BERGER, Victor Luitpold, 1860-1929


Campaign button, c. 1925, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

Guide to Research Collections

Wisconsin Historical Society
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: 1862-1980, 14.6 cubic feet.
The papers document Victor L. Berger and his wife, Meta, longtime member (and first woman president) of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, and prominent in the Socialist Party and in women’s rights, education, and peace issues. Included is correspondence, congressional files and mailings, scrapbooks, speeches and writings, Social Democratic Party and Social-Democratic Publishing Company records, papers of their daughters, and other papers. Extensive family correspondence documents Victor and Meta Berger’s personal and public lives and views. Victor Berger’s general correspondence, some in German and Yiddish, contains information on Socialist Party politics, policy, and leadership, particularly in the 1920s; U.S. economic conditions and policies; the International Socialist Congresses of 1910 and 1925; divergent Socialist attitudes towards World War I; and the formation of the Conference for Progressive Political Action which endorsed Robert M. La Follette, Sr., for President in 1924. Also included is an unpublished biography of Victor Berger by daughter Doris; legal documentation of Victor Berger’s 1918-1919 trial under the Espionage Act, and of subsequent hearings in the House of Representatives on the question of seating him; and campaign materials, 1894-1928, some in German and Polish. Meta Berger’s papers contain correspondence, 1907-1914; the manuscript of an unpublished autobiography; speeches and writings; notebooks written during her husband’s trial, and during a 1935 trip to Russia; a diary of her travels to a disarmament conference in Geneva, 1932; and some Krak (Krack) and Schlichting family papers. Also included are miscellaneous personal papers of the Bergers’ two daughters, Elsa Berger Edelman and Doris Berger Welles Hursley. This collection is completely available on microfilm. Portions are also available in paper form. Originals of some of the microfilmed materials are in the Social Democratic Party collection at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. A register is available in the repository.


Huntington Library
Manuscripts Department
San Marino, CA
Papers: In the Frances Nacke Noel/Job Harriman Papers, ca. 1889-1986, approximately 1,452 items.
Other authors include Victor L. Berger. An unpublished inventory is available in the library.


Library Council of Metropolitan Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: In the Socialist Party (Wis.) Records, 1897-1955, 12 cubic feet.
Other authors include Victor L. Berger.


Milwaukee County Historical Society
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: In Socialist Party collection.
A large part of the collection is Berger’s correspondence (1897-1919), some speeches, and notes. Unpublished guide in repository.


Milwaukee Jewish Historical Society
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: 1921-1929, 0.3 cubic foot.
The papers contain a photograph of Victor Berger as Socialist Party presidential candidate, and letters.


Milwaukee Public Library
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: 1911-1929. 2 boxes.
Primarily about his struggle against the Espionage Act and his expulsion from Congress. Includes speeches, clippings, campaign literature, and public documents.


Swarthmore College
Peace Collection
Swarthmore, PA
Papers: 1919-1926, 0.5 linear inch.
The papers document Victor Berger of Wisconsin and four Socialist co-defendants who were convicted of conspiracy in violation of the Espionage Act and were sentenced to 20 years at Leavenworth Prison. The verdict was unsuccessfully appealed.


University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA
Papers: A letter from Victor L. Berger to George Sylvester Viereck written on March 17, 1926. In the letter, Victor Berger thanks George Viereck for his support on the Versailles pact; sends a copy of the Congressional Record on the subject; requests continued cooperation.



University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Division of Archives and Special Collections, Golda Meir Library
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: In the John Goadby Gregory Papers, 1846-1946, 1.6 cubic feet.
Other authors include Victor Berger.