Saturday, July 26, 2014

To Trust or Not Trust the Internet

Because I work in IT, I instinctively (and with good reason) do not trust references on the internet as 100% factual. This is due in large part to the fact that Wikipedia is so often used but it is not fact checked. Which led me to pulling out a volume from the encyclopedias I inherited from my grandparents.

These are not 1970's encyclopedias, which is why I decided to go with them. The volumed I pulled is from 1939, a much closer date to the subject I'm researching, so far better to being closer to the truth. But as I read the little article and it's note to check another topic, I did a bit more digging through the giant web of computer networks and will now need to locate a book from 1922. Sure, there's a reprint via Amazon, but I don't trust that to be correct, nor do I trust Google Books. A visit to University of Michigan may be in order, but I will call first.

The subject of my research is Margaret Sanger. She may play an integral role in my series The Scot, but I need to verify some information first. I know she was into Eugenics, but I'm unclear as to how much of it is true and if she really did agree with the Nazis and Hitler. I prefer to read her own words first before manking a final judgement.

In the meantime, here's the excerpt from my handy physical encyclopedia. Surprisingly, there are no page numbers in this book.

Source: Sanger, Margaret, (1939) in The Standard American Encyclopedia, Vol XI, REM-SIG.

Sanger, Margaret, an American advocate of birth control; born in 1882. Through her work as a nurse and social worker, she became convinced that large families with inadequate means of support offered one of the greatest problems of social progress. After studying with Havelock Ellis in London (1914-15), she became, in association with Dr. Marie Stopes, an active advocate of birth control. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1917 and opened its first clinic in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1921. The establishment was closed by police order, and its founder was sentenced to prison for 30 days. The case was finally brought before the Court of Appeals, which ruled that it was legal for physicians to give contraceptive information to protect the health of clients. In 1923, Mrs. Sanger opened the first permanent clinic in New York City. Many others soon sprang up all over the country. The International Union on Population was organized at a meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1927. See EUGENICS, Birth Control.