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Finding Aid for the Daughters of Bilitis records, 1955-1986
1946  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Daughters of Bilitis records
    Date (inclusive): 1955-1986
    Collection number: 1946
    Creator: Daughters of Bilitis.
    Extent: 12 document boxes (6 linear ft.)
    Abstract: The Daughters of Bilitis was founded by four lesbian couples in San Francisco in 1955. Its original purpose was to counteract the loneliness they felt as lesbians, though the organization increasingly began to focus on educating lesbians about their rights and on lobbying efforts. This collection includes documents related to the organization's national and local chapters. It also includes personal correspondence to and from two of the original founders, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, as well as documents from several other homophile organizations.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Provenance unknown. This collection is part of an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) and the UCLA Library.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Molly S. Jacobs, 2011-2012.

    Sponsor

    The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive  at UCLA is an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives , the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)  and the UCLA Library . These collections expand the pool of primary source materials available to researchers and to the community at large. This partnership was initiated by CSW and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to inventory, organize, preserve, and digitize more than eighty Mazer collections pertaining to lesbian and feminist activism and writings.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Daughters of Bilitis records (Collection 1946). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Biography/History

    The Daughters of Bilitis was founded by four lesbian couples in San Francisco in 1955. Its original purpose was to counteract the loneliness they felt as lesbians, though the organization increasingly began to focus on educating lesbians about their rights and on lobbying efforts. The organization began publishing a newsletter, The Ladder, in 1956, and had expanded to five chapters across the U.S. by 1959.
    The organization began holding National Conventions in 1960, inviting members and speakers from across the country. The conventions provided members the opportunity to discuss the organization, and the group's original focus on conformity and integration was often a heated topic. Many members wanted to see the organization more involved in the direct action politics that had increasingly become employed by other organizations as the 1960s progressed.
    Conflict within the organization, between the San Francisco and New York chapters in particular, continued and the National Chapter eventually disbanded in 1970. Local chapters continued to function independently, though The Ladder too folded in 1972.

    Scope and Content

    The Daughters of Bilitis records includes documents related to the organization's national and local chapters. It also includes personal correspondence to and from two of the original founders, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, as well as documents from several other homophile organizations.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    • Series 1: National Organization, 1955-1977
    • Series 2: San Francisco Chapter, 1956-1978
    • Series 3: Other Chapters, 1960-1979
    • Series 4: Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Correspondence, 1969-1983
    • Series 5: Other Organizations, 1958-1985
    • Series 6: Miscellaneous, 1960-1986

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Martin, Del --Correspondence.
    Lyon, Phyllis --Correspondence.
    Daughters of Bilitis --Archives.
    Social groups --United States --Archival resources.
    Gay liberation movement --United States --Archival resources.
    Lesbian community --United States.

    Related Material

    More documents related to the Daughters of Bilitis can be found in the Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Papers   held at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, CA.