The Dream Archives are essentially Murra's handwritten diaries. At the suggestion of one of his therapists Murra started writing in these stenograph notebooks to record his dreams. Hence, the title of this series. However, these notebooks also contain descriptions of his daily activities, conversations and thoughts including monthly calendars that Murra sketched on loose pieces of paper and left folded up inside the notebooks usually at the end. Most of the information relates to family and personal relationships. Murra often used pseudonyms in writing about others. For instance, Lilac refers to one of his former Vassar students, Laura Rand Orthwein, who is perhaps better known by her two pen names: Laura X or Laura Shaw Murra. Occasional details relating to travels or professional interests also appear. Information about Murra's therapists may also be found in Series I --Correspondence, Box 31 under R-J [Eisenbud, Ruth-Jean and other analysts], 1949, 1967-1975.
For preservation purposes the cardboard covers of the stenograph notebooks were discarded. Each diary is housed in an acid-free paper wrapper that is labeled in the manner Murra labeled the cardboard cover. All relevant notes on the cardboard covers were preservation photocopied and placed with the diary.
The John Victor Murra papers are open for research. Some materials are restricted for privacy reasons.
Access to the John Victor Murra papers requires an appointment.
John Victor Murra papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution