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Murphy Givens South Texas Historical Papers

Identifier: Coll-283

Givens research papers include all his published columns, radio broadcasts and monographs with the preceding manuscripts and research notes he amassed during each work. The collection contains newspaper clippings and journal articles about South Texas history from the early 1700s to 2020. Topics include towns, pioneer families, military commanders, early ranchers, the Mexican American War, Texas Revolution, Civil War, and the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi people, churches, buildings, and institutions are extensively covered in the research.


  • 1944 - 2020


Language of Materials

Predominately English, some Spanish

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to


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Murphy Givens was a newspaper journalist who had worked in Alabama, Missouri, and Michigan when he came to Corpus Christi in 1981 to work for the “Corpus Christi Caller Times.” He began writing a weekly column on South Texas History in 1998. He worked as the Viewpoints Editor until 2009 and continued writing history columns until 2018. Givens published 18 books on Texas history and presented on KEDT recounting stories from his history columns.

Biographical / Historical

Murphy Dale Givens was born on December 12, 1944, in Gatesville, Texas, where his young father was stationed in the Army. He spent his childhood in Cullman, Alabama and Caruthersville, Missouri, amongst many cousins and siblings. He served in the Air Force in Amarillo between 1963-1965.

Murphy came to Corpus Christi in 1981 to work for the Caller-Times after years of newspaper journalism in Alabama, Michigan, and Mississippi. At the Caller-Times, he worked as a copy editor, columnist, and editorial writer. In 1998, he began writing a weekly column on South Texas history, which he continued for 20 years. He wrote or edited 18 books, all relating to Texas history, including 14 through Nueces Press, two through the Caller-Times, and two with the Friends of the Corpus Christi Library.

For years, his home office was lined with bookshelves full of Texas history books and filing cabinets full of photos, thousands of index cards, old newspaper clippings, journals, and diaries, that went into his research and writing. These materials are now part of the Murphy Givens South Texas Historical Papers. Bookshelves, closets, and cabinets full to overflowing with books throughout the house still attest to his extensive and diverse love of reading. Up until the end, Murphy had what seemed to be a total recall of facts from these books, as well as lines from classic movies, and Alabama Crimson Tide football stats and standings.

Murphy always shied away from speaking in public, except for his recorded segments on local history that aired on KEDT radio over the years. Anyone who knew him or heard him on radio knows that he had a distinctive, Southern drawl, most suitable for front porch storytelling and reminiscing. For those truly lucky ones, this storytelling may have been followed by a pan of his famous biscuits with sausage gravy, or a slice of his black bottom pie, or a bowl of his chicken and dumplings.

Murphy passed away on December 27, 2020 at his home at the age of 76, following a year-long battle with lung cancer.


The papers are organized into fifteen Series and thirty-nine Sub-Series:

Series I: Published Columns, Articles, and Books; Series II: KEDT Murphy Givens Radio Program; Series III: In Depth Research Files; Series IV: Biographical Research Files on Texans; Series V: Murphy Givens Filing Cabinet Files; Series VI: Newspaper Clippings Chronological Research Files; Series VII: Emails and Correspondence; Series VIII: Odds and Ends; Series IX: Card Catalogs and Indexes; Series X: Photographs; Series XI: Editorial Work; Series XII: Collected Newspaper and Articles; Series XIII: Book Collection; Series XIV: Historical Post Cards; Series XV: Digital Flash-drives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Murphy Givens passed away on December 27, 2020. Karen Givens donated her husband’s research files in three separate transactions, August 2, August 12, and August 28, 2022. Jim Moloney was in possession of some of Given’s Index cards which he donated March 3, 2022.

Related Materials

Dan E. Kilgore collection; Anita Eisenhauer Historical Postcard and Research Collection; Gigi Starnes Historical Corpus Christi Research Papers; Dr. Arnoldo De Leon Collection of Mexican American Research Papers

Processing Information

Lori Atkins surveyed, organized, and processed the papers. She created archival records and over 1000 photographs were digitized and uploaded to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi repository in 2022 and 2023.

Guide to Murphy Givens South Texas Historical Papers
Karen Givens and Lori Atkins
September 2022
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)