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Iris Murdoch Papers

Identifier: MsC0212

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Scope and Contents

Since the 1960s the University of Iowa has been collecting her books and manuscripts. The papers of Iris Murdoch consist of twenty six linear feet of her literary manuscripts, which are arranged alphabetically by book title. The manuscripts include mostly handwritten drafts of her novels (usually in notebooks), along with some typescripts, galley proofs, working notes and correspondence. Some of the books included are: An Accidental Man, The Bell, The Nice and the Good, The Sea, the Sea, and A Word Child. There is also correspondence between Iris Murdoch and John Fletcher.


  • Creation: 1960-2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Iris Murdoch, novelist and philosopher, was born in Dublin on July 15, 1919, and was educated at Oxford University and later at Cambridge. In 1948 she became a Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Her first novel, Under the Net, was published in 1954. This book was followed by many others and Murdoch won most of the major literary awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Prize, and the Booker Prize. She also wrote plays, poetry, and philosophical works. In 1956 she married John Bayley, an Oxford don and literary critic. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1987. She died February 8, 1999, in Oxford.


26.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



British writer and philosopher. Manuscripts for most of her novels, plays, and poetry, primarily handwritten drafts in notebooks.

Method of Acquisition

The University of Iowa Libraries has been purchasing Dame Murdoch's manuscripts since the 1960s.

Related Materials

The Center for Iris Murdoch Studies at Kingston University

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)