Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Wake Wednesday - Elizabeth Reid Murray Wake History Volume 1 Available Digitally

Saundra Cropps, Library Manager at Olivia Raney Local History Library, recently shared wonderful news. Saundra's email -
Hello everyone,

Wake, Capital County of North Carolina: Prehistory through Centennial (Vol. 1), 1983 is now digitized with DigitalNC.


This is a historical moment for Wake County and we honor the author, the late Elizabeth Reid Murray today! I have attached her biography.

I want to thank her son, Mr. Jim Reid, for giving The Olivia Raney Local History Library/WCPL permission to have her book digitized. 

Please share as needed.
This is indeed wonderful news. Elizabeth's volumes were one of my first resources for starting the Wake Wednesday series of blogposts. This is a fantastic resource full of wonderful local history and family stories. If your roots go way back in Wake, you will want to spend some time with this volume. 

Saundra included Elizabeth Reid Murrays biographical information which you can read here. She was quite a proponent for keeping Wake's history alive.
Elizabeth Reid Murray
1925-2014

Elizabeth Reid Murray dedicated her life to documenting and preserving the history of Wake County, the place she considered “just the finest place on Earth.”

She was the author of Wake Capital County of North Carolina: Prehistory through Centennial (Vol. 1), 1983, and the co-author of Wake Capitol County of North Carolina: Reconstruction to 1920 (Vol. 2), 2008. These books are the most definitive authoritative secondary resources on the history of Wake County. The Elizabeth Reid Murray Collection at the Olivia Raney Local History Library is an extensive resource for scholarly research on Raleigh and Wake County.

Born Mary Elizabeth Davis in Wadesboro, North Carolina, she first moved to Raleigh to attend Meredith College, graduating in 1946. She began her professional life as a continuity writer of WPTF radio and as the program manager for WADE radio in Wadesboro.

Returning to Raleigh, she held numerous positions, including: Director, Meredith College News Bureau; editor, woman’s section, Raleigh News and Observer; Executive Secretary, Governor’s Coordinating Committee on Aging for NC; research assistant to Dr. Clarence Poe; teacher, local history courses for Wake County Public Schools and Wake Technical College; local history correspondent, Raleigh Times, News and Observer, Raleigh Spectator and Raleigh Magazine; and member, Raleigh City Council (1973).

Mrs. Murray was frequently recognized for her many contributions to the community and was awarded the following: American Association State and Local History for From Raleigh Past (1965); first Meredith Distinguished Alumna award (1970); W.P. Peace Award for best book on NC history (1983); Community Service Award, Raleigh Board of Realtors (1983); Wake County Phi Beta Kappa Award (1985); Silver Bowl Award, NC Museum of Art (1987); President’s Cup, Wake County Historical Society (1994); Anthemion Award, Capital Area Preservation, Inc. (1994).


Elizabeth Reid Murray was a wife, mother and grandmother.
She and her husband James Reid, a former mayor of Raleigh had three children, Michael Ernest Reid, Nancy Kennedy Reid Baker, and James William Reid, Jr.  Mr. Reid died in 1972. In 1979, Mrs. Reid married Dr. Raymond L. Murray of the Nuclear Engineering Department of North Carolina State University.

In 2006, Elizabeth Reid Murray donated her entire collection of manuscripts, slides, postcards, and photographs to the Olivia Raney Local History Library. The collection of more than 500 boxes of materials spans from 1965-2004 and is the largest archival collection owned by Wake County Public Libraries. Mrs. Murray was a longtime supporter of WCPL serving as a library trustee and a member of the planning committee for the opening of the Olivia Raney Local History Library in 1996.

In her research, she enjoyed uncovering stories of not only the elite but also of unsung heroes - people of color, people in remote and rural communities, and outstanding leaders. Her work ethic to affirm that her sources and facts were accurate was impeccable. Known in the community as someone who was generous with her knowledge, she was an inspiration to researchers.

Elizabeth Reid Murray died in 2014. Her books, publications, and collection at Olivia Raney Local History Library represent the passion and dedication she had for sharing the history of Wake County.


 Return to the WakeCoGen Website

No comments:

Post a Comment