Fonds BC1253 - AH Murray Papers

Reference code



AH Murray Papers


  • 1926-1989 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

17 archival boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Andrew Howson Murray (1905-1997) was born in Nevera, Nyasaland (Malawi) to missionary parents. He grew up in Stellenbosch and studied at Stellenbosch University. He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and obtained the B. Lit. and Ph.D. degrees at Oxford. His first academic appointment was to the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1931. In 1937 he was appointed to the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town. He retired in 1970, and in 1971 was temporarily appointed head of the philosophy department at the University of the Western Cape following the resignation of Mr Adam Small.

Professor Murray further served as member of the following bodies: the Governor-General’s Commission on Native Education (1949-1951), the Presidential Commission on Financial Relations between Central Government and the Provinces (1960-1963), and the Rhodesia Constitution Commission (1967). He was also a long-standing member of the Publications Control Board. Due to his expertise vis-à-vis Communism, he frequently appeared as an expert witness in cases in which people had been charged in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act. He made several radio broadcasts on Communism for the SABC.

Apart from many articles in journals (such as Acta Juridica) and booklets on Communism (such as Rooi strategie en taktiek, 1962), Professor Murray’s publications include The philosophy of James Ward (1937), Die Volksraad: die beginsels en vraagstukke van volksregering, met besondere vermysing na Suid-Afrika (1939) and The political philosophy of J.A. de Mist (1962).

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Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

The collection contains materials relating to three areas of Professor Murray’s professional life: 1) his academic career as head of UCT’s Philosophy Department and author of numerous books and articles on political philosophy; 2) his role as expert witness in cases involving charges of communism; and 3) his role as advisor to The Publications Board.


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No restrictions apply

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Language of material

  • English

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  • English



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