Research Programs: Scholarly Editions and Translations

Period of Performance

7/1/2009 - 6/30/2011

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$200,000.00 (approved)
$200,000.00 (awarded)

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger: Book and Digital Editions

FAIN: RQ-50373-09

New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Esther Katz (Project Director: November 2008 to June 2012)

The final stages of preparation of volume 3, and preparation of volume 4, which will be the final volume of the print edition.

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, a four-volume book edition, highlights the events that propelled Margaret Sanger's (1879-1966) leadership of the birth control movement, the nature and direction of that leadership, and the strategies, ideas and controversies that characterized this crusade. This proposal seeks funding to complete our final volume, "'Round the World for Birth Control: 1920-1966" and develop the infrastructure for the digital publication of topic-based document groups that will link the narrative flow of the selected book edition with the breadth and comprehensiveness of the microfilm. Our goal in creating a digital Sanger Papers is not to replicate the book or the microfilm, but to take advantage of the unique strengths of the digital medium to create an innovative, fully searchable, documents-based publication that will meet the increased needs of scholars and students, and satisfy future expectations for dynamic publication.

Media Coverage

Review (Review)
Author(s): Anonymous
Date: 12/10/2021
Abstract: With two volumes already in print, most certainly UIP’s publication of the letters of this major contributor to 20th century American life must be continued. By telling the story of Sanger’s struggles to make birth control a central and acceptable practice, the volumes document the controversies regarding this significant issue, one that extends well beyond U.S. borders and into the 21st century. The editors have produced a commendably balanced account, explaining the outcomes, both positive and negative, of MS’s efforts. MS is not lionized. . . .Her quarrels with colleagues such as Juliet Rublee, Dorothy Brush, and institutions, chiefly the Roman Catholic Church, are fully documented. From MS’s vivid, informal prose, we get a sense of how she conducted business. The general introduction and introductions to each chapter are concise and well-written, free from annoying jargon.”

Associated Products

The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger: Volume 3: The Politics of Planned Parenthood, 1939-1966 (Book)
Title: The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger: Volume 3: The Politics of Planned Parenthood, 1939-1966
Author: Margaret Sanger
Editor: Esther Katz
Editor: Cathy Moran Hajo, Assoc. ed.
Editor: Peter Engelman, Assoc. Ed,
Abstract: Volume III begins with the outbreak of war in Europe, Sanger's initial opposition to American entry and her worry over her two sons serving in the armed forces. The war years were quiet ones for her, as she officially retired from the Birth Control Federation of America (renamed Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942) and moved to Tucson to tend her ailing husband. But Sanger's continuing efforts to direct the birth control movement from afar according to her beliefs ran into opposition from BCFA leaders in New York. The divisive issues include the Negro Project, which Sanger hoped would bring birth control service to African-American women in the rural South through education undertaken by black community leaders, doctors and nurses; to clashes over Sanger's opposition to the transformation of birth control clinics into women's health and infertility centers. In the post-war years Sanger concentrated on the pursuit of her decades-long dream of finding an effective non-barrier method of birth control. This volume traces Sanger's influence on the development of the first birth control pill, released in 1960. The volume concludes with Sanger's final years in which she surveyed and evaluated her life and work. In particular, her letters regarding the disposition of her papers and her correspondence with biographer Lawrence Lader provide an apt summary of her career.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Publisher web page
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Project web page
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 978-025203372
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes