Finding aid of the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Collection Coll2008.069 Coll2008-069

Loni Shibuyama
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2008
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007
askone@usc.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen collection
creator: Gittings, Barbara
creator: Tobin, Kay
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2008-069
Physical Description: 1.1 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1962-2007
Abstract: News clippings, journal articles, pamphlets, flyers, printed materials from activist organizations, photographs, a videocassette and a DVD relating to pioneering lesbian activists Barbara Gittings and her partner of 46 years, Kay Tobin Lahusen. Active from the 1960s, Gittings marched in the first gay rights demonstrations at the White House, Pentagon and Independence Hall; she worked with Frank Kameny to persuade the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders; and she headed the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association from 1971 to 1986. The collection contains articles by and about Gittings and Lahusen; subject files covering a variety of topics, such as religion, mental health and education; and printed material from several activist organizations, including the Gay Task Force of the ALA, the Homophile Action League, the Mattachine Society, the Gay Activist Alliance and the National Gay Task Force.
Physical Description: (3 archive cartons).
Storage Unit: 1

Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Box #, folder #, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Collection , Coll2008-069, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kay Tobin Lahusen, 2007.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, December 17, 2008.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Biography

Barbara Gittings was born on July 31, 1932, in Vienna, Austria, where her father was stationed as a United States diplomat. Returning to the U.S., the family eventually settled in Wilmington, Delaware. She entered Northwestern University and soon came out as a lesbian. She left Northwestern after her freshman year, settled in Philadelphia and supported herself with clerical jobs.
In 1958 she began her long career as a gay rights advocate when she founded the first East Coast chapter of Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) and later edited its national lesbian magazine, The Ladder, from 1963 - 1966. It was around this time when Gittings met the woman who would be her partner for 46 years, Kay Tobin Lahusen. In the mid-1960s, Gittings marched in the first gay demonstrations at the White House, Pentagon and Independence Hall. During the 1970s, Gittings became a charter member of the boards of directors for both the National Gay Task Force (1973) and the Gay Rights National Lobby (1976). At this time, she was also active in the American Psychiatric Association, running gay exhibits at APA conferences and working with prominent gay rights activist Dr. Frank Kameny to persuade the Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Though she is not a librarian, Gittings became involved in the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association, the first gay caucus in a professional association. From 1971 to 1986, she headed the group and campaigned to get positive gay and lesbian materials into libraries and out to users and to end discrimination against gay library workers and patrons. In 2003, the ALA awarded her with a lifetime honorary membership.
Kay Tobin Lahusen is a photojournalist, writer and activist who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1932. She later moved to Boston, where she worked in the reference library of the Christian Science Monitor.
Her life as a gay rights activist began in 1961 when she joined the Daughters of Bilitis, where she met the woman who would become her life partner, Barbara Gittings. Soon after, she moved to Philadelphia to live with Gittings. During the mid-1960s, Lahusen marched in the earliest picket lines for gay rights, and in 1970, she became one of the founding members of the Gay Activists Alliance in New York. She also worked in the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, wrote for the newspaper, Gay, and was active in the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association. In 1972, she co-authored a book of biographies of gay activists, The Gay Crusaders (1972).
Throughout their lives, Gittings and Lahusen continued to advocate for gay rights causes. Their 46-year partnership ended on February 18, 2007 when Gittings died of breast cancer at the age of 74 at their home in Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Collection contains news clippings, journal articles, flyers, pamphlets, photographs, a DVD videodisc, a VHS videocassette, and other materials related to Gittings and Lahusen's activities in the gay and lesbian liberation movement. The collection is divided into two series: (1) Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Personal Materials, and (2) Organizational and Subject Files. The bulk of the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Personal Materials series consists of photocopies of their personal papers, including articles and speeches written by them. Other materials include photographs, correspondence, and news clippings referencing them. The Organizational and Subject Files series contains news clippings, journal articles, a VHS videotape, a DVD videodisc, and other materials related to Gittings' work on the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association; advocacy on behalf of prominent gay rights activist Frank Kameny; public outreach and education on gay and lesbian issues; and participation in a number of gay rights organizations. The series also includes subject files on such topics as mental health and psychiatry, university education, employment discrimination, families, and religion.

Related Material

Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Gay History Papers and Photographs, Archives and Manuscripts Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Separated Material

The following publications have been separated from the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen collection and entered into the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' database:
Tobin, Kay and Randy Wicker. The Gay Crusaders. New York: Paperback Library, 1972.
The Advocate
Armed Forces Informer
Capitol Hill: The Newsletter of the Gay Rights National Lobby
Central Michigan Gayzette
Come Out! A Newspaper By and For the Gay Community
Concern: Newsletter of the Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile
Connexion: UMHE
Daughters of Bilitis / New York Newsletter
Daughters of Bilitis Philadelphia Chapter Newsletter
Dorian Collumns: Dorian Society of Seattle
Eastern Mattachine Magazine
Focus: Orange County
Gay Academic Union Journal: Gai Saber
The Gay Alternative
The Gay Blade
Gay Vue
Gayzette: The Weekly Philadelphia Gayzette
Homophile Action League Newsletter
Homosexual Counseling Journal: The Quarterly Journal of the Homosexual Community Counseling Center
Interchange: National Gay Student Center
The Ladder
Mattachine Midwest Newsletter
Metropolitan Community Church: Community News Calendar
Mother
Motive
New Gay Life
New York Mattachine Newsletter
On the Line: The Newsletter of the Gay Rights National Lobby
One: The Homosexual Viewpoint
One-to-One: A Lesbian / Feminist Journal of Communication
Our Community
The Phoenix: Midwest Homophile Voice
Pursuit & Symposium
Wicce: A Lesbian / Feminist Newspaper

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Lesbians -- Civil rights
Lesbian activists
Gay and lesbian rights
Gay activists -- United States -- History
Gays -- Civil rights
Gay liberation movement
Gittings, Barbara
Tobin, Kay
Gittings, Barbara
Tobin, Kay

 

Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Personal Materials Series 1. 1966-2007

Physical Description: 0.2 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of news clippings, correspondence, flyers, programs, typescripts, and other materials by or directly referencing Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen. The bulk of this material consists of photocopies of their personal papers, including articles and speeches written by Gittings and Lahusen, as well as programs from Gittings' memorial service.
 

Barbara Gittings 1966 - 2007

Box 1, Folder 1

Biographical information 1994 - 2006

Box 1, Folder 2

Correspondence 1967 - 1974

Box 1, Folder 3

Flyers and programs circa 1975 - 2006

Box 1, Folder 4

Interviews 1981 - 2006

Box 1, Folder 5

Memorial service programs 2007

Box 1, Folder 6

Writings and speeches by Barbara Gittings 1966 - 1990

 

Kay Tobin Lahusen 1970 - 2002

Box 1, Folder 7

Biographical information date unknown

Box 1, Folder 8

Articles by Kay Tobin Lahusen 1970 - 2002

Box 1, Folder 9 - 10

News clippings referencing Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen 1969 - 2007

Physical Description: 2 folders.
Box 3, Folder 2

Photographs 1965-1972

Scope and Contents

Seven Kay Tobin Lahusen black-and-white photographic prints. Includes images of the 1965 protest of the Pentagon and White House; 1966 protest at Independence Hall, Philadelphia; and Philadelphia Gay Activists Alliance, undated; as well as images of Barabra Gittings, Phyllis Lyon, and Del Martin.
 

Organizational and Subject Files Series 2. 1962-2007

Physical Description: 0.9 Linear Feet

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of news clippings, journal articles, bibliographies, flyers, pamphlets, a VHS videocassette, a DVD videodisc, and other materials related in particular to Gittings' activities in various organizations in the gay and lesbian liberation movement, including the American Library Association's Gay Task Force, the National Gay Task Force, the Homophile Action League, as well as a number of other organizations and activist causes. The series also includes subject files on such topics as religion, university education, family, legal matters, police harassment, and mental health and psychiatry.
Box 1, Folder 11

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 1967 - 1975

Box 1, Folder 12

American Library Association Gay Task Force 1970 - 1988

Box 1, Folder 13

Atlanta, City of. Proclamation: Gay Pride Day June 26, 1976

Box 1, Folder 14

Bibliographies, book reviews and press material 1967 - 2004

Box 1, Folder 15

Cartoons 1974 - 1978

Box 1, Folder 16

Committee to Fight Exclusion of Homosexuals from the Armed Forces 1967 - 1969

Box 1, Folder 17

Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) 1965 - 1974

Box 1, Folder 18

Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) 1965 - 1970

Box 1, Folder 19

Dignity 1971 - 1974

Box 1, Folder 20

Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations 1967 - 1970

Box 1, Folder 21

Employment discrimination 1964 - 1975

Box 1, Folder 22

Essays on Homosexuality, No. 1 and 4 circa 1969 - 1970

 

Film, video and media 1967 - 2005

Box 1, Folder 23

General 1967 - 2003

Box 1, Folder 24 ; 3, Folder 2 - 3

Gay Pioneers 2004

Physical Description: 1 press kit + 1 videocassette (VHS) + 1 videodisc (DVD).
Box 1, Folder 25

Frank, Barney, State Representative for Ward 5 date unknown

Box 1, Folder 26

Gay Academic Union (GAU) 1975

Box 1, Folder 27

Gay Activist Alliance (GAA) 1970 - 1973

Box 1, Folder 28

Gay Alliance Toward Equality date unknown

Box 1, Folder 29

Gay Community Pamphlets, Vol. 1, No. 1 and 3 1975

Box 1, Folder 30

Gay Community Services Center date unknown

Box 1, Folder 31

Gay Liberation Front (GLF) 1970 - 1972

Box 1, Folder 32

Gay Nurses' Alliance circa 1979

Box 1, Folder 33

Gay pride festivals and parade flyers 1970 - 1973

Box 1, Folder 34

Gay Support and Action Group 1974 - 1975

Box 1, Folder 35

Homophile Action League 1969 - 1971

Box 1, Folder 36

Janus Society date unknown

Box 1, Folder 37

Fryer, John E., MD memorial photograph 2003

Box 1, Folder 38

Kameny, Frank 1969 - 1971

Box 1, Folder 39

Karlsson, Gene, Open Letter from 1965

Box 2, Folder 1

Legislation and legal issues 1968 - 1975

 

Mattachine Society 1962 - 1969

Box 2, Folder 2

Mattachine Society of New York 1965

Box 2, Folder 3

Mattachine Society of Philadelphia 1965

Box 2, Folder 4

Mattachine Society of Washington 1962 - 1969

Box 2, Folder 5

Mental health and psychiatry 1964 - 1975

Box 2, Folder 6

Minnesota Council for the Church and the Homophile 1970 - 1971

Box 2, Folder 7

National Committee for Sexual Civil Liberties date unknown

Box 2, Folder 8

National Gay Mobilizing Center date unknown

Box 2, Folder 9

National Gay Task Force 1969 - 1980

Box 2, Folder 10

National Institute of Mental Health Task Force on Homosexuality: Final Report and Background Papers 1972

Box 2, Folder 11

National Organization for Women 1975

Box 2, Folder 12

North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO) 1968 - 1969

Box 2, Folder 13

Parents, children and families 1973 - 1980

Box 2, Folder 14

People's Party flyer 1972

Box 2, Folder 15

Philadelphia Gay Movement Conference April 5 - 7, 1974

Box 2, Folder 16

Police harassment and entrapment circa 1971 - 1980

Box 2, Folder 17

Queens Liberation Front circa 1971

Box 2, Folder 18

Religion 1966 - 1976

Box 2, Folder 19

Society of Individual Rights (SIR) date unknown

Box 2, Folder 20

Stonewall Chorale program February 9, 1985

Box 2, Folder 21

Teachers, students and education 1970 - 1976

Box 2, Folder 22

Tretter (Jean-Nickolaus) Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies 2003 - 2006

 

Universities 1965 - 1976

Box 2, Folder 23

Columbia University Student Homophile League 1967 - 1969

Box 2, Folder 24

"Gays on Campus," edited by J. Lee Lehmen of the National Gay Student Center for the United States National Student Association 1975

Box 2, Folder 25

University course descriptions, student papers and educational outreach 1965 - 1976

Box 2, Folder 26

West Side Discussion Group 1967

Box 2, Folder 27

Women 1969 - 1974

Box 2, Folder 28

Leaflets and pamphlets circa 1965 - 1980

Box 3, Folder 1

News clippings 1964 - 2006