Max Heinrich Hermann Reinhardt Nettlau (1865-1944) was a German anarchist and historian born in Vienna, Austria. Moving to London he met anarchists such as Errico Malatesta and Peter Kropotkin, and also helped to found Freedom Press. Realising that a generation of socialist and anarchist militants from the mid-19th century was passing away and their archives of writings and correspondence being destroyed, he concentrated his efforts on acquiring and rescuing such collections from destruction. He also interviewed veteran militants for posterity. He wrote biographies of many famous anarchists, including Mikhail Bakunin, Élisée Reclus, and Errico Malatesta, as well as a seven volume history of anarchism. His extensive collection or archives was sold to the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam in 1935.
From the guide to the Max Nettlau Papers, undated, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
Born in Neuwaldegg, Austria 1865, died in Amsterdam 1944; anarchist historian, collector and scholar; studied philology and Celtic (dissertation B̀eiträge zur cymrischen Grammatik', 1887); lived partly in Vienna, partly in London and travelled all over Europe to collect and to save historical documents on anarchism and socialism and for his studies; member of the Socialist League 1885-1890, active in the Torch and Freedom group; wrote historical works on anarchism with invaluable information and theoretical studies; printed by autocopyist his biography of Michail Bakunin, 3 vols. 1896-1900, and published B̀ibliographie de l'anarchie' 1897; lost during the inflation after the First World War the money he had inherited, and lived in poverty in Vienna; continued to collect and to publish e.g. biographies of Errico Malatesta and Elisée Reclus, and a history of anarchism in 7 vols.; sold his immense collection (books, periodicals, archives, documents) to the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in 1935 and lived in Amsterdam after the Ànschluss'.
From the description of Archives c. 1873-1944. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80365963
From the description of Archives. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78520664