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Russell (John F.) collection
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: John F. Russell collection
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1976
    Collection Number: 85015
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 63 manuscript boxes (26.3 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Reports, studies, letters, memoranda, dossiers, notes, bulletins, pamphlets, serial issues, clippings, printed ephemera, and audiovisual material relating to communism and subversion in the United States, primarily in the post-World War II period. Includes material generated by the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps.
    Creator: United States. Army. Counter Intelligence Corps
    Creator: Russell, John F., collector
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Box FH2 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1985.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John F. Russell collection, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Historical Note

    The Hoover Institution Library & Archives acquired the John F. Russell collection from Russell in 1985. Little is known of its origin apart from what may be inferred from internal evidence. In the early 1950s, John F. Russell was a lieutenant in the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps, stationed at Fort Holabird, Maryland, and associated with the Army's Counter Intelligence School there. No information on his later career is available. Much of the material in the collection dates from the 1950s, and a portion of this was clearly generated by the Counter Intelligence Corps, some of it perhaps by Russell. Later typescript and mimeographed material derives from various and unattributed sources.
    In addition to Russell, others involved in bringing the material together included Bernard J. Sweeney, W. Fairfield Peterson, George Pfister and Nick D'Angelo. Sweeney was a major in the Counter Intelligence Corps, also stationed at Fort Holabird and perhaps Russell's commanding officer. Peterson, some of whose correspondence appears in the collection, was a civilian anti-communist activist living in Baltimore. There is no information on Pfister or D'Angelo. Much of the collected printed and near-print material solicited from left-wing sources for the collection was mailed to D'Angelo at a post office box in Baltimore. It is possible that the name was a pseudonym.
    A small quantity of older material includes original 1930 documents of the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation. There is no indication of how or why Russell came into possession of it.
    Printed and near-print material from the 1960s and 1970s includes official publications of the Department of Defense and the United States Information Agency. There is no explanation for Russell's acquisition of them.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The focus of the collection is on issues of communism and subversion within the United States. The General Subject File consists of material arranged by organization or topical area suspected of being under communist influence and the Individual Subject File by name of suspect individual. These files show interest in communist influence in liberal organizations, labor, civil rights movements, education, bookstores and publishers, the press, radio and television, Hollywood, religion (including the Catholic Church, assorted Protestant denominations, Jewry, esoteric societies such as Rosicrucians and Illuminati, and the Moral Re-Armament movement), among proponents of the United Nations and world government, within the United States government (especially the Department of State), and as related to immigration and peace issues.
    The collection is of special significance because of its documentation of active United States Army concern with communist issues affecting the domestic civilian population of the United States. Material within the General Subject File on communist influence within the United States Armed Forces is also of particular interest in light of the related charges by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy that ultimately resulted in his downfall. A series of United States Department of Defense Issuances includes instructional materials on communism generated by the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps at the Fort Holabird Counter Intelligence School. A series of United States Information Agency Issuances is primarily concerned with international aspects of communism. Other series of printed matter, including United States Congressional Issuances, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Issuances, United States Subversive Activities Control Board Issuances, United States Court Documents, University Course Bulletins, and Serial Issues and Pamphlets emanating from various sources, are all centrally concerned with communism and subversion issues. There is also a small Audiovisual File.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Communism -- United States
    Subversive activities -- United States