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Helen Muir Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Topical Files

Robert Frost Files

Miami, U.S.A. Files


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Helen Muir Papers, 1934-1995 | University of Miami Special Collections

By Laura Capell

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Collection Overview

Title: Helen Muir Papers, 1934-1995Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: ASM0471

Creator: Muir, Helen (1911-)

Extent: 31.0 Boxes. More info below.


Series I : Correspondence

Series II : Topical Files

Series III : Robert Frost

Series IV : Miami, U.S.A. Files

Series V : Scrapbooks

Formats/Genres: Clippings, Letters, Photographs, Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Helen Muir Papers include correspondence, drafts of writings, research notes, topical files, publications, photographs, clippings, materials relating to Robert Frost, and other items documenting Muir’s life, career, and service.

The correspondence dates from 1927-1995, and includes both personal and professional correspondence. Intermixed with the correspondence are notes, clippings, writings and other materials relating to the correspondent. Noteworthy files include Marjory Stoneman Douglas, former Florida governor Bob Graham, Richard and George Merrick, Eunice Peacock, and Janet Reno.

The collection also contains drafts of Muir’s articles and columns, research notes, and several magazines containing published articles. Also included are notes for her book The Biltmore: A Beacon for Miami, and extensive notes and chapter drafts for her book Miami, U.S.A.

In addition, the collection contains topical files on various subjects, including libraries, awards, photographs, and speaking engagements. Also included are scrapbooks documenting Muir’s life and career, as well as her 1929 class yearbook.

Biographical Note

Helen Muir was a prominent Miami journalist and author who actively supported libraries in south Florida.

She was born in Yonkers, New York, in 1911, and moved to Miami in 1934. She married William Muir, who worked as a lawyer in Miami, and the couple had three children. Helen Muir passed away in 2006.

Muir worked as a columnist for the Universal Service Syndicate from 1935-1938, and wrote for the Miami News and Miami Herald newspapers until 1965. In addition to writing columns, she was the children’s book editor for the Miami Herald and the drama critic and women’s editor of the Miami News. She also wrote for national magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Nation’s Business, and Women’s Day.

She authored several books, including Miami, U.S.A., which was first published in 1953 and revised in 1990. Another book, The Biltmore: Beacon for Miami, was published in 1987 and updated in 1993 and 1997. Her third book, Frost in Florida: A Memoir, was published in 1995, and details the friendship she and her family developed with Robert Frost while he wintered in Miami.

Helen Muir was also active in the local community, especially libraries. She served on the boards of the Miami-Dade County Public Library System and the Friends of the University of Miami Libraries, and she also chaired the State Library Advisory Council. She won numerous awards for her work and service, and was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 17 linear ft.

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Helen Muir Papers Finding Aid © 2010 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Related Materials: The Helen Muir Papers Digital Initiative For more information please see

Processing Information: Processed by William Brown. Container list by Marcia Evanson.

Finding Aid Revision History:

Laura Capell, 2010.

Beatrice Colastin Skokan, 2009.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1927-1995],
[Series 2: Topical Files, 1940-1995],
[Series 3: Robert Frost Files, 1941-1994],
[Series 4: Miami, U.S.A. Files, 1941-1994],
[Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1929-1972],

Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1929-1972Add to your cart.
This series contains three scrapbooks compiled by Helen Muir. The first scrapbook covers the years 1923-1931, and documents her life and activities before moving to Miami. The second scrapbook from the 1940s and the third scrapbook from 1954-1972 contain clippings by and about Muir.
Box 30Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Scrapbook, 1940sAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Scrapbook, 1954-1972Add to your cart.
Box 31Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Scrapbook, 1923-1931Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1927-1995],
[Series 2: Topical Files, 1940-1995],
[Series 3: Robert Frost Files, 1941-1994],
[Series 4: Miami, U.S.A. Files, 1941-1994],
[Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1929-1972],

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