The Murdoch papers consist of correspondence; notebooks containing verse, notes, clippings, epigrams, etc; some small engagement diaries; typescript drafts of newspaper articles and radio talks, newspaper cuttings of book reviews and Murdoch's articles (including "Of books and men", "It seems to me", "Tours and detours", "Answers", and "After thoughts"); some published radio talks; a manuscript copy of Xanthippe by A. Panzini translated by Murdoch and F. Vanzetti (1931); and a set of Alfred Deakin's speeches to Parliament, 1903-1911. The correspondence comprises some family letters and letters from publishers, academics and writers. The correspondents include Alfred Deakin, Bernard O'Dowd, Mary Gilmore, Ernest Philpot, Sir Ernest Scott, B.H. Liddell Hart, C.E. Sayers, Sydney Jephcott, Rudyard Kipling, Nettie Palmer, G. Bernard Shaw, Kylie Tennant, Lord Bryce, Edmund Gosse, and H.G. Wells. There are also some miscellaneous Murdoch letters, and copies of letters, sent to Professor J.A. La Nauze in response to a public appeal for Murdoch papers.
Sir Walter Murdoch was born in Scotland, educated at the University of Melbourne and lectured there from 1904 to 1911. In 1913 he became the first Professor of English at the University of Western Australia, and retired in 1939. Between 1943 and 1947, he was its chancellor. Walter Murdoch was knighted in 1964, and died in July 1970.