About the Digital Edition
The Public Writings and Speeches of Margaret Sanger, 1911-1960 is a digital edition of Margaret Sanger's speeches and articles and a companion to the four-volume Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger. This edition provides readers with an in-depth look at the changing rhetoric of the birth control movement and its relationship with feminism, radicalism, eugenics, public policy and population control. Covering almost sixty years of activism, this digital edition edition will provide access to material that until now has been available only in hard to find journals or on microfilm.
Sanger's writings range from early socialist-inspired articles on sex education and birth control in journals such as the New York Call and International Socialist Review, to her articles on birth control, immigration, sterilization and eugenics published in the Birth Control Review and other journals in the 1920's and 1930s. It also contains Sanger's articles and speeches on post-World War II international population policy, race and her role in the movement. The digital edition will also include such diverse speeches as her 1921 address on the morality of birth control, her 1929 speech on free speech and censorship, and her post World War II addresses on the impact of the population policies of Japan and India.
These speeches and articles are of interest to both her supporters and detractors, and among the materials readers and researcher seek most. As these documents are often quoted (and misquoted), and employed without context, they provide potent and fascinating entry into many of the major debates of the 20th century. The approximately 600 documents will be searchable both by text searches and by a detailed subject index prepared by the Sanger Project editors.
The Public Writings and Speeches of Margaret Sanger, 1911-1960 includes speeches, articles, pamphlets, editorials, letters to editors, and public statements made by the leader of the American birth control movement. Excluded from this edition are correspondence, organizational materials, testimonies, diaries, journals edited by Sanger (though her articles are included) manuscripts and published books and other miscellaneous material. Almost all the documents in this edition appear in the Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition (MSM) or the microfilmed collection of Margaret Sanger Papers at the Library of Congress (LCM).
We located 1,400 documents which fit our broad selection criteria above, and narrowed the selection to approximately 600 by using the following criteria.
1) When there are multiple versions of a document, only one will be included in the digital edition. Some of the documents excluded are exact duplicates, while others represent draft versions. All of these documents are available on the project's microfilm edition, and comments about their whereabouts are included in the digital edition.
2) When selecting which document to include we chose the version closest to Sanger's intent as possible. In the case of articles, we use the published version unless it has been excerpted. We use the original publication of articles whenever possible, for example, preferring an article which appeared in an outside journal to a later reprint in Sanger’s Birth Control Review. In the case of speeches we select the version closest to the one that Sanger offered in person; this means that a speaking text will be preferred over a later published version. In the case of unpublished writings, we generally select the one which appears to the be the latest version by comparing emendations. We do not annotate the changes in drafts to final versions, but refer interested readers to the variant versions of the document on the microfilm. Exact duplicates are not remarked upon.
3) We have excluded fragments and partial speeches and articles that take the form of loose notes and outlines. Again, these materials are available on microfilm for the interested reader. A full listing of Sanger's writings, with microfilm citations will be made available on this website.
The documents were transcribed by the staff of the Margaret Sanger Papers from photocopies, and when needed from the microfilm or the original manuscript. Transcriptions have been proofread by the transcribers once, and by project editors again, in paired teams.
In an effort to render documents more legible, certain standard formatting has been applied to all text. Original paragraphing has been preserved, with a standard 5-space indentation, but original line- and page-breaks have not. All new sentences are begun with a capital letter and terminal punctuation has been added to sentences if lacking. Original capitalization within sentences has been retained, as has punctuation (or lack of it). The one exception to this rule is that incomplete quotation marks and parenthesis will be silently completed if the editors can determine their placement. Emphasis, such as capitalization, underlining, italics and bold text have been preserved. When capitalization, italics and the like appear in the documents merely as a stylistic devices in published texts (e.g. the first three words of Birth Control Review articles are often capitalized, or entire articles printed in italics), we have ignored them.
Typographical and spelling errors have been silently corrected, as are slips of the pen (usually repeated words) in the interests of enabling accurate text searching. Deletions in the texts, usually rendered by strike-out have been retained, as have insertions in the text, which have been rendered with arrows to mark the beginning and end of the insertion. Only deletions and additions made by Sanger have been applied to the texts. Margin notes with substantive content, made by Sanger are treated as insertions and moved to the place where they are to appear when the editors can determine it. Otherwise they are rendered at the bottom of the transcription with a note explaining their location in the original (ex. note written on top of first page reads:”) Filing directions, initials, and other routine marginalia have not been transcribed.
In documents where the text has been damaged, is missing, or has been marked up, editors have attempted to supplied words which are difficult to read. All text supplied by editors has been rendered in [square brackets and italics] and if the text is unclear, a question mark is added to it [example?]. When portions of the text is missing, an editorial insertion describing the portion missing is added [Last page(s) missing].
The Public Writings and Speeches of Margaret Sanger, 1911-1960 does not provide traditional annotation in the form of explanatory footnotes or endnotes keyed to text. Instead we have provided is limited to short descriptive headnotes which link related documents, situate the context of a speech and refer the reader to other versions of the same document.
Within the XML tagging, editors have expanded partial names of individuals, organizations, conferences, and publication titles to facilitate searching. They have also provided a subject index to the documents which can be searched in tandem with text-searches.
The editors have marked all quotations within the documents, and when possible, identified the author.
This digital edition uses a version of the Model Editions Partnership DTD to encode its documents. For details on the encoding scheme, consult the firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Access and Restrictions
The Margaret Sanger Papers Project has received copyright permission to publish the writings of Margaret Sanger. The transcriptions and other intellectual property in this digitial edition may not be used or republished without the consent of the Project and copyright holders.
We have provided information about the original source of all documents in the header material. To obtain copies of orignial documents, please contact the holding repository directly.
Revised: Apr. 4, 2011