IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES
IOWA CITY, IOWA
MURIEL ANNE DRYDEN (1911-1993)
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.
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 The book remains unpublished.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
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.
Pauline Lyon papers, Muriel
Anne Dryden's sister
Box no. Description
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
Duke Ellington concert, 1970
White House (Eisenhower), 1960
Family memoirs, undated
Personal memorabilia, 1946 and undated
School transcripts, 1935-1960 (scattered)
High School Reunions, 1970, 1984
Travel logs to England, 1963 and 1968 [oversize: in box 5]
Job transfers, 1944-1970
Performance ratings, 1944-1960
United States Information Agency job, 1960 and undated
Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1963, 1965 and 1968
Radio operator permit, 1944
White House, 1970-1973
Inaugural committee, 1973
Memorabilia, 1985 and undated
Retirement scrapbook, 1974 [oversize: in box 5]
Articles, 1986 and undated
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
Scriptures from the Peshitta
Greek influence on Eastern thought
Eastern thought and expression
Language and history of Bible
Aramaic and Semitic languages
Biblical references, A-Z, undated
Book references, A-Z, undated
Articles written by Dryden, 1976
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
New York, undated
Washington, D.C., 1955
Undated (President Nixon and White House staff, [oversize: in box 5])
Travel logs to England, 1963 and 1968
Retirement scrapbook, 1974
President Nixon and White House staff, undated