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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 899; Vt-284

Papers of Evelyn F. Murphy, 1940-2015


The papers of Evelyn F. Murphy include correspondence, writings, speeches, testimonies, subject files including press releases and clippings, political campaign material, photographs, memorabilia, and audiovisual material.


  • 1940-2015

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Evelyn F. Murphy holds the copyright in her papers during her lifetime. Upon her death, copyright for Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It will pass to Sherri DuFlocq, Murphy's niece. Copyright in all other papers will be transferred to the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

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


16.8 linear feet ((23 + 1/2 boxes, 3 folio boxes, 3 folio + boxes) plus 20 photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 41 videotapes, 3 objects)
The collection contains papers relating to Evelyn F. Murphy's professional life as Secretary for Environmental Affairs (1975-1979), Secretary of Economic Affairs (1983-1986), and Lieutenant Governor (1987-1991) including correspondence received from supporters, writings by Murphy including a draft of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What to Do About It as well as personal notes detailing her views about being a women in political office; speeches and testimonies delivered during her political career; subject files including press releases and clippings collected and organized by Murphy; political campaign material consisting of brochures, bumper stickers, pamphlets, and proposals; photographs and memorabilia used to promote her political campaigns; and videotapes of campaign advertisements, interviews, and events.

Series I, CORRESPONDENCE AND WRITINGS, 1940-1994, 2015 (#1.1-5.7), contains letters sent from supporters to Murphy about leaving her position as the Secretary of Environmental Affairs (1979), losing the primary nomination for Lieutenant Governor to John Kerry (1982), winning the race for Lieutenant Governor (1986), and withdrawing from the election for governor (1990). Also included are condolence letters received after the death of Murphy's sister in 1987 and mother in 1989. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order.

Writings include the draft of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What to Do About It, which discusses the gender wage gap that affects women on a daily basis. Of particular note are personal notes written by Murphy about her views about Michael Dukakis's primary loss in 1978, race of Lieutenant Governor, and women in political offices. Also included are introductory comments to potential users of these Evelyn F. Murphy papers, discussing the social impacts of being the first woman elected to a constitutional office in Massachusetts (#5.4). Writings are arranged in alphabetical order by format.

Series II, SPEECHES AND TESTIMONIES, 1975-1990 (#5.8-9.11), contains drafts, photocopies, and edited versions of speeches and testimonies given by Murphy during her tenure as Secretary of Environmental Affairs (1975-1979), Secretary of Economic Affairs (1983-1986), and Lieutenant Governor (1987-1991). This series is arranged in chronological order.

Series III, SUBJECT FILES, 1957-2004 (#9.12-21.10, 25FB.1-27FB.4, 28F+B.1-30F+B.4), contains documents related to Murphy's tenure as Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Secretary of Economic Affairs, and Lieutenant Governor including announcements, bills, reports, press releases, and schedules. Recognitions and programs for honorary degrees received by Murphy are also included. The bulk of the series consists of clippings collected and organized by Murphy which cover statewide press regarding Murphy, Governor Michael Dukakis, and political events in Massachusetts. Scrapbooks with clippings are individual pages of scrapbooks kept by Murphy including clippings, photographs, and programs. The series is arranged in alphabetical order.

Series IV, POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990 (#21.11-24.6m, Mem.1-Mem.3), contains brochures, bumper stickers, flyers, pamphlets, press releases, speeches, and other material related to Evelyn F. Murphy's campaigns for Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Massachusetts. Of particular interest is the comprehensive planning proposal for Murphy's first run for Lieutenant Governor which includes the proposed budget and calendar for the campaign. Also included are Murphy's reflections after losing the primary in 1982, and the press release explaining her decision not to run for the United States Senate in 1984. The series is arranged in chronological order.

Series VI, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1945-1991 (PD.1-PD.20), contains photographs documenting Murphy's tenure as Secretary for Environmental Affairs, and her campaigns for Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Massachusetts. Also included are early childhood and family images of Murphy. This series is arranged in chronological order.

Series VII, VIDEOTAPES, 1979-1990 (Vt-284.1-Vt-284.34), contains recordings of Evelyn Murphy's campaign advertisements, debates, interviews, lectures, news coverage, and speeches during her political campaigns for Lieutenant Governor and Governor. The series is arranged in chronological order.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Massachusetts government official Evelyn F. Murphy was born in 1940 in Panama, where her father was serving in the United States Army. She graduated from Duke University (BA, 1961, PhD in 1965) and Columbia University (MA). Murphy served as Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs (1975-1979) and Secretary of Economic Affairs (1983-1985) before being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1987, the first woman in the history of the Commonwealth to hold an office created by the constitution. Following Governor Michael Dukakis's decision not to run for reelection as governor in 1990, Murphy entered the race only to withdraw later in hopes that the candidate, Francis X. Bellotti, would prevail.

Murphy then joined the corporate world, working in the law, banking, and health insurance sectors. She is a director at the Women Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, a corporate director of Citizens Engergy Corporation, and a director at SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, and Shenandoah Life Insurance Company. The author of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What to Do About It (2005), Murphy founded the WAGE Project (Women Are Getting Even) to battle wage discrimination against working women.


The collection is arranged in six series:
  1. Series I. Correspondence and writings, 1940-1994, 2015 (#1.1-5.7)
  2. Series II. Speeches and testimonies, 1975-1990 (#5.8-9.11)
  3. Series III. Subject files, 1957-1991 (#9.12-21.10, 25FB.1-27FB.4, 28F+B.1-30F+B.4)
  4. Series IV. Political campaigns, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990 (#21.11-24.6m, Mem.1-Mem.3)
  5. Series V. Photographs and memorabilia, 1975-1990 (PD.1-PD.20)
  6. Series VI. Videotapes, 1979-1990 (Vt-284.1-Vt-284.34)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2015-M151

The papers of Evelyn F. Murphy were donated to the Schlesinger Library by Evelyn F. Murphy in June 2015.


Donors: Evelyn F. Murphy

Accession number: 2015-M151

Processed by: Amber L. Moore

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
  1. Action For Boston Community Development Annual Report
  2. The Beacon
  3. Boston College Women In Politics and Government
  4. Business News
  5. Chamber Perspective
  6. The Charger Doherty Memorial High School
  7. The Commissioner's Dispatches
  8. The Common Wealth
  9. Emmanuel Quarterly
  10. EOEA Newsletter
  11. F.Y.I. For Your Information
  12. Impulse
  13. MAAC Newsletter
  14. MBA
  15. MCDI The Trainer
  16. Monarch News
  17. MTA Today
  18. The Murphy Messenger
  19. NCLG Newsletter
  20. New England-Boston Sunday Globe
  21. The Provider
  22. South Shore News
  23. The Student Voice
  24. Tufts University Environmental Policy Roundtable
  25. U Mass Medical Center Quarterly
  26. U Mass/Boston College of Management Alumni Newsletter
  27. The Voice of the Physically Challenged

Processing Information

Processed: March 2017

By: Amber L. Moore, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.
Link to catalog
Murphy, Evelyn F. Papers of Evelyn F. Murphy, 1940-2015: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

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.

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