»PAPERS, 1935-1990

QUANTITY:»2.5 linear feet






The »papers (donor no. 284) were donated by Jean Henderson in 1995.


The »papers are open for research.


»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


»In box 2 and oversize.


Heather Ritchie, 1995.



Begin text here:»Muriel Anne Dryden was born on December 26, 1911 to Clifford and Grace Dryden.  The eldest of four sisters, Dryden grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, and graduated from East High in 1930.  She attended business college in Des Moines as well as communications school to qualify for duty in World War II.


Dryden's professional career was spent in governmental service.  In 1944, she joined the Office of War Information and continued her employment with the United States government until her retirement in 1974.  She spent twelve years in New York City working in communications for the Office of War Information, the United States Mission to the United Nations and the Voice of America (VOA).  Most of her work during these positions involved handling news desk copy.  In 1956, she moved to Washington, D.C. with the VOA under the wing of the United States Information Agency (USIA).  She transferred to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, taking a position in a research library in 1962.  From 1969 to 1974, she spent five years at the White House during the Nixon administration as a mail analyst in the Executive Office Building.


Throughout her professional career in Washington, Dryden worked at the Washington bureau for several newspapers including Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Baltimore Sun.  In these positions, she moonlighted as a part-time teletypist responsible for minor editing on both government and private-sector news items.


Upon retirement from the White House in 1974, Dryden wrote but did not finish a book about Dr. George Lamsa and his translation of the Holy Bible from the Aramaic language. The book remains unpublished.


Dryden passed away on December 14, 1993.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The» Muriel Anne Dryden papers date from »1935 to 1990 and measure 2.5» linear feet.  The »papers »are arranged in »five series:  Personal, Professional, Writings, Newspaper clippings, and Photographs.  The bulk of the papers document Dryden's personal life through photographs and memorabilia as well as her work on a book about the translation of the Holy Bible from Aramaic and the cultural history of the peoples of Kurdistan.


            The Personal series (1935-1990 and undated) contains family memoirs, personal correspondence, a journal discussing Dryden's social and political views, school memorabilia and travel logs from her journeys to England.  The personal correspondence provides insight into Dryden's political views, especially in the "letters to the editor" correspondence.  One noteworthy item is a draft of a letter to Julie Nixon discussing Dryden's personal perspective of Watergate as "an injustice of the entire show which is all it was" (Correspondence, Personal, 1984-1990 and undated).  This appears to be the only place in the collection where Watergate is mentioned.


            The Professional series (1944-1985 and undated) encompasses Dryden's years as a government employee.  This series has abundant personnel records from her employment, including a "Security Investigation" document.  This series also contains some of the social invitations she received from the White House and prominent Republican Party politicians.


            The Writings series (1958, 1976-1986 and undated) includes two written chapters of the book and copious notes from which the manuscript would have been written.  The notes cover a broad scope, ranging from the Aramaic language, to Eastern thought and expression, to descriptions of Assyria.  This series also contains the paper "Eastern Scriptures in Western Language" written by Dryden on the subject she was expanding upon to create the book.  This series also contains two unpublished articles.


            The Newspaper clippings series (1960-1976 and undated) includes a few articles written by Dryden as well as articles on her participation in notable choral performances with Duke Ellington and for President Eisenhower at the White House.


            The Photographs series (1938-1981 and undated) consists primarily of personal photographs of family and friends, along with a few professional photographs of Dryden in various places of employment.  An autographed photograph of President Nixon and his staff is also included.


Related Collections


Begin text here:»Pauline Lyon papers, Muriel Anne Dryden's sister
Box no.   Description

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Box 1


Biography, 1981

Bradley, Jean (cousin’s wife), memorial service, 1984


Personal, 1984-1990 and undated (scattered)

Christmas greeting letters, 1969-1985 and undated

Eisenhower on board the R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, 1963

Choral Performances

Duke Ellington concert, 1970

White House (Eisenhower), 1960

Family memoirs, undated

Journal, undated

Personal memorabilia, 1946 and undated

School memorabilia

School transcripts, 1935-1960 (scattered)

Graduation announcement

High School Reunions, 1970, 1984

Travel logs to England, 1963 and 1968 [oversize:  in box 5]



Correspondence, 1976


Personnel records

Job transfers, 1944-1970

Performance ratings, 1944-1960

Recognition awards

United States Information Agency job, 1960 and undated

Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1963, 1965 and 1968

Memorabilia, undated

Radio operator permit, 1944

Social invitations

White House, 1970-1973

Inaugural committee, 1973

White House

Memorabilia, 1985 and undated

Retirement scrapbook, 1974  [oversize:  in box 5]

Box 2


Articles, 1986 and undated

Unpublished book

Query letters for publication, 1976-1978 and undated

Synopsis of authorship, undated

Paper, "Eastern Scriptures in Western Language," 1958

Manuscript and book notes, undated

Preface and forward

Chapters one and two


The Eastern Church

Aramaic language

Scriptures from the Peshitta

Greek influence on Eastern thought

Eastern thought and expression

Language and history of Bible

Evangelical Missions

Aramaic and Semitic languages


Box 3

Bibliography references

Biblical references, A-Z, undated

Book references, A-Z, undated


Box 4

Newspaper clippings

Articles written by Dryden, 1976

Choral performances

Duke Ellington concert, 1970

Eisenhower at the White House, 1960

Henderson, Jean Lois (sister) marriage, undated

White House mail analyst, undated




Bradley (paternal family) and Dryden, early photographs, 1938, 1946 and undated

Dryden, Clifford M. and Grace T. (father and mother), undated

Dryden, Muriel Anne, undated

Early family photographs, undated

Friends and family, identified, 1945-1963 and undated (scattered)

Friends and family, unidentified, 1945-1981, scattered and undated

Henderson, Jean, wedding, (sister), undated

Reinhold, Marjorie; Lyon, Pauline; and Henderson, Lois Jean (sisters), 1961 and undated

Lyon, Pauline and James, (sister and brother-in-law), 1940-1978 (scattered)

World War II and family, undated

President Nixon and Prince Charles of Wales, undated


Minnesota, undated

New York, undated

Washington, D.C., 1955


Undated (President Nixon and White House staff, [oversize: in box 5])

Box 5



Travel logs to England, 1963 and 1968



White House

Retirement scrapbook, 1974




President Nixon and White House staff, undated