Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Margaret Cruikshank papers
Date (inclusive): 1971-1986
Collection number: 1847
13 manuscript boxes (6.5) linear ft.
1 oversized box.
Abstract: The Margaret Cruikshank Papers consist of drafts, background/research notes, correspondence and publicity materials for three
published works edited by Cruikshank:
Lesbian Path (1980, 1985), a collection of autobiographical writings;
Lesbian Studies (1982), a women's history and lesbian studies text and
New Lesbian Writing (1984), a lesbian literature anthology. The Cruikshank papers also consist of background/research files for women's studies
and lesbian studies courses taught by Cruikshank and related correspondence and publicity materials. Personal correspondence
is also included in the collection.
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of 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 the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Selected digitized images from this collection.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
NOTE: Series 7: Cruikshank Personal Correspondence (1971-1976) is open for reading by lesbians only.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library,
Department of Special Collections. 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
Gift of Margaret Cruikshank, 1997.
The collection was processed by Janine Liebert, 10/5/2007.
[Identification of item], Margaret Cruikshank papers (Collection Number 1847). Department of Special Collections, Charles
E. Young Research Library, UCLA.
A longtime lesbian activist and distinguished academic, Margaret Cruikshank (b. 1940) began her work in the 1970s at a time
when lesbian studies barely existed and was one of the few lesbian academics in the U.S. to identify herself professionally
as a lesbian. Her work has centered on raising awareness of lesbians within the academic profession and addressing the exclusion
of lesbian literature and criticism from traditional canons and women's studies.
A native of northern Minnesota, Cruikshank came out as a lesbian in the Minneapolis lesbian-feminist community in the 1960s.
She lived in the Midwest until 1977, when she moved to San Francisco. During the 1970s, Cruikshank played an active role in
the explosion of lesbian feminist politics and culture and she began publishing on lesbian topics in 1975. Writing under her
own name as well as various pseudonyms, Cruikshank has written numerous essays, articles and reviews that have appeared in
a wide variety of periodicals including Gay Community News, Motheroot Journal, The Radical Teacher, Focus, Journal of Homosexuality
and The Advocate.
With a Ph.D. in Victorian literature from Loyola University in Chicago, IL, Cruikshank began teaching English in 1969 at various
colleges and universities in the Midwest. In 1975, she began teaching at Mankato State University (now called Minnesota State
University, Mankato), which at that time, did not have a women's studies program. Cruikshank helped establish the first women's
studies department at Mankato State University, for which she served as director between 1975 and 1977. Her experience arriving
at Mankato State University in 1975 as a closeted academic and leaving the university in 1977 as an open lesbian in a university
setting began a life-long commitment to increasing the visibility and solidarity of lesbians within the academic profession.
In 1977, Cruikshank moved to San Francisco where she worked as a resources director for a short-lived grassroots project,
the Gay National Educational Switchboard, which provided a toll-free information line. In August 1980, Cruikshank became head
of a small program in Continuing Education at the University of San Francisco (USF). Five months after she was hired at USF
she was fired. Subsequently, Cruikshank taught in the English department at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) where she
taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and worked with other CCSF faculty and administrators to incorporate lesbian and
gay studies into the curriculum. These efforts resulted in the organization of CCSF's Castro/Valencia Campus and, in 1982,
the appointment of Cruikshank as the first woman to teach CCSF's gay and lesbian literature course. Cruikshank taught an introductory
women's studies course and lesbian and gay literature at CCSF for many years (1982-1996). She was also an affiliate scholar
at the Center for Research on Women at Stanford University (1981-1988).
Cruikshank later taught courses on aging and women (1992 – 1997), in addition to gay and lesbian studies at CCSF, before moving
to Maine in 1997. Cruikshank's introduction to working with older people came when she was did a graduate studies internship
in gerontology at San Francisco State University, where she received an M.A. in gerontology in 1992.
Cruikshank has edited three major anthologies on lesbians: The Lesbian Path (1980, self-published; 1985, Grey Fox Press);
Lesbian Studies, a women's history/lesbian studies text (1982, The Feminist Press) and New Lesbian Writing, a lesbian literature
anthology (Grey Fox Press, 1984). In her papers, Cruikshank explains the three anthologies, their genesis and their inclusions.
She traces their origins in the women's studies movement and through the lesbian academics' network created by the National
Women's Studies Association (NWSA) and details the editorial process.
Cruikshank's correspondence and publications in the collection often discuss her experiences in teaching lesbian studies/women's
studies and her life-long efforts to integrate lesbian and gay material into the college curriculum. Her correspondence in
the collection also traces the networks of lesbian critics, academics and writers that were established through panels at
the Modern Language Association's (MLA) and Gay Academic Union's (GAU) annual conventions, pioneering lesbian feminist periodicals
of the 1970s, lesbian groups, women's studies programs, writing workshops, and women's publishing presses.
Cruikshank currently teaches women's studies at the University of Maine, where she is also affiliated with the Center on Aging
(1997-present). She lives in a small fishing village on the eastern coast of Maine. Her most recent anthology, Fierce with
Reality: an Anthology of Literature about Aging (1995, 2007) grew out of her master's thesis in gerontology at San Francisco
State University. Her other books include Thomas Babington Macaulay (1978), The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement (1992),
and Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging (2003). She was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct seminars
and lectures on women and aging at the University of Victoria Centre on Aging, in British Columbia, during the fall 2007 semester.
||Born, Duluth, MN.
||Received a B.A. in English from St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN.
||Received a Ph.D. in Victorian literature from Loyola University in Chicago, IL; wrote dissertation on Thomas B. Macaulay.
|1969 - 1970
||Taught English at Loyala University in Chicago, IL.
|1970 - 1972
||Taught English at Central College in Pella, IA.
||Taught English at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN.
||Started teaching English at Minnesota State University (MSU), Mankato; helped establish the first women's studies department
at MSU, for which she served as director.
||In the Fall, moved to San Francisco, CA; worked as a resources director for a short-lived grassroots project, the Gay National
||Published dissertation called Thomas Babington Macaulay as part of the Twayne English authors series.
||Became head of a small program in Continuing Education at the University of San Francisco (USF).
||Got fired from teaching job at USF.
||Self-published first work on a lesbian topic, Lesbian Path, a collection of autobiographical writings.
||Started teaching in the English department at City College of San Francisco (CCSF); taught English as a Second Language (ESL).
|1981 - 1988
||Served as an affiliate scholar at the Center for Research on Women at Stanford University.
||Published Lesbian Studies, a women's history and lesbian studies text (The Feminist Press).
|1982 - 1997
||Appointed as first female faculty member to teach CCSF's gay and lesbian literature course; taught an introductory women's
studies course and lesbian and gay literature at CCSF for many years.
||Published New Lesbian Writing, a lesbian literature anthology (Grey Fox Press).
||Lesbian Path published in a revised and expanded edition by Grey Fox Press.
||Received an M.A. in gerontology from San Francisco State University.
|1997 - Present
||Moved to Maine and began teaching in the women's studies department at the University of Maine, Orono; also affiliated with
the University of Maine Center on Aging.
||Published Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture and Aging.
||Published Fierce with Reality: an Anthology of Literature about Aging.
||Awarded Fullbright Fellowship to conduct seminars and lectures on women and aging at the University of Victoria Centre on
Aging, in British Columbia during the fall 2007 semester.
Scope and Content
The Margaret Cruikshank collection is a mixture of professional and personal papers. Papers date from 1971-1986, with the
majority spanning the period 1979-1986. Among the papers are manuscripts and notes for books, articles and reviews authored
by Cruikshank; drafts and revisions with correspondence relating to the editorial process; publicity materials, notes by Cruikshank,
printed matter, course syllabi and readings, bibliographies, photographs and personal correspondence.
Publications, 1977-1986, (Series 1, Boxes 1-10), include drafts of Cruikshank's published and unpublished papers and book
reviews and manuscript drafts of three of her books: Lesbian path (1980, 1985), a collection of autobiographical writings;
Lesbian Studies (1982), a women's history and lesbian studies text and New Lesbian Writing (1984), a lesbian literature anthology.
Among Cruikshank's notes are revisions relating to the editorial process, names, addresses and phone numbers; mailing lists
and list of readers and contributing authors. Publicity materials and correspondence relating to Cruikshank's books are also
Research files and notes, 1971-1986, n.d., (Series 2, Box 11), consist of publicity materials from various lesbian, gay and
women's publications, books/bookstores and organizations. This includes flyers, pamphlets and brochures; newspaper and magazine
clippings; newsletters; bibliographies and related correspondence. Notes and conference proposals by Cruikshank for panels
at the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), Modern Language Association (MLA) and Gay Academic Union (GAU) annual
conferences, proposed submissions for articles and book reviews by Cruikshank and calls for papers and requests to write and
review are also included here. Also included are articles that mention Cruikshank that are not related to her publications.
Course syllabi and readings, 1982-1985 (Series 3, Box 11), relates to Introduction to Women's Studies and Lesbian Gay Literature
courses taught by Cruikshank at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and includes course syllabi and readings, bibliographies,
notes by Cruikshank and student papers.
Publications not authored by Cruikshank, 1979-1983, n.d., (Series 4, Box 11, 14), consists of drafts of published and unpublished
papers, bibliographies and galley proofs.
Personal correspondence, 1971-1976, (Series 5, Boxes 12-13), consists of personal correspondence from Sue Ebbers to Cruikshank
and several photos.
Organization and Arrangement
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Publications, 1977-1986. Boxes 1-10
- Series 2. Research files and notes, 1971-1986, n.d.. Box 11
- Series 3. Course syllabi and readings, 1982-1985. Box 11
- Series 4. Publications not authored by Cruikshank, 1979-1983, n.d.. Box 11, 14
- Series 5. Personal correspondence, 1971-1976. Boxes 12-13
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.