University of Notre Dame

 

Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Guide to the Max H. Roder Journals

MSN/MN 0800

 

Collection Summary

Title: Max H. Roder journals
Dates: ca. 1927-1959
Collection No.: MSN/MN 0800
Creator: Roder, Max H., 1892-1988
Extent: 30 vols; 3 containers; 1.5 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Twenty-eight annual journals of the daily calendar type, recording the professional activities of agent Max. H. Roder of the U. S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1931-1959.

Selected Search Terms

Roder, Max H., 1892-1988
United States. Federal Bureau of Narcotics -- History
Drug traffic -- Investigation -- United States -- History

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection

Preferred Citation: Max H. Roder Journals, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Roder journals were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2007, via ebay. Arranged and described 2010, by Amy Holt. Finding aid 2012, by George Rugg.

Biographical Note

Max H. Roder (1892-1988) was a German native who immigrated to the United States in 1905. He worked as a Federal narcotics agent for 34 years, and was with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from its formation in 1930 to 1959. While best known for fighting American and international drug traffickers and harassing addicts, the FBN—an agency of the Treasury Department—was broadly charged with enforcing all laws regulating habit-forming drugs, legal and illegal, in the United States. Through 1937 Roder worked out of the Bureau's office in Philadelphia; thereafter he was stationed in New York, where he came to function as liaison to the NYPD's precinct captains.

Scope and Content Note

Roder's journals contain regular daily entries for nearly three decades, from April 1931 to April 1959. Each volume contains entries for one calendar year; the volume for 1939 is lacking. The nature of the journals' content is quite consistent over time. Roder records the events, hour-by-hour, of each working day, from office routine to work in the field: meetings with informants, surveillances, wiretaps, arrests. Some fieldwork is described as undercover. The entries convey the facts with a minimum of narrative flourish. Names, addresses and phone numbers are specified, as are agents worked with, autos used, and expenses incurred during the day. The journals doubtless facilitated report writing, reimbursements, and perhaps testifying in court (as Roder was subpoenaed with some frequency). The collection also includes two partially filled volumes independent of the journals, containing addresses and other work-related information.

Arrangement Note

The 28 journals are arranged chronologically, followed by two notebooks of memoranda.

Container List

  • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1931 May 1 to December 21. Enclosure 1 (MSN/MN 0800-1).
    AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 15 cm., 186 leaves.
    Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days from 1 May, plus memoranda. The printed volume is a daily calendar for 1927, though the entries are for 1931.
    • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1932 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 2 (MSN/MN 0800-2).
      AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 18 cm., 185 leaves, with enclosures.
      Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1932.
      • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1933 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 3 (MSN/MN 0800-3).
        AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 193 leaves.
        Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1933, plus memoranda.
        • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1934 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 4 (MSN/MN 0800-4).
          AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 193 leaves.
          Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1934.
          • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1935 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 5 (MSN/MN 0800-5).
            AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 15 cm., 194 leaves, with enclosure.
            Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1935, plus memoranda.
            • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1936 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 6 (MSN/MN 0800-6).
              AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 15 cm., 194 leaves.
              Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1936.
              • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1937 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 7 (MSN/MN 0800-7).
                AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 15 cm., 194 leaves.
                Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1937.
                • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1938 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 8 (MSN/MN 0800-8).
                  AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 21 cm., 203 leaves, with enclosure.
                  Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1938, plus memoranda.
                  • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1940 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 9 (MSN/MN 0800-9).
                    AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 21 cm., 203 leaves.
                    Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1940, plus memoranda.
                    • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1941 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 10 (MSN/MN 0800-10).
                      AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 21 cm., 203 leaves, with enclosure.
                      Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1941, plus memoranda.
                      • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1942 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 11 (MSN/MN 0800-11).
                        AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 21 cm., 203 leaves.
                        Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1942, plus memoranda.
                        • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1943 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 12 (MSN/MN 0800-12).
                          AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 21 cm., 174 leaves.
                          Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1943, plus memoranda.
                          • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1944 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 13 (MSN/MN 0800-13).
                            AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 194 leaves.
                            Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1944, plus memoranda.
                            • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1945 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 14 (MSN/MN 0800-14).
                              AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 194 leaves.
                              Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1945.
                              • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1946 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 15 (MSN/MN 0800-15).
                                AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 194 leaves.
                                Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1946, plus memoranda.
                                • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1947 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 16 (MSN/MN 0800-16).
                                  AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves, with enclosure.
                                  Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1947.
                                  • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1948 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 17 (MSN/MN 0800-17).
                                    AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                    Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1948, plus memoranda.
                                    • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1949 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 18 (MSN/MN 0800-18).
                                      AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                      Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1949.
                                      • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1950 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 19 (MSN/MN 0800-19).
                                        AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                        Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1950.
                                        • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1951 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 20 (MSN/MN 0800-20).
                                          AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                          Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1951, plus memoranda.
                                          • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1952 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 21 (MSN/MN 0800-21).
                                            AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                            Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1952.
                                            • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1953 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 22 (MSN/MN 0800-22).
                                              AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                              Includes entries in Roder's hand for some days of 1953. Entries are very sporadic between 5 March and 14 November.
                                              • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1954 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 23 (MSN/MN 0800-23).
                                                AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 211 leaves.
                                                Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1954.
                                                • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1955 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 24 (MSN/MN 0800-24).
                                                  AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                                  Includes entries in Roder's hand for most days of 1955.
                                                  • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1956 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 25 (MSN/MN 0800-25).
                                                    AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 211 leaves.
                                                    Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1956.
                                                    • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1957 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 26 (MSN/MN 0800-26).
                                                      AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 211 leaves with enclosures.
                                                      Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1957.
                                                      • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1958 January 1 to December 31. Enclosure 27 (MSN/MN 0800-27).
                                                        AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 20 cm., 211 leaves.
                                                        Includes entries in Roder's hand for each day of 1958.
                                                        • Journal. Max H. Roder, 1959 January 1 to April 29. Enclosure 28 (MSN/MN 0800-28).
                                                          AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 23 cm., 216 leaves.
                                                          Includes entries in Roder's hand through 29 April, his last day of service.
                                                          • Address book. Max H. Roder, after 1926. Enclosure 29 (MSN/MN 0800-29).
                                                            AMsS. 1 vol. partly printed, 16 cm., 101 leaves. A ring-bound notebook, with a leaf containing printed calendars for 1927 and 1928.
                                                            Scattered entries in typescript, pen, and pencil; most are address lists, of agents, fugitives, wire installation men, and others.
                                                            • Journal. Max H. Roder, ca. 1935. Enclosure 30 (MSN/MN 0800-30).
                                                              AMs. 1 vol. partly printed, 18 cm., 150 leaves. A printed calendar for 1929, with many leaves torn out.
                                                              A few scattered entries, mostly relating to wiretaps.