Narrative

The Goldman-Berkman Papers project will highlight a dynamic moment in Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman's public and personal lives. Between the years of 1914 and 1917 Berkman and Goldman fought against the draft for World War I, unfair treatment of anarchists and also against their eventual deportation. Exhibiting correspondences, speeches and legal documents, the collection will show the couple's struggle to be anarchists in a time when anarchy was demonized and made illegal by the US government. The project will especially highlight their 1919 case, which argued that the Anarchist Law of 1917 and 1918 that said that anyone that held believed in/support anarchism could be deported, was unconstitutional based on the First Amendment. The lawyer for Berkman and Goldman, Mr. Harry Weinberger, argued that under the first amendment, they had the constitutional right to be and support anarchy. This project aims to make available the powerful materials that document the Goldman-Berkman collections. By partnering with the University of California at Berkley Emma Goldman Paper project, updated and never before seen correspondences and articles written to and by Emma Goldman will be digitized and posted for public viewing. The outcome will be a more easy to use and sophisticated web site that highlights primary sources as well as interpretive pieces. The collection is only available at the Tamiment & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University.

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