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Series 721 - "Cranks"

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

"Cranks"

General material designation

Parallel title

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Level of description

Series

Reference code

RC0096-721

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1943-1970; predominant 1960-1970 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

50 cm of textual records (5 boxes)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

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Numbering within publisher's series

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Russell, Bertrand (1872-1970)

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of letters addressed to Russell which are written in a nonsensical, ridiculous and/or indignant manner. Some crank mail elicited a response from Russell or his secretary, Ralph Schoenman, and may include typescript copies of replies, but most letters were left unanswered. A considerable amount of letters are from Peter Askey; one box (11.82) contains only letters received from him. Many letters were also sent anonymously.

Acquired as part of Archives 2, the print finding aid for which states: “Every well-known figure must receive crank mail, but Russell seems to have received more than his share. Possibly it was his reputation as a sage that attracted the letters. His staff regularly annotated such mail "crank". … While there may be nothing so dismal as an anonymous crank letter, pseudonymous crank letters can be very entertaining. See, for example, the letters and enclosed "cheques" (ranging from $5000 to $2,000,000,000) from the Virgin Express Alexandra I.”

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically. Box 11.82, which contains only letters from Peter Askey, is arranged chronologically.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

For a listing of the letters in this series, use the advanced search screen of BRACERS. In the “Class” field, enter series number: 721.

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Accruals

Other notes

  • General note:

    Box numbers for this series: 10.82-10.84; 11.1-11.2

    Document numbers for this series: 721.135168-721.136195

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