As chancellor of UCLA from 1960 to 1968, Franklin D. Murphy charted the growth of UCLA to become one of the world's great universities. Various components of the UCLA Library were major beneficiaries of his expansive vision. In 1968 Dr. Murphy left UCLA to become chairman and chief executive officer of the Times Mirror Company, a position he held until 1980. He became one of Los Angeles's most respected civic leaders and was instrumental in the creation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection began in 1961 when Dr. Murphy provided a special allocation so that the Library could purchase forty-five titles from the estate of Templeton Crocker. These were added to a handful of Aldine editions already in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections.
In his role as a trustee, Dr. Murphy inspired an extraordinary level of support from the Ahmanson Foundation, which enabled the department to expand the collection to include the entire Manuzio family of printers, who flourished from 1495 to 1598. The foundation's keen interest in the acquisition, preservation, and scholarship of early Italian printing is matched by its generosity as one of the Library's largest donors. Today, the Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection, which includes nearly a thousand editions and variants, is the largest Aldine collection in the world. After Dr. Murphy's death in 1994, his many friends and associates made contributions to the UCLA Library to establish the Franklin D. Murphy Memorial Fund to support the Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection. The Library was fortunate that Dr. Murphy's wife, Judith, continued the family's interest and support.