Earl Murray Papers, 1951-1982 (MSS 772)

Restrictions: Original audiovisual recordings are restricted. Viewing/listening copies may be available for researchers.

Extent: 1.4 Linear feet (2 archives boxes and 1 film)

Papers of Earl Murray, Scripps Institution of Oceanography staff research associate and expert deep diver. The collection consists of material from the U.S. Navy's SeaLab II project including Murray's journals and logs, papers relating to his diving and consulting career, photographs and slides, and one original film.

Earl Murray (born in 1927 in Alamogordo, New Mexico) was a staff research associate and laboratory technician at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1952-1977. Murray was well-known for his deep diving experience and underwater photography skills. Murray's diving expertise supported numerous expeditions and research programs at Scripps and for the government, including: serving on the University of California SCUBA Safety Board and California state-wide SCUBA boards, 1953-1974; reconnaissance diving and photographing the wreck of the Andrea Doria off Nantucket in 1956; stabilizing buoys during experimental Mohole drilling and the Deep-Sea Drilling Expedition in 1960-1961; participating in the dives of Jacques Cousteau's diving saucer Soucoupe in the submarine canyons off La Jolla and Baja California, Mexico in the 1960s; and serving as an aquanaut with the U.S. Navy's "Man in the Sea" SeaLab II project, living in an underwater habitat for 15 consecutive days at 210 feet. Murray died in 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Papers of Earl Murray, Scripps Institution of Oceanography staff research associate and expert deep diver. Half of the collection consists of material from the U.S. Navy's SeaLab II project, including Murray's journals and logs, a recording of a radio interview with Murray, photographs, and situational reports. The remainder consists of miscellaneous papers relating to his diving and consulting career, including correspondence, drawings for instruments and equipment, contracts, materials on diving off the Southern California coast, photographs, slides, and one original film.

Arranged in three series: 1) SEALAB II; 2) MISCELLANEOUS; and 3) PHOTOGRAPHS, SLIDES AND FILM.

Container List


Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) SEALAB II: Documentation from the U.S. Navy's 1965 SeaLab II project, including Murray's journals and logs, a recording of a radio interview with Murray, and situational reports. Photographic documentation of the SeaLab II experiment is located in Series 3.

Box 1 Folder 1
Plans and operating manuals, 1965 April-May
Box 1 Folder 2
Notes, 1965 May 18
Box 1 Folder 3
Steering committee documents, 1965 June
Box 1 Folder 4
Checklist of daily activities, 1965 June-August
Box 1 Folder 5
Vicinity maps, 1965 August
Box 1 Folder 6
SeaLab II logs, 1965 August-September
Box 1 Folder 7-8
SeaLab II project journals, 1965 August-October
Box 1 Folder 9
"Aquaspouse" Newsletter, Navy Command Information Bureau, 1965 August-September
Box 1 Folder 10
Navy situational reports, 1965 September-October
Box 1 Folder 11
Press releases and publicity, 1965-1966
Box 1 Folder 12
Humorous press release, 1965
Box 1 Folder 13
SeaLab II project publications and reports, 1965-1967
Box 1 Folder 14
Underwater weather station, 1966 February-June
Box 1 Folder 15
Telephone log for SeaLab
Box 1 Folder 16
KNX radio interview with Bruce Kaufman and Earl Murray - Sound recording, 1965 November 22

Recorded at the Coast and Geodetic Survey Los Angeles field office. Reel-to-reel, variable speed, poor condition, time 00:38:29.


Box 2 Folder 1
Drawings and patents, undated
Oversize FB-382-07
Drawings and patents - Oversize, undated
Box 2 Folder 2
Preliminary Report on Problems of Underwater Swimmers, 1951
Box 2 Folder 3
Professional correspondence and contracts, 1951-1968
Box 2 Folder 4
Scripps Submarine Canyon drawings, 1955
Box 2 Folder 5
Observations of sea floor off La Jolla for Navy Electronics Laboratory, 1956
Box 2 Folder 6
Scientific Diving Consultants, 1956-1961
Box 2 Folder 7
Jim Stewart shark attack, 1961
Box 2 Folder 8
UC diving regulations and related correspondence, 1961
Box 2 Folder 9
"French Diving Saucer" writings, 1964 February 13
Box 2 Folder 10
Canyon dive with ASHERAH, 1966 January 26
Box 2 Folder 11
Records of dives in Scripps Submarine Canyon, 1968-1970
Box 2 Folder 12
Resume and letters of support, 1968-1975
Box 2 Folder 13
Masters, Patricia. "Detection and assessment of prehistoric artifact sites off the coast of Southern California", 1982


Box 2 Folder 14
La Jolla and SIO, circa 1920s - Copy prints
Box 2 Folder 15
Weather station platform, undated
Box 2 Folder 16
Equipment, undated
Box 2 Folder 17
Miscellaneous, undated

Includes photographs of male and female divers at Scripps, and Murray.

Box 2 Folder 18
Scripps Submarine Canyon underwater dive, 1961 January

Divers include D. Inman and W. Gayman.

Box 2 Folder 19
Westinghouse diving saucer, 1964
Box 2 Folder 20
Baja dive to 1,000 feet - Color slides, circa 1965
Box 2 Folder 21
MK VI School - Color slides, 1965
Box 2 Folder 22
SeaLab II - Photographic prints
Box 2 Folder 23
SeaLab II - Color slides
Box 2 Folder 24
UC San Diego dune buggy, 1966
Box 2 Folder 25
LCVP salvage operation, 1967
Oversize FS-09
Guaymas, Los Coronados, and Catalina Island trip - Film, undated

16mm film, color, silent. Film taken on a trip with Conrad Limbaugh. Primarily underwater footage of fish, rays, and kelp bed ecology; includes a few seconds of footage of divers with spear guns. Fair condition.