Fonds - Athol Murray fonds

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Title proper

Athol Murray fonds

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  • Multiple media

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1918-1975 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

22 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator

Biographical history

James Athol Murray (often referred to as Pere Murray) was born January 9, 1892. He attended Laval University studying law and worked for the Toronto World and the Toronto Star as a journalist. Neither his law career nor journalism satisfied and Athol Murray later entered St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto and was ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1918. He was posted to Regina in 1922. While helping Archbishop Mathieu in Regina he formed an athletic club for boys known as the Argos. Upon his appointment to St. Augustine's Parish in Wilcox, Saskatchewan in 1927 Athol Murray began the high school program at the residential elementary school founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. He succeeded in obtaining an official affiliation with the University of Ottawa in 1933 for the school's Arts program, and continuted to promote participation in sports. Athol Murray remained as administrator and teacher of the Arts Program at the school, now known as Notre Dame College, until his death at the age of 83 on December 15, 1975. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1968 by Governer General Mitchener and became Msgr. In the Catholic Church in 1969. He was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1968 and into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder category posthumously in 1998.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records of Father James Athol Murray from 1918 but particularly from his time at the Notre Dame College from 1927 to his death in1975. Father Murray's interests were intricately involved with his role as College administrator and teacher and as a result there is not always a clear distinction between his personal records and records of the college. This fonds contains: photographs of Athol Murray and albums he compiled, many related to school events as well Canadian and international events; textual records consisting of extensive correspondence with international figures, including Canadian Prime Ministers Sir Wilfred Laurier, Louis St. Laurent, Mackenzie King, Lester Pearson, John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau, as well as Notre Dame students and alumni; newspaper clippings; and publications prepared by Athol Murray. The videos and sound recordings document Father Murray's speeches and interviews on such topics as sports, education, politics and religion. Also included in this fonds is Father Murray's collection of rare books and manuscripts dating between the 13th to 17th century. Athol Murray fon

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Athol Murray's personal records and records relating to Notre Dame college were mixed together in his office. These records have been arranged by the Archivist.

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Script of material

Language and script note

A small amount of the correspondence is in French.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Reference copies of video and sound recordings are available.

Restrictions on access

Access to the rare book collection requires the permission of the Archivist and the Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Affairs. There are no other restrictions to access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Finding aids at file and item level, including an item level photo database are available.

Associated materials

Related material: See the Notre Dame College fonds for additional records related to Father Athol Murray. The Notre Dame College Museum holds artifacts, furniture and works of art collected and used by Father Murray.

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Includes ca. 12,000 photographs, 18 photograph albums, 10 video cassettes, 13 audio cassettes, and 471 rare books.

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