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Jack Murtha Papers

Identifier: D101
This collection contains (4) square dance awards given to Jack Murtha, a magazine cover with Murtha on it, and a photograph of a square dance.


  • 1981-1999

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.


1.0 Linear Feet (1 container)

Scope and Contents

This collection contains square dance awards given to Jack Murtha, as well as a square dancing photograph and a magazine cover.

Biographical / Historical

Jack Murtha was involved in square dancing beginning in college. He introduced the activity to many thousands of men and women, boys and girls in the northern part of California. The original Director of Woodleaf Outdoor School, Jack was deeply involved in the education of children and developed a Square Dance Teaching Program for elementary schools. In an attempt to reach out to even more people, Jack developed the Diamond System, a series of records and written instructions, which made it possible for other callers and dancers to enjoy the hobby. This system is in use in many places around the world today. For over ten years, Jack and Thelma flew to China to teach the Chinese dance leaders to dance, teach and call American square dances. The Murthas played a major role in bringing a group of the China dance leaders to America where they attended the Callerlab Convention in Los Angeles. Jack attended all the Callerlab Conventions and over the years he served on a number of important committees and was chairman of several. He received the Chairman's Recognition Award for his dedicated service to the organization and to the square dance activity. For many years Jack maintained an archives of square dancing, recording the backgrounds and experiences of many of the activities' leaders. Jack passed away in July 1999 and was posthumously awarded Callerlab's highest honor, the Milestone Award, in 2001. Biography provided from obituary at


This collection is arranged into one (1) series: Awards and Realia.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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