About the Publications

The goal of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project is to collect, assemble, and publish the papers of the noted birth control reformer in order to make them more widely accessible to students, scholars and the general public.


The Project has published:

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume III: The Politics of Planned Parenthood, 1939-1966 (University of Illinois Press, hardcover 2010)

Edited by Esther Katz

Assistant Editors Cathy Moran Hajo and Peter C. Engelman.

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The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume II: Birth Control. Comes of Age, 1928-1939 (University of Illinois Press, 2007))

Edited by Esther Katz

Associate Editors Peter C. Engelman and Cathy Moran Hajo.

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The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume I: The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928 (University of Illinois Press, hardcover 2002, paperback 2007)

Edited by Esther Katz

Assistant Editors Cathy Moran Hajo and Peter C. Engelman.

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The Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition: Smith College Collections (University Publications of America, 1996)

Edited by Esther Katz, Peter C. Engelman, Cathy Moran Hajo and Anke Voss Hubbard.

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The Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition: Collected Documents Series (University Publications of America, 1997)

Edited by Esther Katz, Cathy Moran Hajo and Peter C. Engelman.

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Margaret Sanger and the Woman Rebel, An Electronic Edition (Model Editions Partnership, 1997)

Edited by Esther Katz, Cathy Moran Hajo and Peter C. Engelman

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Link to edition




The Margaret Sanger Papers Project Newsletter
three times per year, 1991-present.

Edited by Peter C. Engelman.

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Publications in progress are:

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume IV: Round the World for Birth Control, 1920-1966. (University of Illinois Press, anticipated 2015)

The Speeches and Articles of Margaret Sanger, 1911-1959 (an electronic edition).


Publications by Project staff:

The Pivot of Civilization, by Margaret Sanger, (1922, reprint Humanity Books, 2003).

Foreword by Peter C. Engelman.

Arguably her most important and influential book, this controversial work, first published in 1922 by pioneering birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger, attempted to broaden the still-radical idea of birth control beyond its socialist and feminist roots. Moving away from a single-minded focus on women's reproductive rights to the larger issue of the general health and economic prosperity of the whole human race, Sanger argued that birth control was pivotal to a rational approach toward dealing with the threat of overpopulation and its ruinous consequences in poverty and disease. Through this book, Sanger hoped to persuade the medical establishment to assume control over contraceptive distribution, and thereby to lessen the religious, legal, and moral opposition that continued to restrict access to contraceptive information. She also introduced to Americans the link between science and sex, which hitherto had been found mainly in the work of European sexologists.

Birth Control on Main Street: Organizing Clinics in the United States, 1916-1939, by Cathy Moran Hajo (University of Illinois Press, 2010).

Unearthing individual stories and statistical records from previously overlooked birth control clinics, Cathy Moran Hajo looks past the rhetoric of the birth control movement to show the relationships, politics, and issues that defined the movement in neighborhoods and cities across the United States. Whereas previous histories have emphasized national trends and glossed over the majority of clinics, Birth Control on Main Street contextualizes individual case studies to add powerful new layers to the existing narratives on abortion, racism, eugenics, and sterilization.

A History of the Birth Control Movement in America, by Peter C. Engelman (Prager, 2011).

Following the example of Prohibition-era bootleggers, Margaret Sanger's husband, the president of the Three-In-One Oil Company, smuggled diaphragms into the United States in cartons of his lubricant. His actions are indicative of how difficult it was for women to secure effective contraception?and how determined Sanger and other activists were to afford them the ability to do so.