Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Alexander Berkman Papers

Call Number



1917-1919, inclusive


Berkman, Alexander, 1870-1936
Turkel, Pauline (Role: Donor)
Lohf, Kenneth A. (Role: Donor)
Issawi, Charles (Role: Donor)


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English .


Alexander Berkman was an anarchist and author, and companion of anarchist Emma Goldman. The collection contains legal documents, speeches and transcripts, most pertaining to Berkman and Goldman's trial for opposing conscription during World War I.

Historical/Biographical Note

Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) was an anarchist and author, and companion of anarchist Emma Goldman. Born in Russia to wealthy Jewish parents, he migrated to the U.S. in the aftermath of the Haymarket Riot of 1886. He spent fourteen years in prison for his attempted assassination, in 1892, of Henry Clay Frick, edited and published his own newspaper Blast, was convicted along with Goldman in 1917 of violating the Draft Act, served two years in prison, was deported, wrote several books, and in ill health, died by suicide in 1936.


For more information, see Biographical Dictionary of the American Left, pp. 24-27.


The folders are arranged alphabetically.

The files are grouped into 1 series:

Missing Title

  1. Container list

Scope and Content Note

The papers contain primarily court transcripts and other legal documents, most prepared by Harry Weinberger, chief attorney for Berkman and Emma Goldman, reflecting Berkman's involvement with No Conscription League, his battle against extradition to California in connection with the Mooney-Billings bombing case, his and Emma Goldman's trial for violating the Draft Act by advising resistance, and their unsuccessful attempts to prevent deportation. Includes transcripts of several speeches by Berkman, a speech (1917) by Leonard D. Abbot opposing conscription, and a speech (1919) by Emma Goldman in honor of Kate Richards O'Hare; and undated portions of manuscripts of Berkman's "What is Communist Anarchism" (1929) and "Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist" (1912).

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection, which were created in 1917-1919, are in the public domain. Permission to publish or reproduce is not required.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Pauline Turkel through Professor Charles Issawi and Kenneth A. Lohf of Columbia University, 1975. The accession number associated with this gift is 1975.002.

Collection processed by

Tamiment staff

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:49:12 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Processing Information

Decisions regarding arrangement, description, and physical interventions for this collection prior to 2021 are unknown.

In 2021, narrative description was revised in the biographical note to edit harmful language regarding suicide. Changes were made based on the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.

Revisions to this Guide

December 2021: Edited by Anna Björnsson McCormick to revise harmful language regarding suicide

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from TAM 67 Berkman template.doc


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012