Collection ASM0471 - Helen Muir Papers

Identity elements

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Name and location of repository

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Helen Muir Papers


  • 1934-1995 (Creation)


31 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Helen Muir was a prominent Miami journalist and author who actively supported libraries in south Florida.

She was born in Yonkers, New York, in 1911, and moved to Miami in 1934. She married William Muir, who worked as a lawyer in Miami, and the couple had three children. Helen Muir passed away in 2006.

Muir worked as a columnist for the Universal Service Syndicate from 1935-1938, and wrote for the Miami News and Miami Herald newspapers until 1965. In addition to writing columns, she was the children’s book editor for the Miami Herald and the drama critic and women’s editor of the Miami News. She also wrote for national magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Nation’s Business, and Women’s Day.

She authored several books, including Miami, U.S.A., which was first published in 1953 and revised in 1990. Another book, The Biltmore: Beacon for Miami, was published in 1987 and updated in 1993 and 1997. Her third book, Frost in Florida: A Memoir, was published in 1995, and details the friendship she and her family developed with Robert Frost while he wintered in Miami.

Helen Muir was also active in the local community, especially libraries. She served on the boards of the Miami-Dade County Public Library System and the Friends of the University of Miami Libraries, and she also chaired the State Library Advisory Council. She won numerous awards for her work and service, and was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Helen Muir Papers include correspondence, drafts of writings, research notes, topical files, publications, photographs, clippings, materials relating to Robert Frost, and other items documenting Muir’s life, career, and service.

The correspondence dates from 1927-1995, and includes both personal and professional correspondence. Intermixed with the correspondence are notes, clippings, writings and other materials relating to the correspondent. Noteworthy files include Marjory Stoneman Douglas, former Florida governor Bob Graham, Richard and George Merrick, Eunice Peacock, and Janet Reno.

The collection also contains drafts of Muir’s articles and columns, research notes, and several magazines containing published articles. Also included are notes for her book The Biltmore: A Beacon for Miami, and extensive notes and chapter drafts for her book Miami, U.S.A.

In addition, the collection contains topical files on various subjects, including libraries, awards, photographs, and speaking engagements. Also included are scrapbooks documenting Muir’s life and career, as well as her 1929 class yearbook.

System of arrangement

Series I : Correspondence

Series II : Topical Files

Series III : Robert Frost

Series IV : Miami, U.S.A. Files

Series V : Scrapbooks

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Conditions governing access

The collection is open for research.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Helen Muir Papers Finding Aid © 2010 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

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Selected materials from this collection have been digitized.

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