Emma Goldman Collection
Language of Materials
Emma Goldman was an anarchist, feminist, writer, publisher of Mother Earth, companion of Alexander Berkman, author of Anarchism and Other Essays, Living My Life, and My Disillusionment in Russia, and was deported from the U.S. in 1919. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, published and unpublished writings, and a typescript of an unpublished biography, Emma Goldman Speaks, by Jeanne Levey.
Emma Goldman, anarchist, feminist, and writer, was born in Russia in 1869. Refused admission to high school because she failed to conform to school rules, Goldman began working in 1882 in a factory in St. Petersburg. At the age of 17 to avoid her father's plans for her marriage, she fled to the United States, where she again worked in a factory. She joined the anarchist movement in about 1886 after the Chicago Haymarket Square bombing and conspiracy trial. In 1892 she began public speaking in defense of her lover, Alexander Berkman's attempted assassination of industrialist Henry Clay. She continued traveling and speaking about her ideas on revolution and sex. She published The Blast and later, until her deportation, Mother Earth. Goldman was deported in 1919 as a result of opposition to the war. She returned to Russia, but disillusioned with the new regime she left to travel and speak in Europe. She published Anarchism and Other Essays(1917), Living My Life(1931), My Disillusionment in Russia(1924), and My Further Disillusionment in Russia(1925).
In 1924 she was permitted to make her home in England and married James Colton for the convenience of British citizenship. Alternatingly residing in England, Canada (Toronto), and the South of France (St. Tropez), she wrote her autobiography, Living my Life(1931). A tour through Germany convinced her of the threat of fascism. Her lectures on the topic gained her a ninety-day visit to the United States in 1934. The Spanish Civil War provided her with a needed distraction from Alexander Berkman's suicide. She devoted herself to the loyalists and worked in England on behalf of the Spanish government. Early in 1939, she returned to Canada where she died May 13, 1940, retaining to the last her revolutionary ideals.
Falk, Candace, Emma Goldman: a Guide to Her Life and Documentary Sources. Companion volume and index to: The Emma Goldman Papers [microform].
The folders arranged numerically (by document register number ranges) in series one, and alphabetically in series two, and topically in series three.
Organized into three series:
- 1. Correspondence
- 2. Oversized Correspondence and Writings (Photocopies)
- 3. Emma Goldman Speaks by Jeanne Levey: Typescript and Research Materials.
Scope and Content Note
Contains, correspondence, manuscripts by and about Goldman, printed sources, speeches, and notes. Includes correspondence with her publisher and personal correspondence dealing with her life and deportation. There are transcriptions of most of her significant letters, addresses, and articles (1908-1939), many from Mother Earth, apparently compiled by Jeanne Levey during the course of her research for her unpublished biography, Emma Goldman Speaks, and keyed to pages in the typescript thereof, also included in the collection, along with index cards containing research notes. The most frequent correspondent is Arthur Ross, Goldman's literary representative. Notable correspondents and/or individuals represented include Roger Baldwin, Alexander Berkman, Eugene V. Debs, Havelock Ellis, Clifton Fadiman, Eleanor M. Fitzgerald, John Haynes Holmes, Alfred A. Knopf, Peter Kropotkin, Jeannette Levey, Max Nettlau, Herbert Read, Ben Reitman, Bertrand Russell, Anna Strunsky, Upton Sinclair, Norman Thomas, Harry Weinberger, Rebecca West, Israel Zangwill, and Doris Zhook. Some of the letters are addressed to E.G. Colton (pseudonym for E.G.). There are also three Goldman manuscripts, respectively titled The Chinese Revolution, Hitler, Mussolini.
Also available at the Tamiment Library: Series 1 Correspondence Register for an item-level description of the contents of this series, listed by item number.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Because of the assembled nature of this collection, copyright status varies across the collection. Copyright is assumed to be held by the original creator of individual items in the collection; these items are expected to pass into the public domain 120 years after their creation. Tamiment Library is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from this collection.
Identification of item, date; Emma Goldman Collection; TAM 012; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Jeanne Levey in 1971; an additional accession was donated in 1972 by Arthur Leonard Ross. The accession number associated with these gifts is 1971.001.