Scope and arrangement
This small collection is rich in information documenting the activities of Emma Goldman, anarchist and political activist. Collection contains correspondence, typescripts, address books, photographs, clippings, and printed matter. Correspondence, 1906-1940, of Goldman, Alexander Berkman and Stella Ballantine concerns Goldman's experiences in Russia, Germany and England following World War I, and Spain during the civil war of 1936-1939; letters, 1927-1928, written on Goldman's behalf soliciting funds to subsidize the writing of her memoirs; and letters, 1917-1927, from Goldman to Bayard Boyesen. Typescripts consist of a few chapters of "My Further Disillusionment in Russia" and other writings by Goldman and typescripts of some of Berkman's writings. Also, address books compiled by Goldman and Berkman; studio photographs of Goldman by noted photographer Carl Van Vechten; clippings and other printed material.
The Emma Goldman papers are arranged in six series:
This series is mainly letters between Emma Goldman and others. The correspondence for the most part, reflects Goldman's role as an anarchist, feminist and co-editor of Mother Earth. There is also some correspondence of Alexander Berkman as co-editor of Mother Earth. Correspondents include Roger Baldwin, Stella Ballantine with Harry Kelly and John Haynes Holmes. Letters dated 1940 are telegrams expressing sympathy upon the death of Goldman.
The focus of this series is the solicitation of funds for Emma Goldman for the years 1927-1928. The correspondence indicates that the original purpose of the fund was to secure enough money so that Goldman would be able to enter the United States under bond. Having failed in this endeavor, her friends refocused their efforts to raise money so that Goldman would have material to write her autobiography. By December 1927, the fund was officially named "The Emma Goldman Memoirs Fund", with Howard Irving Young, Chairman, and Bolton Hall, Treasurer. The founders included Theodore Dreiser, William P. Hap good, and Peggy Guggenheim Vail. Goldman at this date remarried and was living in Toronto, Canada under the name Emma Goldman Colton. This series consists mainly of form letters soliciting funds. The remaining material in this series is a legal document that is the last will and testament of Goldman accompanied by instructions.
The writings for the most part reflect Goldman's political interest or those topics, which were of concern to her. Due to the uncertainty of the authorship some of the writings, all of the writings are not credited to her. Some of the writings mistakenly attributed to Goldman were in fact transcripts typed by a secretary as reading notes for her lectures. The writings include a typescript of the monograph Exploiting the famine (chapter X) and Goldman's article the spectators in starvation typed on the back of Mother Earth letterhead paper. There are also writings attributed to other individuals including "The Bolshevik Myth" by Alexander Berkman. The remaining material is a daybook and a telephone book.
The index in the Goldman writings series include some verbatim transcripts of material published by authors other than Emma Goldman, typed by a secretary as reading notes for her lectures, but mistakenly attributed to Goldman.
The printed matter is a miscellaneous mixture of newspaper clippings, magazine articles relating to Goldman. Included in the printed matter is an article entitled Red Emma on Spain dated March 6, 1937. The publication is not cited.
The photo prints contain eleven photographs of Emma Goldman taken by photographer and author Carl Van Vetches. Goldman's portraits were studio poses printed in black and white on half-tone. The series also contains a photograph of Emma Goldman in Barcelona, Spain speaking at a memorial meeting, and a family photograph of the Goldman family taken in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1883.