board and for sixteen years as a director of the People's Savings Bank of Worcester. Morgan received many awards and honors for her volunteer work and years of community service. The Morgan Gallery in the Worcester Art Museum is named in her honor.

Margaret Wessell Piersol (Margaret Wessell Piersol), mother of Anne Murray Morgan, was born on March 23, 1891, to George Arthur Piersol and Anne Wessell Steel. She graduated from Vassar College, class of 1912, with a major in history. After graduation, Piersol taught at the Mary Lyon School in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, while studying for a Ph.D at the University of Pennsylvania. She was preparing her dissertation when, in 1917, Piersol volunteered to go to Europe as a nurse's aide with the American Red Cross. She was stationed in France from 1917 to 1919. It was during this time in France that Piersol corresponded with, and became engaged to, Robinson Murray. Their marriage took place in Paris on January 29, 1919.

Robinson Murray, Anne Murray Mogan's father, was born on December 31, 1890 in Rosindale, Massachusetts, to George Henry Murray and Sarah Octavia Robinson. After graduating from Harvard University in 1912, Robinson Murray worked in advertising until he enlisted in the United States Army. Robinson Murray served as an intelligence officer in the Third Division, Thirty Eighth Infantry, American Expeditionary Force in France, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. Robinson Murray was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion D'Honneur from the French government as well as the Distinguished Service Cross and the Victory Medal from the United States. After returning from France, Robinson Murray resumed his career in the advertising business.

Margaret Wessell Piersol and Robinson Murray had three children: Robinson Murray Jr., Margaret Piersol Murray, and Anne (Nancy) Piersol Murray. Over the course of Anne Murray Morgan's lifetime, the family lived in Pennsylvania (until 1930), France (1930-1935), England (1937-1939), and Scarsdale, New York. Upon retirement in 1950, Robinson Murray and Margaret Wessell Piersol moved to Duxbury, Massachusetts, where Robinson Murray continued his painting in abstract form and exhibited in many venues. Margaret Wessell Piersol died on October 13, 1974. Robinson Murray died on January 7, 1984.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: R2002-11, R2002-16, R2003-3

These papers were given to the Radcliffe Archives by Anne Murray Morgan between October 2002 and May 2003.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see SC 145.1.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2003

By: Rachel Chatalbash and Jane S. Knowles

Morgan, Anne Murray, 1925- . Papers of Anne Murray Morgan, 1905-2001: A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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