NEW to the "The Militant" page on Marxists Internet Archive:

November 2017: Over the last year or two Pathfinder Press / the SWP have begun to post on its web site pdf files of The Militant in the range of 1928–1971.

Of the material posted there, the images of The Militant in the period of 1928 - 1971 (they have up as of this writing 1944–1971) are re-worked versions of the images of The Militant scanned by the Riazanov Library digital archive project and posted on for the last nearly 10 years. This more than 3 year long project involved the scanning of every page of every issue of The Militant, from 1928 through 1971, using (for the larger size paper issues) a flat bed broadsheet paper scanner, from original issues of the paper held mostly by Holt Labor Library. Committed to making the best possible quality images of this important left periodical freely available to all, Holt Labor Library allowed its many dozens of bound volumes of fragile old newspaper to be unbound, rendered into single sheets, and scanned on a flat bed scanner by the Riazanov Library digital archive project.

We warmly welcome the arrival of the improved, re-worked images of this material. It can be accessed HERE:

The “re-working” is significant, and in many ways adds utility and function to the material we original scanned. By far most important, the new set of scans has optical character recognition (OCR) embedded in the scans, unlike the scans we posted. Making it searchable for given words or phrases. They have also re-worked the images, removing much of the noise, shadowing at the edges of the paper (that was due to added browning of the original pages scanned), and other flaws, so that the images they present are somewhat clearer and higher contrast than the images we originally provided. Their posted pdf files are also reduced resolution, mostly (prior to 1967) at 150 dpi 8 bit gray scale. While this is a relatively low resolution compared to the original 300 dpi gray scale at which the scans were made, this lowered resolution combined with the “cleaning up” of noise from the scans results in far more compact files, making for faster downloading, easier storage on smaller devices (tablets), etc. Because screen resolution on must devices currently is 100 dpi or less, as long as these 150 dpi scans are not magnified they look perfectly fine displayed on a screen.

[Note that scans of The Militant made by us after 1966 and through 1971 were made by us at 600 dpi single bit BW, mostly (with some use of gray scale for some of the photo content), and in the re-worked versions with OCR that resolution has been retained.]

The higher resolution original scans, still available here with the text indexes also created by the Riazanov Library digital archive project are still available here. But now MIA is beginning to post, in addition to these, the re-working of the Riazanov Library scans made by Pathfinder press / The / the SWP.

The original scans made by the Riazanov Library project remain superior sources of the material for those interested in the graphic art of The Militant. But for most if not all text-oriented purposes (outside of reprinting the bit image of the paper ... a highly unlikely use) the re-worked images likely will prove a superior source material. And in all fairness ... especially if only screen display is at issue ... the rendition of the cartoon and other graphics in the re-processed files is quite acceptable. Note that the Riazanov Library digital archive project is currently planning on re-doing scans of original pages of The Militant to produce extra high resolution (600 and 1200 dpi) images of the graphic art in the paper, but it's not clear when this relatively intended major project will either start or end at this time.

Legal Note: Material published between 1923 and 1977 that does not bear a copyright notice (and this applies to issues of The Militant in this period) is in the public domain. “Slavish reproductions” of such material (and this specifically includes photographs and digital scans of the material) are also in the public domain. Addition of OCR to a digital scan is not considered copyright-able added content (tho addition of tables of contents and indexes IS). Thus both our originally-made scans posted here and the reworking of them by Pathfinder Press which is now on their web site and which we are adding to this site are also in public domain, and may be freely downloaded and redistributed in any fashion. We do request that if you are involved in mass re-distribution of this material you credit the Riazanov Library digital archive project and note the material first appeared on If you re-distribute the enhanced scans, we would think it right you credit those at / Pathfinder press for their contribution to those scans, and note those scans were originally first posted at the web site.

Please do not forget: while we at the Riazanov Library digital archive project and are responsible (by dint of great effort and expense) for originally making this material freely and widely available to researchers, scholars, and the workers movement in digital form, it was the SWP and those writing for The Militant at the times these issues of the paper were published who originally created the content.

Martin H. Goodman MD
director, Riazanov Library digital archive project

David Walters

P.S. As our own project scanning The Militant currently ends with 1971 as the last year scanned, any scans of The Militant found on the web site for issues after 1971 were obviously and certainly not reworkings of scans we made.


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Last updated on December 2017