Contents and Arrangement

Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations, 1952-1959

4 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations, 1952-1959, includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, press releases, speeches, and transcripts relating to the Congressional and Treasury Department investigations of the Fund. The House Special Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations and the House Un-American Activities Committee accused the Fund of using its financial resources for un-American and subversive activities. The HUAC investigation led to a review of the Fund's tax exempt status by the Treasury Department in 1958. Although nothing amounted from the investigations, they forced the Fund to spend large amounts of time and money defending itself. The animosity between the Committees' lead investigators and the Fund is evident in the exchange of correspondence. The Fund was often accused of not complying with the discovery requests or fully disclosing all relevant information pertaining to the Fund's organization, personnel and activities. For the most part, the Fund complied with the requests sending detailed reports but refused, at one point, to release copies of board minutes to the HUAC. The frustration of the Fund's staff and legal counsel with the investigations was evident in a July 2, 1957 letter from Bethuel Webster, the Fund's legal counsel, to Rep. Francis Walter. Webster wrote, "While the Fund will continue to supply on request copies of publications, it is our position that in the future the Fund will not continue to supply from its files internal papers and information not relevant to a proper inquiry."

These investigations were not confined to the hallowed halls of the Capitol, but were played out in the media as well. Each side jockeyed for support from newspapers throughout the country. Scores of letters to newspaper editors explaining the policies and programs of the Fund are included within the files. The media for the most part was sympathetic with the Fund's plight, especially when the House Committees denied the Fund an opportunity to defend itself. The press was also outraged when the HUAC subpoenaed John Cogley, who authored the Fund's study on blacklisting in the entertainment industry. The Committee called Cogley in an effort to force him to reveal his confidential sources, which he refused to do. This clearly violated the First Amendment and the press assailed Chairman Walter.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


No information about appraisal is available for this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of The National Historical Publications and Records Commission and The John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kristine Marconi in 1998-1999, with the assistance of Chris Kitto, Atu Darko, Michael Gibney, Meghan Glass, Nate Holland, Sandra Kumahor, Adelia Reliford, Stan Ruda, Brian Schulz, Susan Stawicki, Jeremy Sturchio, Michael Sullivan, and Terun Weed. Finding aid written by Kristine Marconi in 1998-1999.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 2, Subseries 2, Congressional Investigations; Fund for the Republic Records, MC059, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
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Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 47-50