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Florence Ranuzzi Papers: Finding Aid
mssRAN 1-249, mssFAC 1532-1536  
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Collection Details
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  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Florence Ranuzzi Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1919-2001
    Bulk dates: 1957-1972
    Collection Number: mssRAN 1-249, mssFAC 1532-1536
    Creator: Ranuzzi, Florence, 1908-2002.
    Extent: Approximately 700 pieces in 14 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains material relating to the personal activities of conservative political activist Florence Ranuzzi (1908-2002), who co-founded Poor Richard's Bookshop in Hollywood, California. The materials reflect her early life in the motion picture industry, and business papers concerning Poor Richard's Bookshop, with the bulk dating from 1957-1972. The collection includes 249 letters and manuscript materials, 3 boxes of ephemera and small publications, and 6 scrapbooks.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Florence Ranuzzi Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Gianna Ranuzzi, 2003.

    Cataloger's Note

    An internal database of the complete correspondence and manuscript material is available in the Manuscripts Department.

    Removed or Separated Material

    A number of printed books, pamphlets, and booklets were included in the Ranuzzi Papers. These materials have been transferred to the Rare Books Department for individual cataloging in the Huntington Library Online Catalog. A list of these items is as follows:
    • Adams, Silas Walter. The United States Treasury System. 2nd ed. Austin: Chaparral, [1962?].
    • Ambassador College Research Department. Hippies, Hypocrisy and Happiness. Pasadena: Ambassador College, [1968].
    • Armstrong, George W. Third Zionist War. Fort Worth: Cattle-log, [195?].
    • Bellerue, A.R. REA Co-ops, a Compulsory-Political System. [Reprint.] Larkspur: Rampart Journal, [1966?]. 2 copies.
    • The Blue Book of the John Birch Society. 8th ed. s.l.: s.p., [1961].
    • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve System: Its Purposes and Functions. [Reprint]. Austin: Chaparral, [1958].
    • Britton, Frank L. Behind Communism. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Frank L. Britton, [195?].
    • Bye, John O. Lincoln’s Greenback Currency: Versus The Twin Evils The National Banks and Federal Reserve Acts. With Criticisms Pro and Con. Boston: Forum, [1963].
    • Capt, E. Raymond. The Great Pyramid Decoded: With and Introduction to Pyramidology. s.l.: Artisan Sales, [ 1971].
    • Caro y Rodriguez, Jose Maria, Cardinal, Abp. of Santiago de Chile. The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled: By the Cardinal of Chile. With a Reprint of Pope Leo XIIIth Encyclical Humanum Genus. [2nd ed]. s.l.: s.n.; c. 192?].
    • Carr, William Guy. The Conspiracy: To Destroy All Existing Governments and Religions. Hamilton: Poor Richard’s, [1973]. (2 copies.)
    • Carr, William Guy. The Red Fog Over America. 4th ed. Glendale: St. George, 1968.
    • Chesterton, A.K. Tomorrow: A Plan for the British Future. Surrey: Candour, s.d.
    • Christian Nationalist Crusade. Mystery Manuscript. [Los Angeles: Christian National Crusade, 1960?].
    • Congressman Louis T. McFadden on the Federal Reserve Corporation: Remarks in Congress, 1934. Boston: Forum, s.d. (2 copies.)
    • Coughlin, Charles E., Rev. The New Deal in Money. Royal Oak: Radio League of the Little Flower, 1933.
    • Crosby, Roy G., Jr. What You Should Kow About: American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, Common Causes and Rhodes Scholars. [Missoula: self published, [1972].
    • Dictionary of Contaminated Words: The Silent Psychological Word War. San Gabriel: Excalibur, [1964].
    • Drummond, J.S., Commander. The Twentieth Century Hoax. London: Panorama, 1961.
    • Elsom, John R. The Lightning Over the Treasury Building. 6th ed. Boston: Measor, 1941.
    • Fiske, John. The Beginnings of New England or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relation to Civil and Religious Liberty. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, [1889].
    • George, W. Race, Heredity and Civilisation: Human Progress and the Race Problem. London: Britons, 1961.
    • Goff, Kenneth. The Flying Saucers: From Russia, From Another Planet, From God. [Englewood]: s.n., [1955].
    • Goff, Kenneth. Reds Promote Racial War. U.S.A.: [Soldiers of the Cross?], [1958].
    • Haley, J. Evetts. A Texan Looks at Lyndon: A Study in Illegitimate Power. Canyon: Palo Duro, [1964].
    • Hoyt, Edyth Armstrong. Studies in the apocalypse of John of Patmos : A Non-Interpretive and Literary Approach to the Last Book of the English Bible. Ann Arbor: Edwards Brothers, 1956.
    • Knuth, E.C. The Empire of “The City”; A Basic History of International Power Politics. 3rd ed. Milwaukee: Empire, [1946].
    • Kubek, Anthony. Communists at Pearl Harbor: How the Communists Helped to Bring on Pearl Harbor and Open up Asia to Communization. Dallas: Teacher, s.d.
    • Lasell, Helen P. (compiler). The Temple of Understanding. World-Religion: Religious Integration Coming? New York: Liberty, s.d.
    • Lesse, Arnold. Gentile Folly: the Rothschilds. s.l.: s.p., [1940?].
    • Leese, Arnold Spencer. Out of Step: Events in the Two Lives of an Anti-Jewish Camel-Doctor. Guildford: Arnold S. Leese, s.d.
    • Long, Hamilton A. Usurpers- Foes of Free Man: Usurpation of Power- Arch Enemy of Individual Liberty. U.S.A.: Post Printing, [1957].
    • Marsden, Victor E. (translator). Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion. Translated from the Russian of Nilus by Victor E. Marsden. Union: Christian Educational Assn., s.d.
    • Marsden, Victor E. World Conquest through World Government: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. London: Britons, [1960]. (2 copies.)
    • May, Isopel. ed. Collins’ Phase Books: Italian. London: Collins, [1958].
    • McCarthy, Joseph, Senator. The Fight for America. Hamilton: Poor Richard’s, s.d.
    • Montgomerie, H.S. The Morrison Myth. s.l.: Williams & Norgate, 1938.
    • Morgan, William, Capt. Morgan’s Freemasonry Exposed and Explained. Showing the Origin, History, and Nature of Masonry, It’s Effect on the Government, and the Christian Religion. Containing a Key to all the Degrees of Freemasonry. New York: Trade, s.d. (Damaged, cover detached.)
    • Mullins, Eustace. The Federal Reserve Conspiracy. Union: Common Sense, 1954. (Notes along the inside.)
    • Neipp, Paul C. Let’s Take the Offensive. Nashville: Parthenon, 1962.
    • Neipp, Paul C. Win Now or Lose All. s.l.: s.p., [1964?]. (2 copies.)
    • Owen, Homer L. The Money-Changers. [Los Angeles: Poor Richard’s,] s.d.
    • Pile, George. The Five Races of Europe. London: George Pile, 1949.
    • Ranuzzi, Francesco.X. The Death of Joe McCarthy: A Tribute and a Revelation. Los Angeles: Poor Richard’s, s.d
    • Reed, Douglas. The Controversy of Zion. Natal: Dolphin, 1978.
    • Rockwell, George Lincoln, Comm. This Time the World. 2nd ed. s.l.: s.p., [1963]. (Loose pages and damage to frontispiece/fly leaf.)
    • Silverman, Al. ed. SAGA: The Magazine for Men. August, 1962, v. 22, no.5. New York: Macfadden, 1961.
    • Scott, J. Creagh, Lieut. Col. Hidden Government. 3rd ed. London: Britons, 1960. Spenser, Robert Keith. The Cult of the All-Seeing Eye. New York: Monte Cristo, 1964.
    • Stewart-Smith, D.G. ed. East West Digest: The Journal of Foreign Affairs Circle. October 1965, v.1, no. 7. Surrey: Foreign Affairs Circle, 1965.
    • Tannous, Izzat, Dr. Statements on Palestine Before the Special Political Committee, United Nations General Assembly, Twenty First Session. [New York?]: Palestine Liberation Org., [1967?].
    • Tenney, Jack B. Cry Brotherhood! Sacramento: Standard, [1965].
    • United States. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Blueprint for the Peace Race: Outline for the Basic Provisions of a Treaty on General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World. Hamilton: Poor Richard’s, 1962.
    • United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Extent of subversion in the "New Left" : Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate. 91. Congress, 2. sess. 7 Testimony of Hugh Patrick Feely and Harry F. Port, Jr. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1970.
    • United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Immigration. Hearings before Subcommittee No. 1 of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Eighty- eighth Congress, second session, on H.R. 7700, and 55 identical bills, to amend the Immigration and Nationality act, and for other purposes . Washington: Government Printing Office, 1964.
    • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. International Communism in Yugoslavia : The Myth of "Titoism." Consultation with Dr. Alex N. Dragnich. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1958.
    • United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Services. Freedom From War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1961.
    • Veritas Foundation. The Great Deceit; Social Pseudo-Sciences. West Sayville: Veritas, 1964.
    • Williams, Robert H. The Anti-Defamation League and Its Use in the World Communist Offensive. Canada: Canadian Intelligence, [195?].
    • Williams, Robert H. Know Your Enemy; Counter-Intelligence Information for Governors, Mayors, Police Personnel… [Santa Ana?:] s.p., [1950].
    • Young, Leonard, Wing Comm. Deadlier Than the H Bomb. 2nd ed. London: Britions, 1957.
    • Zoul, Louis. Thugs and Communists. 2nd ed. Long Island City: Public Opinion, 1962.
    • Zoul, Louis. The Soviet Inferno. Long Island City: Public Opinion, [1966].

    Biographical Note

    Florence Edith Ranuzzi (1908-2002) was both a participant in the motion picture industry of early Hollywood and, later in life, a political activist and co-founder of Poor Richard’s Bookshop, the first conservative bookshop in the United States.
    Florence was born in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1908 to John and Marie Nehls. She was married twice. First to director George Cunningham, with whom she had one daughter Mary, and later to Francesco “Frank” X. Ranuzzi, an Italian count with whom she had her second daughter, Gianna. Together the couple founded and operated Poor Richard’s Bookshop in Hollywood, California, and at its later location in Hamilton, Montana.
    Florence and Frank retired to Bear Valley Springs, California, in 1975. Florence was extremely active in the community of Bear Valley. She served on the Bear Valley Community Services District Board of Directors from 1979 to 1984 and was a founding member of the Bear Valley Women’s Club. Florence Edith (Nehls) Ranuzzi died on April 14, 2002, the day before her 94th birthday.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of material relating to Florence Ranuzzi's personal activities, including her early life in the motion picture industry, and business papers concerning Poor Richard's Bookshop. The collection includes 249 letters and manuscript materials, 3 boxes of ephemera and small publications, and 6 scrapbooks.
    The correspondence represents not only the day to day business concerns of a conservative bookstore- book orders, receipts, information requests- but also the contemporary political climate. As a conservative bookstore Poor Richard’s carried a wide variety of books with a similarly conservative perspective on topics such as communism, freemasonry, conspiracy theories, the hippie phenomenon, etc. This correspondence reflects the interest and opinions of Poor Richard’s patrons, and at times their detractors.
    Materials in the collection record clashes between liberals and conservatives, and conflicts among various conservatives such as the dispute between the Ranuzzi’s and Senator Lee Metcalf. This argument stemmed from Metcalf’s claim that bumper stickers bearing the U.S. flag, produced and sold by Poor Richard’s Bookshop, desecrated the flag and allowed the Ranuzzi’s to profit from this desecration.
    As a whole, this collection documents the activities of a woman who, over the course of her lifetime, was an active and outspoken participant in a number of social, political and cultural settings.


    The papers consist of the following series:
    1. Correspondence and Manuscript material (Boxes 1-5). Materials are cataloged at an item level and are arranged chronologically. The bulk of the correspondence spans the period between 1961 and 1971.
    2. Scrapbooks (Boxes 6-8, 12-13; FAC 1532-1536 in box 14). Due to preservation concerns, many of the scrapbooks have been taken apart. For further information please see the container list.
    3. Ephemera (Boxes 9-11). Arranged according to topic.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
    McCarthy, Joseph, 1908-1957.
    Metcalf, Lee, 1911-1978.
    Ranuzzi, Florence, 1908-2002 -- Archives.
    Communist Party of America.
    John Birch Society.
    Poor Richard's Bookshop.
    Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
    Santa Monica College (Santa Monica, Calif.)
    Sonoma State University.
    St. Joseph's Indian School (Chamberlain, S.D.)
    United States. Navy -- Correspondence.
    United States. Warren Commission.
    United States Postal Service.
    Young People's Records (Firm)
    Altered states of consciousness.
    Anti-communist movements.
    Anti-Masonic movements.
    Bookstores -- California -- Los Angeles.
    Citizenship -- United States.
    Communism and Christianity -- Catholic Church.
    Communism and mass media.
    Communist strategy.
    Communist trials -- United States.
    Conservative literature.
    Conspiracy -- United States.
    Book donations.
    Education, Elementary.
    Elections -- United States.
    Families -- Montana.
    Flags -- Desecration -- United States.
    Flags on postage stamps.
    Hippies -- California -- San Francisco -- History -- Sources.
    Mental illness -- United States.
    Motion picture industry -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Music -- Juvenile.
    Patriotism -- United States.
    Political corruption -- United States.
    Political participation.
    Propaganda, Anti-communist.
    Propaganda, Communist.
    Television -- Interviews.
    Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
    Women -- Societies and clubs.
    Bear Valley (Kern County, Calif.)
    Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco, Calif.) -- History -- Sources.
    Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Kankakee County (Ill.)
    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Soviet Union.
    United States -- Politics and government.


    Bumper stickers.
    Business letters.
    Clippings (information artifacts).
    Diaries -- 20th century.
    Fliers (printed matter).
    Letters (correspondence).
    Photograph albums.

    Additional Contributors

    Carr, William Guy, 1895-1959.
    Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963, recipient.
    Metcalf, Lee, 1911-1978, recipient.
    Ranuzzi, F. X. (Francesco X.)