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Federal Bureau of Investigation, Commonwealth College Files, ca. 1920s-1930s
Manuscript Collection MC 1323


Commonwealth College was a radical labor school operating in Mena, Arkansas, from 1923 until 1940. It was a center for controversy even years after its closing.


Special Collections Division obtained photocopies of Federal Bureau of Investigation on August 20, 1995.

Files comprise 182 copies of documents from FBI records pertaining to Commonwealth College, Mena, Polk County, Arkansas, ca. 1920s-1930s. Contains correspondence and memoranda from the United States Department of Justice, United States Senate, Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas Chamber of Commerce, Mena, Arkansas, Arkansas Federation of Women's Clubs, and private citizens from Mena and neighboring communities, regarding the college's allegedly anti-American and immoral practices; transcripts of testimonies against Commonwealth College; Arkansas Legislature report; Arkansas House of Representatives Hearings, H.Res. 220 Investigation of Communist Propaganda, 1930 and H.Res. 282 Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, 1938; pamphlet, Communism and Commonwealth College Unmasked, by L.D. Summers, Mena, Arkansas; and newspaper clippings.

The original order of the files was preserved. The information highlighted in black has been deleted by FBI pursuant to Title 5, U.S. Code 552 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Processed by Vera Ekechukwu, October 1995. Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

More about Commonwealth College.


Box 1
  1. Investigation file.

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