As most of my readers know, I am the custodian and curator of the Mae Brussell Collection, referred to by many of her fans as the Mae Brussell Library and/or the Mae Brussell Archives. In this capacity, I receive hundreds of requests for specific information from her massive research files.
Mae researched thousands of subjects from 1963 until her death in 1988. She placed more importance on some subjects than others. Certain of these subjects took on a life of their own and were published under names either Mae or others gave them. For example: The Torbitt Document, also entitled Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal, by William Torbitt, Click to read. and The Gemstone Files based on several hundred letters sent to Mae Brussell by a Bruce Roberts. These two examples given account for perhaps one-fourth of the requests for information.
The Mae Brussell Archives were placed in my possession in 1993, five years after Mae died. The files had been moved several times in the five years preceding their being placed in my trust. The two files cited were not in the files in their original state as has been described by those who had seen them prior to their removal from Mae Brussell's home. I have been unable to locate even one letter allegedly written by Bruce Roberts or any original document written to William Torbitt. I have, of course, read many of the subsequent printings of the two documents from a variety of sources.
When one reviews the files, it is obvious that Mae's mind evolved almost daily and, as all great minds do, changed with the times. So too, did her filing system. The daily news dictated what subject matter Mae dealt with and she used her weekly radio shows to download the recent events to her listening audience. It is reasonable to assume that her archives in the year 1963 did not look anything like the files the Brussellsprouts removed from her home at her request just prior to her death. At the time Mae Brussell began looking into the John F. Kennedy Assassination and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, she might have had a few files that took up very little space. By the time she died her fans removed over 300 researched but unwritten manuscripts, 38 four drawer file cabinets, over 10,000 books and countless boxes of newspapers, magazines and unfiled articles. The Collection takes up 2,200 square feet of space and touches the 7' high ceiling where it is stored. Small pathways meander through boxes and file cabinets. The vast majority of the archives remain boxed as they were at the time Mae died.
Despite the cumbersome arrangement, when researchers request information, I try to accommodate their requests on a first come, first serve basis. Most individuals understand the problem in accessing the files and they are patient. A few people have accused me of impeding their requests for information. Therefore, I felt this article would define the system I use in dealing with my fellow researchers and authors when a search request is sent in. Sometimes a researcher writes a request based upon their own time agenda and this makes it very difficult to research such voluminous material to meet their deadlines.
Such was the case with an individual who first placed their request on September 24, 2001. This person was working on a book and was apparently close to finishing the manuscript. The author had last seen the Mae Brussell files for a period of two to three months in the late summer and early fall of 1974. At the time the material being requested had been contained in two large files whose titles were supplied to me in the request. One month and four days later this individual was emailing various associates and my publisher stating that I was withholding access to the archives from the inquirer.
When I took five hours to search for the documents requested last Sunday, I found that no such files existed under the titles given to me. It was obvious that Mae Brussell had continued to build upon the files as they existed in 1974 and the initial two files had been divided many times over and the initial titles had been subdivided into ten or more sub-files. After reviewing the numerous articles, writings, reviews, etc., I could not locate the two specific tabloid articles requested. The dates for those articles as supplied by the inquirer were 10/18/71 and 8/20/71. The name of the publication was Midnight, a Canadian publication.
My publisher suggested to the party requesting the material, that The National Library of Canada be contacted as the best source for the information. Yesterday I called the National Library of Canada at (613) 995-9481 and spoke with a helpful woman named Nicole. She informed me that Midnight was a Montreal publication that existed from 1954 to 1975. The Canadian Library system has exchange agreements with the United States and they have the publication requested. Therefore, the individual seeking the information requested from the Mae Brussell Collection can go to their local library and request an inter-library transfer of the publication. For the inquirer's information the amicus number required to access the material is #1114472. That number should be given to the local librarian and the material will be transferred to your local library. Click.
This article is written to advise researchers, authors, and Mae Brussell fans that every effort will be made to access the material you request. If the material is not accessible from the Archives, I will do everything I can to inform you where the material can be obtained. I would appreciate it if my reputation is not libeled in the process.
by Virginia McCullough © 10/31/01