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Overview of Publications and Electronic Resources

Electronic resources currently offered in the University of California digital library include a sampling of photographs and primary historical documents from the sixty-nine-reel Emma Goldman Papers: A Microfilm Edition (Chadwyck-Healey Inc., 1991), and biographical and bibliographical essays and finding aids from Emma Goldman: A Guide to Her Life and Documentary Sources (Chadwyck-Healey Inc., 1995). Both publications can be ordered through ProQuest. Other publications include The Life and Times of Emma Goldman: A Curriculum for Middle and High School Students (The Emma Goldman Papers, 2001) and the narrative and pictorial images from the Emma Goldman Traveling Exhibition (The Emma Goldman Papers, 1990).

A Documentary History of the American Years

The Project is currently preparing a four-volume selective book edition, entitled Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of The American Years (1890-1919). The first and second volumes, Made For America (1890-1901) and Making Speech Free (1902-1909) have been published by the University of California Press. The paperback editions have been published by the University of Illinois Press: Vol. 1 | Vol. 2. The third volume, Light and Shadows (1910-1916), has been published by the Stanford University Press, and the fourth volume, Democracy Disarmed (1917-1919) also by Stanford University Press, is forthcoming.

Emma Goldman: A Guide to Her Life and Documentary Sources

Emma Goldman: A Guide to Her Life and Documentary Sources (Chadwyck-Healey Inc., 1995) is an invaluable reference tool representing the culmination of over a decade of research. Items included on this website include the primary biographical and bibliographical essays and indexes from the guide to the microfilm. The introduction, bibliographical essay, and detailed chronology will be of interest to readers seeking a general understanding of Goldman’s life and scholarship on anarchism and radicalism. The indexes will aid students and scholars who wish to take advantage of the microfilm for their own research.

The editor’s introduction, “Reconstructing the Documentary History of a Vibrant Life,” by Candace Falk, chronicles the history of the documentation of Goldman’s writings and correspondence, beginning with Goldman’s own steps to archive her papers and culminating with the fourteen-year long endeavor of the Emma Goldman Papers Project to bring together from hundreds of archives and private sources her papers for publication on microfilm. The introductory essay describes the highlights and historical significance of the collection. “The World of Emma Goldman: A Bibliographical Essay,” by Stephen Cole, directs readers to major publications on anarchism and other works by and about Emma Goldman and her contemporaries. Also offered is an in-depth chronology, a unique account of Goldman’s public life and lectures.

The correspondence index provides access to over sixteen thousand letters written to and by Emma Goldman that appear on The Emma Goldman Papers: A Microfilm Edition. The index is organized alphabetically by correspondent, followed by the date(s) of each letter.

The government documents subject, name, and title indexes cover government and surveillance material – more than fifteen hundred previously unpublished items indexed by name, title, and subject.

The indexes of Goldman’s writings assist the reader in identifying close to fifteen hundred drafts, publications, speeches, and newspaper and periodical articles by or quoting Emma Goldman. Please refer to “The Complete Guide” below for more information about the printed guide, including important resources not available electronically.

The archive can be accessed online at: https://archive.org/details/emmagoldmanguide00falk and https://archive.org/details/emmagoldmanpapers

Asterisks (*) preceding each date indicate letters written by the correspondent to Emma Goldman. A superscript “e” denotes “See errata” in the Guide.

The Complete Guide

Readers are encouraged to consult the complete printed guide published by ProQuest. The Guide features resources not available on this website, including twenty-seven introductory essays from the microfilm that place the correspondence, writings, and government documents in historical context; a list of contributing archives and institutions; an editorial guide to the microfilm; a foreword by historian Leon Litwack; and illustrations. Most of the material is new to the scholarly community and provides a window on not only Goldman but also social and cultural movements in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Guide also highlights the microfilm’s unique documentation of government and press reactions to radicalism. If your university or local public library does not have the guide or microfilm and wishes to obtain a copy, orders can be placed directly with ProQuest.

About the Microfilm

The Emma Goldman Papers microfilm edition is divided into three series:

A vast and fascinating correspondence, gathered from all over the world, records Goldman’s life as an activist and public figure. Correspondents included such important cultural and political figures of the age as John Dewey, Havelock Ellis, Frank Harris, Helen Keller, Peter Kropotkin, Harold Laski, V.I. Lenin, Jack London, Ethel Mannin, Karin Michaelis, Max Nettlau, Paul Robeson, Rudolf Rocker, Bertrand Russell, Margaret Sanger, George Bernard Shaw, Agnes Smedley, and H.G. Wells.

Goldman also left an unusual body of correspondence addressing issues of personal alienation, love, and community in both her public and private writings. Her passion for politics included an affirmation of sexual freedom. Her love letters are frank and graphic, especially to her lover and manager Ben Reitman. They open a window to an otherwise hidden part of the great public woman. Many of her intimate letters expose Goldman’s difficult battle to match her exalted vision of social harmony with the conflicts and disappointments of her personal love life.

The National Archives in Washington, D.C., have made available the U.S. government files on Goldman. They include agents’ reports of lectures otherwise unavailable to the public; court records and transcripts of her various trials and immigration hearings; postal censorship files, and files that begin with the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 and continue throughout her life. Investigative government files from the former Soviet Union, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada supplement the collection.


This series includes published works not readily available in book form. Besides her wide-ranging correspondence, she left an imposing body of public writing--lectures, speeches, essays, articles, pamphlets, and other papers.


Where to Find the Microfilm

The Emma Goldman Papers microfilm is available at the following institutions (and through interlibrary loan): University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), Bryn Mawr College, University of California at Berkeley, California State University (San Marcos), University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of Delaware, Duke University, Emory University, Florida State University (Tallahassee), University of Georgia (Athens), Harvard University, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), University of Michigan (Flint), University of Nebraska (Omaha), University of Nevada (Las Vegas), New York Public Library, New York University, Northeastern University, Oberlin College, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, Stanford University, Sweet Briar College, Vassar College, Wayne State University, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, University of Melbourne (Australia), University of Toronto (Canada), Freie Universitat Berlin (Germany), the Jewish National and University Library (Jerusalem, Israel), the University Library of Tromso (Norway), and the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and many others, which can be determined through an internet search of research library holdings. We recommend that you check >WorldCat.


The Life and Times of Emma Goldman Curriculum

Teaching about Goldman, her life and times, raises many political and philosophical issues and highlights historical material often underrepresented in traditional American history texts. The Life and Times of Emma Goldman, a 127-page curriculum for middle and high school students, highlights twenty-four primary source historical documents from the microfilm edition. The curriculum allows teachers to supplement the existing history curriculum by acquainting students with Goldman’s letters, lectures, and excerpts from her books (including the autobiography, Living My Life, Anarchism and Other Essays, The Social Significance of the Modern Drama, and My Disillusionment in Russia), as well as newspaper articles from the period, political cartoons, photographs and other illustrations. The documents are accompanied by a teacher’s guide offering links to social science topics, suggestions for using the documents, a biographical sketch, informational detail on each theme, a contextual summary of each document, inquiry questions, activity suggestions, a glossary, timeline, film and video resource list, and an annotated selected bibliography. The inquiry questions provided for each document are appropriate for a range of thinking skills. Selected for student appeal and diverse learning styles, the documents are grouped thematically: immigration; freedom of expression; women’s rights; anti-militarism; and art and literature of social change.


The Emma Goldman Traveling Exhibition

The Emma Goldman Papers Project created a traveling exhibition to present the broader public with compelling historical photographs and documents from the collection. Beginning in 1990 with a commemorative tour marking the fiftieth anniversary of Emma Goldman’s death, the exhibition has traveled widely, making available to the public some of the most interesting materials found in the international search. The exhibition presents thirty-eight pieces chronicling Goldman’s life and activities. Included is personal correspondence from Goldman to birth control advocate Margaret Sanger suggesting strategies for mobilizing support for the birth control movement, as well as a handwritten letter to writer and reformer Helen Keller vividly describing a speech to a crowd of garment workers in New York’s Union Square. Also exhibited are newspaper articles and magazine cartoons conveying the scope of controversy sparked by Goldman as she lectured across the country. The government warrant ordering Goldman’s deportation accompanied by a statement from a young and ambitious J. Edgar Hoover citing Goldman as one of “the most dangerous anarchists in the country" illustrate the threat Goldman posed to authorities. Also included is a 1920 document released by the Soviet Union: a list of questions posed by Goldman and Alexander Berkman to Lenin (with Lenin’s annotations in the margins) concerning the Bolshevik government’s suppression of free speech. The visuals are accompanied by a narrative clearly tracing Goldman’s thought and activities in the context of the social and political movements of the early twentieth century.

To obtain more information about the cost and availability of the traveling exhibition for display, e-mail inquiries to emma@berkeley.edu.