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Wallace C. Murchison Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-106

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Wallace C. Murchison (1919-2013). Materials include correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, grant applications, publications, publicity materials, financial documents, maps, blueprints, brochures, notes, printed materials, and a photograph. Major subjects include the North Carolina Fund, the Wilmington-New Hanover County Good Neighbor Council, the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, and Democratic political campaigns, including that of then Senator Alton Lennon and Governor Terry Sanford. Materials pertaining to the North Carolina Fund make up the largest portion of the collection, materials including annual reports, grant proposals, correspondence, progress reports, publications, and newspaper clippings. Materials date from 1948 to 1974.


  • Creation: 1948-1974

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

Wallace Carmichael Murchison was born October 27, 1919 to Wilmington doctor, David Reid Murchison, and May Carmichael Murchison. He received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1941, a J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1946, and an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1947. During World War II, Murchison served in the U.S. Navy from early 1943 to September 1945. Upon the completion of law school, he began practicing law in Wilmington, eventually cofounding the Wilmington law firm of Murchison, Fox & Newton (now Murchison, Taylor & Gibson, PLLC) in 1955. Murchison retired from law in 1994.

Murchison assisted the Diocese of Eastern Carolina, where he served as Director of the Finance Department. Politically, he was involved with Alton Lennon's Senate and House of Representatives campaigns to register voters who would vote for Lennon. He also worked with other government officials, including Governor Sanford. In June of 1963, Governor Sanford established the North Carolina Fund, a non-profit, charitable corporation. The corporation was created to study problems associated with improving education and economic opportunities for North Carolinians. With the public's general welfare in mind, the Fund recommended grants for research within the state which would seek solutions to problems, while using public and philanthropic funds. The North Carolina Fund focused on a solution to poverty and dependency, while recommending which organizational and financial changes in government and community services would be required. Murchison was a member of this corporation and served from 1963 to 1971.

Murchison married Susan Shands in 1948, with whom he had four children. Wallace C. Murchison died June 2, 2013 in Wilmington, North Carolina.


29 Containers (Contains 26 document boxes and 3 map case folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into the following series: The North Carolina Fund, 1960-1972; Wilmington-New Hanover County Good Neighbor Council, 1963-1968; Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, 1954-1974; Political Campaigns, 1954-1971; Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, 1969-1972; Taxation Institute (Wake Forest College Law School), 1954-1957, undated; Legal Practice, 1966, 1971, undated; and Personal Residence Plans, 1948-1962.

The North Carolina Fund series is arranged into the following subseries: Organizational and Administrative Records, 1963-1970; Meetings, 1963-1969; Memoranda, 1963-1972; Correspondence, 1963-1972; Proposals and Projects, 1961-1970; The North Carolina Fund-Related Reports and Statements, 1960-1969; Speeches, 1966-1968; Financial Materials, 1963-1971; and Publications, Reports, and Printed Materials, 1962-1968.

The Wilmington-New Hanover County Good Neighbor Council is arranged into the following subseries: Biracial Committee Correspondence, 1963-1964; Good Neighbor Council Correspondence, 1964-1968; Biracial Committee Materials, 1963-1964, undated; Good Neighbor Council Materials, 1963-1968, undated; and Newspaper Clippings and Articles, 1963-1967.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Wallace Murchison in 1991.

Digital Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and/or are born-digital. These items are identified by a black icon beside the item title when browsing via the collection organization hierarchy (to the right in desktop view; on the bottom in mobile view).

To view or access all of the digitized and/or born-digital materials in the collection directly, please select "View Digital Material" in the blue header above, just below the collection title.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Caroline Waller in the Spring of 2021.

Wallace C. Murchison Papers
Caroline Waller
10 June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository