The first goal of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project was to gather together her voluminous personal papers and make them readily available to the public. Preserving them on microfilm guaranteed their survival and enabled researchers who were not located at the repositories that held the collections to search through the entire corpus of Sanger's Papers.
From 1986-1996, the Margaret Sanger Papers Project organized and microfilmed the Smith College collection of Margaret Sanger's papers, and located and collected Sanger documents from over one hundred other collections. We organized and indexed the documents, and assembled a two-series, state of the art microfilm edition of over 60,000 papers and records. The Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition (101 reels) was published in 1996 by University Publications of America, with a printed reel guide and name and title index to each series. The microfilm edition, now available in over twenty five libraries from Ankara to Detroit, enables chiefly scholars and students to make use of Sangerís papers in their entirety.
In the 1940s, Margaret Sanger donating what she called her "professional papers" to the Library of Congress. In reality, this collection, much as the "personal" one she donated to Smith College, documents both her professional and personal life, and neither one is complete on its own. The Library of Congress collection was microfilmed in 1977, and the Sanger Project has completed a draft index to the Sanger documents on that microfilm (the reels also include records created by . Sanger's birth control organizations). We currently seek funds to proofread, correct and standardize the Library of Congress index with the indexes produced for our two microfilm series. This integrated index, giving access to the entire corpus of Sanger Papers, will be published by University Publications of America. We also intend to make the index available on the World Wide Web, broadening access to the material. Eventually we hope to use it as the basis for a web-based version of the microfilm.
We continue to gather Sanger documents and anticipate issuing an addendum microfilm that will include documents unearthed since the publication of the microfilm edition in 1996.
Photo of Sanger at her desk, n.d. courtesy of the Sophia Smith Collection.
Revised: May 3, 2010