Guide to the Ellen Lewin Papers, 1977-1981

Processed by Jessica Moll; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
657 Mission Street #300
San Francisco, CA, 94107
(415) 777-5455
info@glbthistory.org
© 1999
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Ellen Lewin Papers, 1977-1981

Accession number: 1992-03

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society



San Francisco, California
Processed by:
Jessica Moll
Date Completed:
October 1996
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1999 The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ellen Lewin Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1977-1981
Collection Identifier: 1992-03
Creator: Lewin, Ellen
Extent: 7.5 linear feet
Contributing Institution: Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Historical Society
657 Mission Street
Suite 300
San Francisco, CA, 94105
(415) 777-5455
Shelf location: Housed at the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center  of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.

Administrative Information

Acquisition

The Ellen Lewin Papers (1992-03) were donated by Lewin in 1992 to GLBTHS.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ellen Lewin Papers, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Historical Note

The interviews included in this collection are part of a research project on lesbian mothers that Ellen Lewin first conceived for her doctoral dissertation in 1975. At this time Lewin felt that she must be somewhat secretive about her topic -- she deliberately excluded the word "lesbian" from an early grant proposal. She conducted interviews of single mothers, both lesbian and heterosexual, between 1977 and 1981. Her project reached maturity at a time of much greater acceptance of lesbian and gay studies: in 1993 her book, Lesbian Mothers: Accounts of Gender in American Culture, was published by Cornell University Press. She donated her interview transcripts to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society in 1992.

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of six boxes of interviews, each numbered according to which group in the sampling design a particular interview belongs. The sampling design uses the following categories: sexual orientation (self-identified as lesbian or heterosexual); relationship status (i.e., whether the mother lived with a partner or not); socioeconomic status (SES); and whether the mother had her child in a marital situation (formerly married or never married). Lewin speaks in detail about these independent variables in the appendix to her book. A copy of the appendix, as well as bibliographic information about the book, is included at the end of the finding aid.
The code numbers for the interviews were assigned as follows:
100's:
Upper SES, formerly married
200's:
Middle SES, formerly married
300's:
Lower SES, formerly married
400's:
Upper SES, never married
500's:
Middle SES, never married
600's:
Lower SES, never married
Within all groups, numbers 1-49 were lesbian; numbers 50-99 were heterosexual; odd numbers designated women without co-residential partners; even numbers designated women who lived with partners. For example, # 105 would indicate an upper SES formerly married lesbian who does not have a co-residential partner. The use of the term married refers only to heterosexual marriage.
Most interviews are approximately 100 pages long. Personal names in the transcripts are rendered with initials. The interviewer's name is indicated by her initials: EL means Ellen Lewin; TL means Terrie Lyons. At the end of each interview, the interviewer includes 5-15 pages of notes which describe her impressions of the respondent and the dynamics of the interview. Some of the interviews include a topic notation sheet, which indicates where in the interview certain topics are discussed. Topics covered in the interviews include general background about the respondent's childhood and relationships with her family members, stories of deciding to get divorced and/or coming out, reasons for having children, the child's relationship with his or her father and/or the respondent's lover, different experiences of discrimination and stigmatization, child care and financial concerns, as well as the pleasures of being a single mother.

Related Collections

Title: Del Martin/Phyllis Lyon Papers
Identifier/Call Number: #93-13

Folder List

Box 1

102

 

104

 

105

 

106

 

110

 

111

 

112

 

113

 

114

 

115

 

116

 

117

 

118

 

119

 

121

 

123

 

151

 

152

 

153

 

154

 

156

 

158

 

160

 

163

 

175

 

177

 

179

Box 2

181

 

183

 

202

 

203

 

204/06

 

205

 

207

 

208

 

209

 

210

 

212

 

213

 

214

 

215

 

216

 

218

 

220

 

251

 

252

 

254

 

256

 

258

 

262

 

263

 

271

Box 3

279

 

283

 

285

 

287

 

291

 

293

 

295

 

301

 

303

 

304

 

305

 

306

 

307

 

308

 

309

 

311

 

313

 

315

 

351

 

353

 

354

 

356

Box 4

358

 

359

 

362

 

369

 

371

 

401

 

402

 

403

 

404

 

406

 

408

 

410

 

412

 

414

 

451

 

452

 

453

 

454

 

456

 

458

 

462

 

464

 

501

Box 5

502

 

503

 

504

 

505

 

508

 

510

 

512

 

551

 

553

 

554

 

555

 

556

 

557

 

558

 

560

 

562

 

601

 

602

 

603

 

604

 

605

 

606

 

608

Box 6

610

 

612

 

614

 

616

 

618

 

620

 

654

 

656

 

658

 

660

 

661

 

662

 

664

 

666

 

Pilot #1