Throughout the correspondence (which comprises the bulk of the collection) there are numerous references to Chinese social practices and customs, such as idolatry, foot-binding, and Buddhist vegetarianism. Demon exorcism, individual and group conversions, and the religious activities of the various Protestant missionaries in the area are also referred to frequently.
The largest segment of the correspondence is for the years 1937-1941. Items of special interest during this period include the annual evangelistic reports for the Chengchow mission field and correspondence between Miss Murray and the Foreign Mission Board.
Also included are extracts from the letters of missionaries describing the Japanese struggle for and occupation of Tsining and the Japanese aerial bombardment of gospel boats on the Yellow River (January - February, 1938). Excerpts from the letters of Kaifeng (Honan Province) missionaries describe the Japanese occupation of that city (June, 1938). There is also much correspondence during this period telling of the refugee work performed by the missionaries of Chengchow and the condition of the provincial populace. In her correspondence with relatives in North Carolina, Miss Murray describes the air raids on Chengchow, its occupation by the Japanese (October, 1941) and their behavior, local Chinese military policy, social and economic conditions, and her work among the mountain tribes of Honan Province.
Correspondence during the years 1945-1950 deals primarily with mission activities and the deterioration of the Chinese social fabric during the Chinese Civil War. Miss Murray's correspondence from Kwangsi Province frequently contains comparisons of life in North and South China. Items of interest in this period include a copy of "Ebinezer Echoes," a missionary newsletter, in which a missionary couple describes their "exodus" from China during World War II (travel conditions, Sino-American currency exchange rates and wartime inflation). A letter dated march 4, 1946, from another missionary couple gives a detailed description of the civil war in the Shanghai area. The mission report for the year 1949 and a letter dated November 7, mention the short-lived effort to begin a project in newspaper evangelism. Correspondence in 1950 deals primarily with conditions under Chinese Communist rule in Kwangsi Province and its effect on missionary activities.
Correspondence for the years 1954-1958 emanates from Kaohsiung, Formosa (now Taiwan). Again missionary work is the major topic. Of special interest are her references to the Hakka mountaineers living on the island. A letter dated July 8, 1956, expresses dismay that Taiwanese missionaries changed currency at illegal rates. The effect of the American presence on the Taiwanese as well as the effect of the influx of mainland refugees are discussed by Miss Murray. Finally, in a letter which is totally unrelated to mission work (October 9, 1956), Miss Murray expresses her opinion of the Pearsall Plan for public school integration in North Carolina.
The undated materials contained in the collection are for the most part individual testimonies of Christian converts. One undated letter describes the "show trial" of three Chinese pastors in Kaifeng and the anti-Christian policy of the Chinese communists in that city.
Other undated materials of interest are a two-page biography of Miss Murray and a tract by Mrs. Wilson Fielder about the Chengchow Mission during the years of 1930-1948.
The collection also includes five diaries. Although much of the material contained therein is supplementary to the correspondence, the source of the most significant information is the appendices. A close perusal of the appendices will be of value to those interested in the economy of China during the war years. Prices of labor, goods, exchange rates, etc. are given.
A very detailed description of the Japanese occupation of Chenghow is given in the 1941 diary (October) and entries for the months of April through October of 1944 describe Miss Murray's escape from China.
Entries for 1950 pertain to efforts to continue missionary work during the Chinese Communist occupation of Kwangsi Province and Miss Murray's subsequent departure from the Chinese mainland.
See also Katie Murray Oral History Interview #8.