Location of Bella Dodd papers

James Mathis's picture

I am beginning a research project into the life of Bella Dodd, ex-Communist, author of School of Darkness, and convert to the Catholic Church.  I have done some searches on the internet and in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, but cannot find any entries for a repository for her papers.  Does anyone know where they are/might be?

Categories: Archive, Research
Keywords: Bella Dodd

In case you have not already seen this, the February 1955 issue of Facts Forum News -- contains an interview with Bella (starting on page 37). I can send you a copy if you want to see it.

Also Mary Nicholas is currently working on a book re: Bella so you might want to contact her for additional info:  maineart1@yahoo.com  

Ernie Lazar

Palm Springs CA


According to Karen Campbell's May 2000 Master's Thesis on Bella ("From Communist to Catholic Anti-Communist: Bella Visono Dodd’s American Journey")

"School of Darkness remains the only account of the life of Bella Dodd.  Dodd testified that she lost her personal papers when she sold her home on Lexington Avenue"   


"Dodd said in published government testimony that with the sale of her house, personal material was destroyed".

Bella Dodd testimony, Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee Appointed Under Senate Resolution 231, "State Department Employee Loyalty Investigation", 81st Cong., 2nd sess., 25 April 1950, page 636.

In my work on the Rapp-Coudert investigation I found little in the way of personal correspondence for Dodd. But her professional correspondence as legislative director for the New York AFT locals can be found in a couple of places: The United Federation of Teachers papers and the Charles Hendley papers at the Tamiment, the various AFT collections at the Catherwood Library's Kheel Center at Cornell, and in the Rapp-Coudert collection at the New York State Archives in Albany (microfilmed and deposited elsewhere, including Tamiment). The Rapp-Coudert collection includes copies of most of the Local 5 and 537 minutes, as well as other organizational documents subpoenaed by the committee and a couple of interrogations.

Andy Feffer
Union College, Schenectady Ny