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Register of the John F. Russell collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: John F. Russell collection
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1976
    Collection Number: 85015
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution 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.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Russell, John F., collector.


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John F. Russell collection, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1985.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    The Hoover Institution 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.
    Socialism--United States.
    Subversive activities--United States.