Acquisition And Processing Information
Raymond Muse donated the manuscript material in this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 1983 (MS 1983-02). The photographs were transferred from the WSU History Department in 2008 (MS 2008-26). Kyle Jansson processed the collection in 2011.
Number of containers: 5
Linear feet of shelf space: 3
Born in 1915 in Webster County, Missouri, Muse graduated from Marshfield High School in 1932. He taught in a one-room country school near there while attending Southwest Missouri State College, where he graduated in 1938. He taught from 1938-1940 at the experimental Pipkin School in Springfield. He entered the Stanford University graduate program in 1940. While attending Stanford, Muse taught English and was a residence counselor at Menlo School and Menlo Junior College. His masters thesis was "The Constitution of Provincial Massachusetts."
Muse served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. Following the war, he returned to Stanford University where he completed his Ph.D in 1948. His dissertation evaluated the work of William Douglass, a physician and historian in colonial America.
In fall 1948, Muse became an instructor in the department of history and political science at Washington State University. The following year he was promoted to assistant professor. By 1956, he had become chair of the newly formed department of history, a position he held until his retirement in 1979, by which time the department had developed an excellent national reputation. When he retired, Muse was the longest-serving department chair in WSU history. He played a significant role in WSU's efforts in the 1960s to create the American studies program, expand ethnic studies and expand faculty governance.
His two favorite courses for teaching were the Introduction to American History (where he could excite potential history majors) and American Constitutional Law (where he could excite students about the important legal and social issues of the day).
He served as advisor to Crimson Circle, Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Kappa Phi and other student groups.
Muse participated in a variety of professional and governmental organizations. He was a fervent supporter of civil liberties and free speech, demonstrated best perhaps by his testimony in the landmark John Goldmark libel trial in 1964 and his ongoing participation in Washington politics.
The eighth floor of WSU's Orton Hall dormitory is named in Muse's honor, as is the history department office.
Muse had a tent or cabin beginning in the early 1950s with Paul and Lois Castleberry at the Beaver Creek Camp, on the thoroughfare between Lower and Upper Priest lakes in Idaho where other WSU faculty families had leased or purchased land from the US Forest Service.
Muse married former teaching colleague Alberta "Bertie" Baldridge of Springfield, Missouri, in 1942. She taught music and was a church organist. They loved gardening and traveling. She died in 1968.
In 1969, he married Marianne Johnson, widow of Verner L. Johnson of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and a longtime family friend. In 1971, Muse introduced his stepson Kyle to Carol Harding, the granddaughter of former WSU history colleague Herman Deutsch. The pair married 10 years later.
Raymond Muse died in 2003.
The collection primarily contains professional correspondence sent and received during Ray Muse's first 25 years in Pullman. It includes documentation of his departmental and on-campus involvements and those off of the Washington State University campus. Some personal correspondence is also included.
This collection is arranged in two series:
The arrangement of the papers generally follows the alphabetical correspondence system that Muse used. He placed correspondence in a folder for each letter of the alphabet, unless its significance or volume necessitated a separate folder. The correspondence placement reflects either the correspondent's name or the subject matter (name of a person, organization, or project).
The photographs retain their original order. They are generally grouped by trip and destination.
Muse, Raymond, 1915- 2003.
Washington State University – Faculty – Archives
This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions apply.
The suggested citation for the collection is:
Raymond Muse papers, 1947-1975
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
An oral history of Raymond Muse is available in the WSU Centennial Oral History collection, Archives 202 (online collection guide available: ua202.htm)
Materials are in English.