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February 24, 2003

First Volumes in Published Papers of Margaret Sanger and Jane Addams To Be Highlighted at Library of Congress

Esther Katz, editor-in-chief of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University, and Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, editor-in-chief of the Jane Addams Papers Project at Duke University, will be the featured speakers at a Women's History Month program -- "Women's Activism and Social Change: Documenting the Lives of Margaret Sanger and Jane Addams" -- at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 24 in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. in Washington, D.C. The event celebrates the publication of the first volumes in the Sanger and Addams papers projects, both published by the University of Illinois Press.

Part of the Center for the Book's Books & Beyond author series, the program is co- sponsored by the Library's Manuscript Division and presented in cooperation with the University of Illinois Press. Janice E. Ruth, women's history specialist in the Manuscript Division, will present brief opening remarks and introduce the speakers. A small exhibit of original Sanger and Addams documents from the Library's collections will be on display.

Margaret Sanger, birth control crusader, feminist and reformer, was one of the most controversial and compelling figures of the 20th century. The first volume of "The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger," titled "The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928," documents the critical phases and influences of an American feminist icon and offers rare glimpses into her working-class childhood, burgeoning feminism, spiritual and scientific interests, sexual explorations, and diverse roles as wife, mother, nurse, journalist, radical socialist and activist.

Esther Katz, editor and director of the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, is also adjunct professor of history at New York University. She is the co-editor of "Women's Experience in America" and author of many articles on Sanger and women's history.

Known primarily as an outspoken pacifist, progressive reformer, and the founder of Hull House, Jane Addams was the leading public intellectual of her era. She powerfully influenced public opinion and policies on social welfare, educational innovation, urban reform, and women's and labor rights. As a seasoned feminist organizer, she was integral to the formation of the international women's peace movement in response to World War I, for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. The first volume of "The Selected Papers of Jane Addams," titled "Preparing to Lead, 1860-81," documents Addams' formative years, providing heretofore unavailable insight into her developing ideas, seminary education, family life and friendships within the context of 19th-century Illinois.

The editor of the Jane Addams Papers Project at Duke University, Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, also led the team of editors that produced "The Jane Addams Papers: A Comprehensive Guide." Along with Allen F. Davis, she co-edited "100 Years at Hull House" and served as the former curator of the Jane Addams Hull-House at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The rich women's history holdings of the Manuscript Division span all time periods, classes, races and occupations and are among the finest and most comprehensive anywhere. Beginning in 1942, the division started to assemble a collection of Margaret Sanger's personal papers, which grew to include more than 130,000 items of correspondence, diaries, articles, speeches, scrapbooks, printed matter, organizational records and photographs related to Sanger's extensive activities on behalf of birth control in the United States and abroad.

Although the Manuscript Division does not own a separate collection of Jane Addams Papers, letters and documents written by and to this famous reformer are found in many of the division's holdings, including the papers of Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, John Adams Kingsbury, Booker T. Washington and members of the La Follette family. The Manuscript Division also holds copies of the cumulative microfilm editions of the Sanger and Addams papers, which were reproduced from originals in repositories throughout the world by the projects led by Esther Katz and Mary Lynn McCree Bryan.

Pamphlets, books, photographs, news interviews, and film clips of both Sanger and Addams may be found in the Library's general collections, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, the Prints and Photographs Division, and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. These and other Library collections are described in the recently published "American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States."

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading and literacy. For information about its programs, publications, and forthcoming events and the activities of its affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, consult its Web site at http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/.

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PR 03-035
02/24/03
ISSN 0731-3527

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