The Emma Goldman Papers is delighted and honored to receive the Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award at the Society of American Archivists Conference in Washington, D.C.

Last day to support the Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo Campaign

The Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo Campaign will officially end August 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT. This is your last day to contribute to our fundraiser and help us publish Volume 4 of our work on Emma Goldman’s American years. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so generously. Every effort helps us to persevere and fulfill our initiative of preserving and disseminating information on the life of an inspirational but marginalized individual.

We only have one day left, and you can make it count. Help us today, and make your mark on the historical record!

With respect and gratitude,

The Emma Goldman Papers

Last Week of our Indiegogo Campaign!

It is often said that history repeats itself. In 1917, Emma Goldman sent a letter to supporters of her magazine, Mother Earth, asking for funds to help her sustain the publication through times of censorship and political turmoil. Today, nearly a century later, the Emma Goldman Papers too must reach out and ask for help to complete our fourth volume, documenting her experience of the suppression of dissent in the United States from 1917 to 1919.

We’ve reproduced Goldman’s letter below, substituting “Mother Earth” with “The Emma Goldman Papers,” with the hope that her persuasive powers will inspire you today!

Dear Friend:

[THE EMMA GOLDMAN PAPERS] has started on her [35th]year of life. On more than one occasion the struggle seemed too much, but our friends always came to her rescue and gave [THE EMMA GOLDMAN PAPERS] new strength and courage to go on. Thus for [34] years the little fighter has held her head high and has never swerved in her zeal.

But now the journey of our [project] promises to be the most difficult and trying in all [our] existence. Militarism and War, which we have fought consistently, is upon us…There was never a time in this country when brave voices are needed as they are now. [THE EMMA GOLDMAN PAPERS] must and will go on regardless of all vicissitudes and danger. As in the past our [project] needs you, needs your help more than ever. With deep confidence in your devotion to the revolutionary moment, [we] write to let you know how you can help.

[Here Goldman offered subscribers books and pamphlets. In the same vein, we offer our Indiegogo contributors a variety of quirky and fun perks, including an Emma Goldman Mugshot Mug as well as our book edition. Please visit the Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo Campaign. If you find yourself unable to contribute, please consider passing this message along to your friends and family.]

Dear friend, now is the time to show our worth. Help us to maintain [THE EMMA GOLDMAN PAPERS]. [We] will voice your ideals on the pressing questions of the day. [We] will proclaim bravely and determinedly the message of a new humanity, of a brotherhood held together by freedom and well being.


Emma Goldman [Papers]

A final note from the Emma Goldman Papers:

We have one week left to complete our Indiegogo campaign, after which, you can send your tax-deductible contributions to

The Emma Goldman Papers
University of California, Berkeley
2241 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-6030

Cheers on behalf of the Emma Goldman Papers!

Candace Falk
(510) 642-4708

18 More Days to Support the EGP

The Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo campaign has 18 more days to complete our funding goal. As Goldman once declared in her outreach letter to supporters of her magazine, Mother Earth, our organization “cannot be subdued. It will speak out. It will be heard. What are YOU going to do to help in the struggle…There is not time to lose.”

Every contribution makes a difference, every effort helps. Please support us at:

The Social Aspects of Birth Control

On June 30, 1916, Margaret Sanger, who was mentored by Emma Goldman on birth control, was arrested in Portland, Oregon for selling birth control pamphlets. Nearly a century later today, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations controlled by religious families cannot be required to pay for contraception coverage for their female workers. In light of these events and in remembrance of Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger’s struggles, among other activists, Goldman’s article entitled “The Social Aspects of Birth Control,” Mother Earth. v.11 (April 1916) seems especially apt:

[T]here is the mental awakening of woman, that plays no small part in behalf of Birth Control. For ages she has carried her burdens. Has done her duty a thousand fold more than the soldier on the battlefield. After all, the soldier’s business is to take life. For that he is paid by the State, eulogized by political charlatans and upheld by public hysteria. But woman’s function is to give life, yet neither the state nor politicians nor public opinion have ever made the slightest provision in return for the life woman has given.

For ages she has been on her knees before the altar of duty as imposed by God, by Capitalism, by the State, and by Morality. To-day she has awakened from her age-long sleep. She has shaken herself free from the nightmare of the past; she has turned her face towards the light and its proclaiming in a clarion voice that she will no longer be a party to the crime of bringing hapless children into the world only to be ground into dust by the wheel of capitalism and to be torn into shreds in trenches and battlefields. And who is to say her nay? After all it is woman who is risking her health and sacrificing her youth in the reproduction of the race. Surely she ought to be in a position to decide how many children she should bring into the world, whether they should be brought into the world by the man she loves and because she wants the child, or should be born in hatred and loathing.

A Surprise Gift For Emma’s Birthday

A few days before Emma Goldman’s 145th birthday, this June 27th, the Emma Goldman Papers received an unexpected package in the mail: Goldman’s necklace. The heavy silver strand, worn long in 1920s style, was given to the Emma Goldman Papers by one of her surviving relatives in gratitude for the project’s work in keeping Goldman’s legacy alive.

Goldman (1869-19140) is remembered for her passionate advocacy of free speech, women’s independence, birth control, worker’s rights, and “everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” Few people are aware that Goldman’s vision of beauty and social harmony encompassed the realm of aesthetics. Goldman loved beauty in nature, especially flowers, and also believed that women, daring and creative in their manner of dress, exhibited a special kind of creativity and intelligence to be admired. Although the flowers always present on Goldman’s table have withered away, her necklace is a remnant of one of the beautiful, radiant things in her own life, an object of beauty to complement the intangible beauty of her words.

To help preserve the legacy of Emma Goldman, please consider contributing to the Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo campaign and helping spread the word. Happy Birthday to Emma, and here’s to you for making this day special!

Emmagogo Campaign

This week we have an exciting announcement: we have officially launched our Indiegogo campaign! Our temporary fundraising goal is $40,000, which we hope will sustain the project through the summer. For every donation, we are offering a variety of perks, including a pre-order of the fourth volume, letters, mugs, books, and posters! Please check out the link below to visit our Indiegogo page, share the message, and help the project (and what it represents for the historical preservation of radicalism, free speech, and women’s and workers’ rights) persevere through these challenging times.

With your support, we can succeed. 

The Emma Goldman Papers Indiegogo Campaign:

The Intellectual Proletarians

In an essay published in Mother Earth (New York, February 1914), Emma Goldman discussed the unique case of theIntellectual Proletarians.” Goldman argued that any individual who has to sell skills to make a living, either mental or physical, is a proletarian. Thus, most of American society, apart from a limited class, has been “proletarianized.” However, Goldman points out that members of the intellectual class, including academics, writers, and artists, still see themselves as part of a separate and higher social class than that of traditional laborers. She argues that as a broad group, the proletarians are more similar than different and that cooperation within the working class is necessary to create substantial change:

Will the American intellectual proletarians ever love the ideal [of universal justice and freedom] more than their comforts, ever be willing to give up external success for the sake of the vital issues of life? I think so, and that for two reasons. First, the proletarization of the intellectuals will compel them to come closer to labor. Secondly, because of the rigid regime of puritanism, which is causing a tremendous reaction against conventions and narrow moral ties. Struggling artists, writers and dramatists who strive to create something worth while, aid in breaking down dominant conventions; scores of women who wish to live their lives are helping to undermine our morality of to-day in their proud defiance of the rules of Mrs. Grundy. Alone they cannot accomplish much. They need the bold indifference and courage of the revolutionary workers, who have broken with all the old rubbish. It is therefore through the co-operation of the intellectual proletarians, who try to find expression, and the revolutionary proletarians who seek to remould life, that we in America will establish a real unity and by means of it wage a successful war against present society.

Today we would like to commemorate the death of Emma Goldman. On May 14, 1940, Goldman passed away in Toronto, Canada. The great orator and activist had earlier suffered a stroke that left her unable to speak. Feared and revered for her eloquent speeches and orotund prose, Goldman left the world silently, as if she had wrung out every last word from her body. Her presence is alive in the Emma Goldman Papers Project—her countless letters, photographs, notes, and magazines fill our office with her lasting impression. Each of us involved in archiving and writing the life of Emma Goldman has been drawn to her for different reasons and left with experiences special and enduring. Today, somberly, we reflect on her passing by looking back to how those who knew her best mourned her passing. The following is largely excerpted from Candace Falk’s Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman.

At her funeral Harry Weinberger, a longtime friend and Emma’s lawyer, delivered one of several eulogies. Emma Goldman, he said, was a “tireless, fearless, uncompromising battler of freedom and justice.”

Liberty was always her theme; liberty was always her dream; liberty was always her goal… Emma Goldman in her lifetime had been ostracized, jailed, mobbed and deported from these shores for advocating that which all the world now admits should be brought about—a world without war, a world without poverty, a world with hope and the brotherhood of man…

Courage in Emma Goldman was as natural to her as it was for her to breathe.

He paused, with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, then continued to speak as if directly to Emma herself:

Emma Goldman, we welcome you back to America, where you wanted to end your days with friends and comrades. We had hoped to welcome you back in life—but we welcome you back in death. You will live forever in the hearts of your friends and the story of your life will live as long as stories are told of women and men of courage and idealism.

The tearful orations continued, though, as the next speaker remarked, Emma’s “eloquence [was] second to none yet uttered by any lips.”

Ben is said to have cried, in his melodramatic style, as the last shovel of dirt was thrown on her coffin, “They have taken away my savior and I know not where they have laid her.”

 Her old friend Ethel Mannin memorialized Emma in her book Women and the Revolution:

Red Emma! A four-square, thick-set, domineering little woman, square-jawed, disconcertingly forthright, irascible, and as relentless in her demands on herself as on others where the revolutionary cause is concerned, and behind that forbidding exterior, a martyr burnt up with the flame of her passion for human liberty, a soldier who will die fighting; a warm and gentle woman who has known the love of men, who loves children, who has known many and enriching friendships, warmly and quickly responsive to love and affection, sympathetic to the trouble of her friends, loving beauty and peace, though there has been so little time for either in her crowded life; a truly great woman, a great Person, judged by any standard. Her heart might break; over Berkman, the martyrdom of his fourteen years’ imprisonment, the tragedy of his death; over Russia; over Spain; but whose spirit, never! Her whole life is an example of unfaltering courage and unswerving faith, in the face of persecution and bitter disappointment.

There was also a memorial service for Emma in New York. Leonard Abbot, who had written for Mother Earth as early as 1907, worked with Emma at the Ferrer Center, and had been her loyal friend, described it to Ben: “I felt that I was presiding at the end of an era rather than the rebirth of something vital. Anarchism will never really be a vital force unless it can be applied to life (as Emma Goldman applied it) in a compelling way.”

The Emma Goldman Papers to Receive Hamer-Kegan Award

We are happy to announce that The Emma Goldman Papers will receive the 2014 Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award!

The Hamer-Kegan Award is given by the Society of American Archivists Foundation in recognition of an archivist, editor, group of individuals, or institution that has increased public awareness of a specific body of documents through compilation, transcription, exhibition, or public presentation of archives or manuscript materials for educational, instructional, or other public purpose.

The Emma Goldman Papers has collected and published tens of thousands of documents by and about American social and political activist Emma Goldman (1869-1940). A leading figure in anarchism, radicalism, and feminism in the United States, Goldman in her day was a well-known and influential advocate of free speech, union organization, immigrant rights, and women’s independence and equality.

Launched in 1980, the Emma Goldman Papers is part of the Institute for International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The project has previously received support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as well as numerous foundations and individual donors. The staff of the Emma Goldman Papers includes Candace Falk (project director), Micah McElroy (assistant editor), Catherine Hollis (editorial associate), Xuan An Ho (administrative assistant), Barry Pateman (associate editor), and Leon Litwack (principal investigator).

The 2014 Hamer-Kegan Award will be formally presented to the Emma Goldman Papers at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, which will held 10-16 August in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the Emma Goldman Papers, visit the project website at or contact the project at