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Francis Russell papers

Identifier: M159

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Scope and Content

Consists mostly of correspondence and writings. Correspondents include Ezra Pound and Henry Beston, although letters are chiefly exchanged among family members and personal friends. Writings include notes, drafts, plate proofs, galleys, and published articles. The collection also includes an extensive number of pamphlets and notes documenting Russell's military career. Smaller series comprise biographical information, images, clippings, and printed ephemera.


  • Creation: 1902-1994, undated


Access Restrictions

The collection is stored offsite and must be requested at least 1 full business day in advance for retrieval. Contact Special Collections & Archives before visiting. Otherwise, no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright retained by donor.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis Russell was born on January 12, 1910, in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended both the Roxbury Latin School and the Boston Latin School before matriculating at Harvard, where he spent two years. He then studied in Grenoble, Toulouse and Breslau before entering Bowdoin College in September of 1931. He graduated cum laude in 1933 and received a Master of Arts degree from Harvard in 1937. During World War II he was a captain in the Black Watch Royal Canadian Highlanders. After the war he stayed in Germany for several years as a political intelligence officer for the British. A historian and author, he wrote numerous articles and novels, including The Great Interlude, The Shadow of Blooming Grove, The Making of the Nation, A City in Terror, and Sacco & Vanzetti: the Case Resolved. Beginning in the 1950s, Russell contributed to American Heritage, Horizon magazine and other publications. He received Guggenheim Fellowships in 1964 and 1965, was a director of the Goethe Society of New England, and was a Fellow of the Society of American Historians. He was a member of the Black Watch Association and the Boston Authors' Club, was the recipient of the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America in 1962, and was the recipient of the Friendship Award of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1966 he married Sharon Soong, whom he divorced in 1981 and with whom he had one daughter, Sara. On March 16, 1984, he married Rosalind Lawson. Russell died on March 20, 1989, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.


16.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Primarily Francis Russell's correspondence and writings; correspondents include Ezra Pound and Henry Beston, although letters are chiefly exchanged among family members and personal friends.

Location note

Collection stored offsite.

Guide to the Francis Russell Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288