Fonds PR3 - Walter C. Murray fonds

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Walter C. Murray fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Title notes

  • Variations in title: Previously identified as Walter C. Murray papers (A.676.XVII.C and A.1094.XVII.C).

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • ca.1924–1927 (Creation)
    Dominion Church Property Commission
  • 1905–1928 (Creation)
    Murray, Walter Charles
  • ca.1905–1915 (Creation)
    Joint Committee on Church Union

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Physical description

24.1 cm (approx.) textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Walter Charles Murray was born 12 May 1866 in Studholm parish, King's county, New Brunswick. He started his academic career at the University of New Brunswick, receiving a BA in 1886. After earning a grammar school license at the provincial Normal School, Murray went to University of Edinburgh as the Canadian Gilchrist scholar, and received a MA in philosophy in 1891. After a brief period of study in Berlin, Murray returned to UNB as Professor of Philosophy and Economics. From 1892 to 1908, he was Munro Professor of Philosophy and lecturer in Education at Dalhousie University. During this time Murray married Christine Cameron, whom he had known since grade school; they subsequently had three daughters. In 1908 he was appointed the University of Saskatchewan's first President, a position he held until his retirement in 1937. In conjunction with his duties at the University of Saskatchewan, Murray served on a number of commissions, boards and councils. Upon his retirement he was named President Emeritus and remained active in the local community until his death in March 1945.

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Administrative history

The Joint Committee officially convened in April 1904, in Toronto, bringing together appointed representatives from the Congregationalist, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, to negotiate church union. Meetings continued through to 1908, when the terms written in the Basis of Union were agreed upon and sent to the negotiating churches, for discussion and approval. By 1912, both the Congregationalists and the Methodists had agreed to the terms. The decision was more contentious for the Presbyterian Church, though in 1916, their General Assembly decided to go ahead with the union.
Between 1916 and 1925, the Joint Committee worked to complete the union and defeat those opposing it, including the newly formed Presbyterian Church Association.

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Administrative history

Custodial history

Records in the fonds were likely transferred to the archives between 1925 and 1986. Their original provenance is unclear.

From 1925 through to 1982, the official repository for Conference, Presbytery and local records of the United Church in Saskatchewan was at St. Andrew’s College (Saskatoon). In 1982, the Conference signed an agreement to house their records with the Saskatchewan Archives Board (later Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan), while still retaining ownership and management responsibilities. The collections were gradually relocated and continue to be stored with the Provincial Archives, to the present day.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of papers primarily relating to Dr. Murray's work with the Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Canada. Murray, who was a prominent Presbyterian, supported the church union movement (which led to the founding of the United Church, in 1925) and these records cover his time on the Joint Committee on Union, from 1905, and later as a member of the Dominion Church Property Commission, ca.1924-1928, which assigned assets of the three uniting churches (Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregationalist).

Contents include: reports, Records of Proceedings (minutes) and other papers relating to the Joint Committee on Union and its sub-committees; correspondence, notes and exhibits relating to the Dominion Church Property Commission; and additional correspondence relating to Church Union.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Original order for many of these records is unclear. Items formerly listed under A.676.XVII.C were arranged sometime before 1990.

Language of material

  • English

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Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Microfilm copy of some records available for viewing at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, Regina office (microfilm reference number R.10), or from the United Church of Canada Archives, in Toronto, Ontario (Walter Charles Murray fonds, F 3352).

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication, and/or reproduction of records are subject to the conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

GS-168 includes original file and series listings, in sections A676.XVII.C and A1094.XVII.C. Microfilm contents listed in finding aid IR-12.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Saskatchewan Conference Archives also holds a biographical file for Walter Murray (A676.XX.Murray).

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No further accruals are expected.

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