Bert MacDonald Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black, October 3, 2003.
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
© 2003
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Bert MacDonald Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1935-1950
Collection Number: mssHM 66522-66575
Creator: MacDonald, Bert.
Extent: 54 items in 1 box
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 54 items related to the investigations of United States War Department and Corp of Engineers agent Bert MacDonald, who was hired in 1942 to monitor and investigate communist and other radical groups in Los Angeles, California.
Language: English.

Access

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]. Bert MacDonald Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Kenneth R. MacDonald, June 3, 1976.

Cataloger's Note

Although Bert MacDonald uses the names Michael McDonald, Quink, and Chic in his espionage work, it was decided to use the name Bert MacDonald throughout the collection. He used that name when he joined the Army and became a Protective Security Agent; we believe it to be his real name.

Biographical Note

Bert MacDonald was a Protective Security Agent with the Corps of Engineers and the War Department. He was hired in 1942 to monitor and investigate communist and other radical groups in Los Angeles.

Scope and Content

The 54 items, which are arranged chronologically, include correspondence, military records, reports, programs, and a newsletter. The collection also contains some ephemera related to the groups and individuals MacDonald was investigating. The material before 1947 deals with MacDonald’s early Army career and his appointment as a Security Protective Agent for the War Department and the Corps of Engineers. The material after 1947 pertains to MacDonald’s espionage work and his monitoring of radical groups in Los Angeles. These items include material MacDonald collected about the groups as well as his reports on their activities. Some of the groups and people he investigated are: the Congress of American Women, the Federation of American Citizens of German Descent, Dr. Wesley A. Swift, Glendale School Superintendent Willard S. Ford, and a conference on civil rights held by the Los Angeles Community Relations Council. Also included is a copy of the newsletter Alert: A Weekly Confidential Report on Communism and How to Combat It.
The collection deals with the following subjects: Anti-communist movements, anti-Jewish propaganda, Anti-Semitism, Communism, espionage, race relations in the Untied States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the Women’s International Democratic Federation, and subversive activities. Some notable authors of correspondence are: Agnes Ayres, George Van Horn Moseley, Gerald L. K. Smith, Colonel Edwin C. Kelton, and Major General Ralph H. Van Deman.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Indexing: Subjects

Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley
  • Subject in “Report on Congress of American Women,” (1947, July 31) by Bert MacDonald. HM 66548.
Swift, Wesley A.
  • Subject in “Report on Meeting held by Wesley A. Swift,” (1948) by Bert MacDonald. HM 66557, 66559, 66561.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Subject in Vere A. Beers letter (1942, Mar. 12) to Bert MacDonald. HM 66534.
United States. Race relations
  • Subject in Bert MacDonald letter (1948, [before Aug. 16]) to “Dear Friend.” HM 66573.
  • Subject in George Van Horn Moseley, 1874-1960, letter (1948, Aug. 16) to Bert MacDonald. HM 66574.
Women’s International Democratic Federation
  • Subject in “Report on Congress of American Women,” (1947, July 31) by Bert MacDonald. HM 66548.

Indexing Terms

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

Subjects

Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley.
MacDonald, Bert.
Swift, Wesley A.
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
United States. War Dept.
Women's International Democratic Federation.
Anti-communist movements -- California.
Anti-Jewish propaganda -- California.
Antisemitism -- California.
Communism -- California.
Espionage, American.
Internal security -- United States.
Subversive activities -- California.
California -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
California -- Politics and government -- 20th century --Sources.
United States -- Race relations.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 20th century.
Military records -- California -- 20th century.
Newsletters -- California -- 20th century.

Additional Contributors

Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940.
Moseley, George Van Horn, 1874-1960.
Smith, Gerald L. K. (Gerald Lyman Kenneth), 1898-1976.
Van Deman, Ralph H., 1865-1952.
Federation of American Citizens of German Descent.


Collection Contents

Box 1

mssHM 66522-66575

 

[1935], June 23. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66522

 

[1935], Aug. 14. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66523

 

[1935], Sep. 20. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66524

 

1935, Oct. 31. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66525

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66526

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66527

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66528

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66529

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66530

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66531

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940 to Bert MacDonald HM 66532

 

[Approximately 1935]. Ayres, Agnes, 1896-1940, Emma Ayres, and Maria Ayres to Bert MacDonald HM 66533

 

1942, Mar. 12. Beers, Vere A. to Bert MacDonald HM 66534

 

1942, June 5. MacDonald, Bert. Report to the Protective Security Officer HM 66535

 

1942, July 1. Beers, Vere A. to Bert MacDonald HM 66536

 

1942, July 29. Currie, F. J. Notice of Efficiency Rating for Bert MacDonald HM 66537

 

1942, Aug. 5. Riordan, R. E. to Bert MacDonald HM 66538

 

1942, Sep. 4. Hazenbush, T. G. to John D. Roche HM 66539

 

1942, Sep. 5. United States. Selective Service System. Order to Report for Induction of Bert MacDonald HM 66540

 

1942, Sep. 30. Kelton, Edwin C. to M. L. Hanks HM 66541

 

1942, Oct. 23. Beers, Vere A. to Whom it May Concern HM 66542

 

1942, Oct. 31. Currie, F. J. to Bert MacDonald HM 66543

 

1942, Oct. 31. United States. Selective Service System. Order to Report for Induction of Bert MacDonald HM 66544

 

[1942]. Beers, Vere A. to Bert MacDonald HM 66545

 

[1942]. Beers, Vere A. to Bert MacDonald HM 66546

 

[1942]. MacDonald, Bert to Chief of Engineers HM 66547

 

1947, July 31. [MacDonald, Bert]. Report on Congress of American Women HM 66548

 

1947, Nov. 30. Federation of American Citizens of German Descent. Resolutions Made at National Convention HM 66549

 

1948, Feb. 7. Jeffers, Joseph, Mrs. to Bert MacDonald HM 66550

 

1948, Feb. 9. Van Deman, Ralph H., 1865-1952 to Bert MacDonald HM 66551

 

1948, Feb. 13. Edstrom, O. E. to Bert MacDonald HM 66552

 

1948, Feb. 13. Van Deman, Ralph H., 1865-1952 to Bert MacDonald HM 66553

 

1948, Feb. 15. Nulsen, Jack C. to Bert MacDonald HM 66554

 

1948, Feb. 17. Van Deman, Ralph H., 1865-1952 to Bert MacDonald HM 66555

 

1948, Feb. 18. Edstrom, O. E. to Bert MacDonald HM 66556

 

1948, Feb. 20. MacDonald, Bert. Report on Meeting held by Wesley A. Swift HM 66557

 

1948, Feb. 21. Edstrom, O. E. to Bert MacDonald HM 66558

 

1948, Feb. 22. MacDonald, Bert. Report on Meeting held by Wesley A. Swift HM 66559

 

1948, Feb. 26. MacDonald, Bert. Report on Willard S. (Willard Stanley) Ford, 1890-1950 HM 66560

 

1948, Feb. 29. MacDonald, Bert. Report on Meeting held by Wesley A. Swift HM 66561

 

1948, Mar. 3. MacDonald, Bert to Jake Jacoby HM 66562

 

1948, Mar. 3. MacDonald, Bert to G. H. Weiner HM 66563

 

1948, Mar. 6. Los Angeles Community Relations Council. Program for County-Wide Conference on Civil Rights HM 66564

 

1948, Mar. 6. Los Angeles Community Relations Council. Program for County-Wide Conference on Civil Rights: [not the same as above item; on verso of last page are handwritten notes possibly by Bert MacDonald] HM 66565

 

1948, Mar. 16. MacDonald, Bert to Helen Collback HM 66566

 

1948, Mar. 16. MacDonald, Bert to Fredric Engel HM 66567

 

1948, Mar. 31. Smith, Gerald L. K. (Gerald Lyman Kenneth), 1898- to Bert MacDonald HM 66568

 

1948, Apr. 4. Allen, Marilyn R. to Bert MacDonald HM 66569

 

1948, Apr. 12. Brennan, Bernard to Bert MacDonald HM 66570

 

1948, Apr. 15. Mc-----, T. H. to Bert MacDonald HM 66571

 

1948, May 18. Smith, Gerald L. K. (Gerald Lyman Kenneth), 1898- to Bert MacDonald HM 66572

 

1948, [before Aug. 16]. [MacDonald, Bert] to “Dear Friend” HM 66573

 

1948, Aug. 16. Moseley, George Van Horn, 1874-1960 to Bert MacDonald HM 66574

 

1950, Apr. 20. Alert: A Weekly Confidential Report on Communism and How to Combat It: [newsletter] HM 66575