Emma Goldman Papers Project

The Emma Goldman Papers Project (EGP) was previously supported in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is now consistently supported by private donors and small foundations. The EGP was initiated at UC Berkeley in 1980. Among the most enduring collaborative humanities projects on campus, the EGP's publications represent the collective effort of hundreds of students and scholars across disciplines and across the world. The Project was charged with collecting, documenting, and making accessible the papers of Emma Goldman (1869-1940). A dedicated advocate of liberty who stood on the margin of society, Goldman waged a lifelong crusade for freedom of expression, individual rights, and social justice that had a profound impact on American history and culture. Her papers showcase the trajectory of a life inextricably intertwined with the development of anarchism in America and Europe, with the struggle for women's equality, the fight for free speech and labor rights, as well as literary and social criticism.

Volume One, hardcover edition, UC Press

Research Program

The project's first mandate was to fill a gap in primary source material of historical figures and movements outside the mainstream of historical research, by collecting and publishing the papers of Emma Goldman in a comprehensive microfilm collection. The Emma Goldman Papers, 20,000 documents in 69 reels, was published from 1991 to 1993 by Chadwyck-Healey. The prizewinning microfilm concordance Emma Goldman: A Guide to Her Life and Documentary Sources, also a Chadwyck-Healey publication, was published in 1995.

The EGP has now digitized their 22,000 document microfilm collection as well as the additional 20,000 rare third party and background archival material currently only available at the EGP office. One can access it at The Emma Goldman Papers archive.

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. The volumes have been widely reviewed and uniformly praised-as "a magnificently scholarly . . . rich in historical information. . .a book that historians and those writing about American social movements will mine for many years to come." The volumes bring together important primary sources, selected by the editors that document Goldman's career and the radical movements at work in the first part of the twentieth century in the United States and throughout Europe. Through analytic introductions and editorial annotation, the documents are made accessible and useful to scholars, students, and researchers, with the full set of volumes providing insight into and research on the life of Emma Goldman, among the most influential women of her time, in the context of anarchist, bohemian, feminist, labor and radical movements in the United States, Canada, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and Mexico. Future plans include volumes that track Goldman's experiences after her deportation to revolutionary Russia, followed by her years of exile and involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

The Archive

The project also provides a unique secondary archive for anarchist and radical history, offering reference, research, and consultation assistance on a wide range of issues to students, scholars, and researchers on the UC Berkeley campus along with international access. The archive includes the collection of Goldman's papers--correspondence, unpublished and published writings, government surveillance reports and trial transcripts, a comprehensive newspaper clippings collection of mainstream coverage of Goldman and other contemporary radicals, a collection of radical and anarchist newspapers from the 1870's to the 1930's, as well as an incomparable collection of thoroughly researched biographical and organizational papers documenting the people and issues comprising Goldman's radical world, with much information now available for the first time.. These collections offer primary source documents that are of interest and use to scholars and researchers working in women's history, labor history, political science and philosophy, literary criticism, sociology, and cultural studies. Because Emma Goldman's interests and activities always extended across the globe, the  EGP  has long been a destination point for international scholars, most recently from the China, Japan, Mexico, and the U.K.

Volumes One and Two were available both in hardcover from UC Press and in revised paperback from the University of Illinois Press: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.  For Vol. 3 and all forthcoming volumes, please visit Stanford University Press.


Along with various courses taught on campus, and in the Bay Area, over the years, the EGP is most noted for its exceptional mentorship program. Decades of fostering historical and research skills of UC Berkeley undergraduate (and in the past, more advanced graduate) students have been coordinated through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program. Students gain hands-on experience in the skills and practice of primary source historical research and documentary editing-often launching them into select graduate programs. A limited number of interns from outside the campus who have shown a particular interest in and aptitude for the project's work are always welcome.

Volume Two, revised paperback edition, University of Illinois Press

Campus Collaboration

Along with the research Project's mentorship and open primary resource collection, the Goldman Papers' editors annually guest lecture in subject classes with tangents to the issues raised in the study of Goldman's life and times and share cutting-edge scholarship in the field.

As a campus project in Women's History, the EGP is a member of the Gender Consortium, a group that promotes unity and cooperation among various departments and research units most concerned with women and gender equality and with the history and evolution of scholarship on issues relating to sexuality and gender.

The EGP is also a partner in the ECCAI Project's innovative experimental program to improve and expand on-line research and information retrieval practices.

Public History and Outreach

EGP has developed a number of public history publications and exhibits that serve to bring the study of Goldman to public attention. These projects include:

A traveling and online exhibit, with an accompanying booklet of exhibit notes that offers an introductory narrative of Goldman's life, explores some of the issues that dominated her life and reproduces some of the documents used in the exhibit.

Three school curricula for grades 8-12 that situate Goldman and the study of her life and thought within California State curriculum. The first, "The Life and Times of Emma Goldman: A Curriculum for Middle and High School Students" was developed in association with the New Directions Curriculum Developers and the Los Angeles Educational Partnership, and was published in 1992. The second, "With Speech as My Weapon: Emma Goldman and the First Amendment," was produced in 1997 in association with the National Center for History in the Schools, University of California, Los Angeles. The third curricula created in cooperation with the Jewish Women's Archive (jwa.org) can be accessed on-line from their site or the EGP site (http://ucblibrary3.berkeley.edu/Goldman/). The EGP award-winning web site includes additional source material of particular interest to students, teachers, scholars, film makers and to cultural and political activists.

Lectures and talks on Goldman, the Emma Goldman Papers, and a wide variety of related topics remain integral to the public history contribution of the Project's Director.

Falk is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and a member of the Distinguished Speakers Bureau of the Organization for American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Jewish Women's Archive Academic Council and in the Association for Documentary Editing. Falk also served on the Joint Committee of Historians, Archivists, and Federal Records Officials. She is a frequent presenter and moderator at scholarly conferences, has acted as an outside reader for dissertations as well as sat on orals committees at universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Falk has authored and edited numerous articles, biographical encyclopedia entries, introductions, and books as well as jurying and reviewing works submitted for publication.

The EGP maintains a wide circle of supporters-a necessity and a privilege-acknowledged in its volumes and a testimony to the ways in which this historical work on Emma Goldman bridges the past and the present, and fosters collaboration between the university and the community.

Candace Falk
(510) 642-0658
Mailing address

2241 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-6030