Collection ASM0142 - Murrell, Ethel E. Papers

Open original Digital object

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Murrell, Ethel E. Papers


  • 1946-1953 (Creation)
  • 1946-1953 (Creation)


1 Box

Name of creator

Biographical history

Ethel E. Murrell, a lawyer, writer and lecturer, campaigned for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. After graduating from the University of Miami Law School in 1934, Murrell opened a Miami law firm, and maintained her practice while travelling frequently to lecture on historical, religious, and feminist topics. During the 1940's, Murrell headed the Married Women's Law Committee of the Florida State Bar Association. The Association drafted and sponsored the Married Women's Act of 1943. Murrell defended the Act before the Florida Supreme Court in 1944 and succeeded in having the constitutionality of the law upheld on all points.

Murrell also participated in a drive for the re-drafting of the Florida constitution and was named a member of the Dade County Bar Association Constitutional Committee. She presented a resolution to the Bar calling for the inclusion of a phrase which would make men and women equal before the law. A dedicated member of the National Woman's Party (NWP), Murrell held the position of Chairwoman in 1952. Murrell, however, resigned one year later as a result of rivalries for leadership and the group's departure from the exclusive goal of the Equal Rights Amendment.

In addition to her political activities, Murrell wrote newspaper columns, magazine articles, college law textbooks and books of poetry which were published in the United States, Europe and the Far East.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Ethel E. Murrell Papers document the activities of the National Woman's Party (NWP) under her leadership from 1952-53. The files include correspondence, newsletters and other materials with other women's organizations including the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the World Woman's Party, the American Woman's Foundation, and the American Woman's Council. The papers document the cooperative efforts of these groups in working for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, including articles written from 1938 to 1953 publicizing the Amendment.

Charters, minutes, speeches, press releases, resolutions, and correspondence dated 1946-53 detail Murrell's efforts as a lawyer, writer and political organizer. The files also highlight NWP attempts to promote its agenda. The papers are significant as a record of activity during the 1940's and 1950's, years considered by many as a period of decline between the two larger feminist movements of the early twentieth century and the 1960's. The records also include references to cold war anticommunism. One letter of resignation, for example, dated June 17, 1953 expressed a sentiment characteristic of several members: "...I wondered...if the 'pinkos' had not taken over. I certainly do not want to be connected with any organization that does not stand for good Americanism."

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Items from this collection are kept on-campus and may be requested from the first floor Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library at University of Miami.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Ethel Ernest Murrell Papers finding aid © 1993 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Digital object metadata





Media type





38.1 KiB


May 18, 2018 3:18 PM

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area