UM Library, “A Revolution Worth Having: Emma Goldman at 150”

The Special Collections Research Center is thrilled to announce the opening of our latest exhibit, “A Revolution Worth Having: Emma Goldman at 150,” on view on the 6th floor of Hatcher Graduate Library from June 3rd to August 1st.

This exhibit pays tribute to one of the most distinctive figures represented in our collection, and is dedicated to the memory of the friends and comrades who have nourished and sustained the relationship between Emma and the Labadie Collection over the years. The majority of the items on display are being exhibited to the public for the first time.

Goldman’s connection to the library dates back to at least 1906, when she first corresponded with Jo Labadie. Labadie’s personal collection of anarchist materials would eventually become the Joseph A. Labadie Collection under the stewardship of its first curator, Agnes Inglis. Goldman subsequently made several visits to Ann Arbor and Detroit, giving lectures and seeing her friend Inglis. Never one to hide her opinions, the famously cantankerous Goldman made her distaste for the area known. One 1911 newspaper headline read: “Anarchist Leader Tells What She Thinks of Detroit and Ann Arbor — ‘Pampered Parasites,’ She Calls Students; Roasts Weak-Hearted Radicals Here.” Inglis later reminisced in a letter to Goldman, “You said if you had to choose between living in Ann Arbor and going to jail, you would choose to go to jail.”

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