Finding Aid for the National Lesbian Feminist Organization Records, 1978-1979

Processed by Molly S. Jacobs, 2011; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: National Lesbian Feminist Organization Records
Date (inclusive): 1978-1979
Collection number: 1944
Creator: National Lesbian Feminist Organization
Extent: 1 document box (.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: The National Lesbian Feminist Organization (NLFO) was founded in 1978 as a grass roots organization in order to "act on a feminist platform which deals with the oppression of lesbians in all its manifestations,including but not limited to discrimination based on sexual preference, sex, race, age, class, and physical disability. As a grass roots organization concerned with accountability, the NLFO committed itself to fighting racism and classism both inside and outside the organization. Membership was open to all lesbians and women identified women who agreed with the purpose of the organization. This collections contains an organizational history, founding convention notes, correspondence, ad hoc and steering committee memos, financial statements, and newsletters. The papers also contain information on local and state chapters, resources, and lesbian rights marches. Highlighted are behind the scenes efforts to organize local chapters; the formation of the Lesbians of Color Caucus and statements; and disagreements over the credibility of "representative 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.

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], National Lesbian Feminist Organization Records (Collection 1944). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6954086 

Biography/History

According to their literature, the National Lesbian Feminist Organization (NLFO) was founded in 1978 as a grass roots organization in order to "act on a feminist platform which deals with the oppression of lesbians in all its manifestations,including but not limited to discrimination based on sexual preference, sex, race, age, class, and physical disability. There is a need to achieve equal rights and legal protections for all lesbians...a need for developing lesbian culture." An Ad Hoc Committee formed in Los Angeles and took on the responsibility for the planning of the national convention to be held in July of 1978. A nationally based steering committee was selected at the convention, whose responsibility was to guide the organization through the first crucial months.
As a grass roots organization concerned with accountability, the NLFO committed itself to fighting racism and classism both inside and outside the organization. The group called for a "minimum of 50% of all the women involved in the level of planning and decision making to be women of color of various backgrounds and 50% of all white women of various class backgrounds." Membership was open to all lesbians and women identified women who agreed with the purpose of the organization. The structure of the NLFO consisted of local memberships known as the "locals," whose representatives were sent to state and national conventions. The Los Angeles chapter was named the Alice Paul Chapter.

Scope and Content

The National Lesbian Feminist Organization Records contains organizational documents, including meeting minutes, financial statements, documents related to the founding convention, and information on the Women of Color Caucus. It also contains correspondence and newsletters.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

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

Subjects

National Lesbian Feminist Organization (U.S.) --Archives.
National human rights institutions --Archival resources.
Lesbian activists --United States --Archival resources.


Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

NLFO History. 1978.

Physical Description: press release (no date); newspaper article (1978 April-May); organizational documents

Scope and Content Note

Contains background and scope of collection from Mazer Archives (undated); press release reporting on founding convention written by Mary Spottswood Pou (undated); three page article from an unknown source reporting on founding convention; information sheet on NLFO; and resolutions from the founding convention.
Box 1, Folder 2

Ad Hoc Committee Meeting Minutes. 1978.

Physical Description: meeting minutes; organization structure outline

Scope and Content Note

Contains minutes from four meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee totaling 38 pages; notes from "Workshop 3"; mandate from the Southern region delegate, Linda J Lorell; count of number of women of color in the delegation; motions and agenda items with vote tallies by region; proposal for a national steering committee; list of topics to be considered at the state conference.
Box 1, Folder 3

Written Record of Founding Convention. 1978.

Physical Description: organizational documents; member lists

Scope and Content Note

Written record of the proceedings from the founding convention, including: rules of the convention; agenda; accountability; dues; founding; local exemption; membership; name; purpose; steering committee; structure; transexuals; wimin of color. Also contains delegate list (7 pages); mailing list (6 pages); registered observers; list of press, staff, and miscelaneous observers; national delegates; and an unofficial written record of motions and resolutions (20 pages).
Box 1, Folder 4

NLFO Founding Convention Packet. 1978 March 17-20.

Physical Description: information packet; convention pass

Scope and Content Note

Contains local information, including maps and guide to local businesses and emergency contacts; agenda; convention rules; and a convention pass for Kerry Lobel.
Box 1, Folder 5

Founding Convention Responses. 1978.

Physical Description: letters; attendee list; convention report

Scope and Content Note

Contains letters to the Ad Hoc Committee in response to the founding convention; "incomplete list" of Jewish lesbians at the convention; report from the convention with handwritten notes updating progress on proposed actions.
Box 1, Folder 6

Lesbians of Color Caucus. 1978.

Physical Description: press releases; letters; caucus report

Scope and Content Note

Contains Lesbians of Color Caucus Statement; Lesbian Latina Alliance Statement; Affirmative Action Committee Report from Houston (1978 July); Affirmative Action Committee correspondence; mini biographies of Yolanda Retter and Carmen Vazquez.
Box 1, Folder 7

Feedback on Organization Restructuring. 1978.

Physical Description: letters

Scope and Content Note

In the NLFO Newsletter, number 2, a restructuring of the NLFO was proposed and members were asked to provide feedback through a survey included in the publication. This folder contains three responses (no date).
Box 1, Folder 8

NLFO Correspondence. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: letters

Scope and Content Note

Contains letters written to the NLFO, primarily requesting information about the organization, and letters from NLFO to members. Also contains one article from an unaffiliated publication, The Wishing Well, requesting information on placing an advertisement in the NLFO News.
Box 1, Folder 9

Correspondence with Rosalie Nichols. 1979.

Physical Description: letters; news editorials

Scope and Content Note

Contains a letter submitted to the NLFO News (1979 April) and Off Our Backs (1979 May) by Rosalie Nichols (aka "Teleli") disputing the openness and acceptance of the NLFO and a response by Jeanne Cordova, NLFO News co-editor, directly to Nichols (no date) and to the NLFO Steering Committee (1979 May 11). Also contains several letters written to "Off Our Backs" and Nichols following the letter's publication.
Box 1, Folder 10

Steering Committee. 1978.

Physical Description: meeting minutes; memoranda; committee reports

Scope and Content Note

Contains minutes and memos from March 1978 convention; minutes from Denver meeting (1978 May 27-29), Washington D.C. meeting (1978 July 9), and Knoxville meeting (1978 July 15); list of steering committee members (1978 June); affirmative action committee report (1978 July 19); and Minnesota Convention planning documents (1978 July 1978)
Box 1, Folder 11

Steering Committee. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: memoranda; letters; letterhead

Scope and Content Note

Contains memo regarding grievance hearing procedures; letters requesting more wimmin of color for the Steering Committee from the Affirmative Action Committee; memos pertaining to the newsletter and appointment of a scribe; and memos regarding fundraising and working with other organizations. Also contains press release letterhead.
Box 1, Folder 12

Fundraising Committee. 1978.

Physical Description: reports; flyer

Scope and Content Note

Contains fundraising reports (1978 March - May) and an expense report (1978 May 10), a request for donations (no date), and a flyer for a fundraiser titled the "1st Annual Anita Bryant Barbeque" held in Los Angeles (1978 April 30).
Box 1, Folder 13

Financial Statements. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: financial reports; checks; accounting book

Scope and Content Note

Contains four financial reports (1978 May 30; 1978 July 1978; 1979 May 6; 1979 July 15); an accounting book (partially filled); two blank checks for the NLFO News; one NLFO expenditure report (1978 July 18); and one revenue report (1978 July 18).
Box 1, Folder 14

Mailing Lists. No Date.

Physical Description: mailing labels; member and delegate lists

Scope and Content Note

Contains mailing labels (11 pages); new member mailing list; list of southern regional delegates (with names, addresses, age, and race/ethnicity); and Great Lakes Region addresses and telephone numbers.
Box 1, Folder 15

Chapters and Affiliated Organizations. 1977-1979.

Physical Description: memoranda; press releases; reports; correspondence; flyers

Scope and Content Note

Contains guidelines for state conferences; press release on the formation of a Southeastern Regional Conference; reports and letters from local chapters, including Iowa City (1978 June 16), Madison (1978 July 6), Milwaukee (1979 January 8), and Baton Rouge (1979 February 20); a Milwaukee member mailing list; a Madison member mailing list; a Colorado Springs mailing list; a report from the Wisconsin NLFO statewide conference (held 1978 Novement 10-12); and several letters from individuals interested in forming local chapters. Also contains correspondence from other organizations, including Women's Community Center in Eau Claire, WI and the Lesbian Resource Center in Elmira, NY; responses from NLFO representatives to organizations and individuals; a proposed structure for a planning meeting in San Jose for a proposed California Lesbian Feminist Federation (1978 February 18-20); information about the Lesberadas, a lesbian-feminist organization, and the Lesbian-Feminist Organizing Committe (LFOC). Includes minutes of a general membership meeting of LFOC (1977 August 14) and a flyer for an LFOC event, as well as correspondence between NLFO and SLPAC, a Michigan-based organization (1979).
Box 1, Folder 16

NLFO Newsletter Drafts. 1978.

Physical Description: newsletter drafts

Scope and Content Note

The first publication of the National Lesbian Feminist Organization, originally titled "NLFO." This folder contains original drafts of NLFO articles and letters. The content includes a report on the founding convention, steering committee updates, letters to the editor, updates from lesbians of color, a report from the Eastern Regional Lesbian Conference (held 1978 April 1-2), request for assistance from the Tri-City National Defense Fund, updates from local chapters, and an issues forum.
Box 1, Folder 17

NLFO News Original Drafts. 1979.

Physical Description: newsletter drafts; letters

Scope and Content Note

The NFLO News was the official publication of NFLO and was published in Los Angeles. This folder contains original drafts of articles and letters to be published in the newsletter, including a letter from the NLFO News staff; updates from local chapters, including Milwaukee, Madison, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Tucson, Baton Rouge, Alice Paul (the chapter in Los Angeles), Denver, and Colorado Springs; letters to NFLO News; Lesbians of Color outreach; information on the National Gay Rights March in Washington, D.C. (to be held 1979 October 14); information from the Steering Committee; letters regarding Rosalie Nichols's editorial printed in "Off Our Backs." Also includes letter and member roster from Baton Rouge, a letter requesting information from Wisconsin-based NFLO chapters, and an editorial coordinating sheet for the first issue (1979 April-May).
Box 1, Folder 18

NLFO Newsletter Subscriptions. 1978.

Physical Description: letters; newspaper clippings

Scope and Content Note

Contains letters from individuals and organizations requesting subscriptions to the NLFO's newsletter, "It's About Time." The folder also contains requests for newsletter exchanges from other organizations and a list of newsletters NLFO exchanged with and a list of newsletter distributors. Also contains a pamphlet from the Naiad Press, Inc. listing their publications.
Box 1, Folder 19

NLFO News Correspondence. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: letters

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence to and from the NLFO News, the NLFO's second publication. Letters include requests for subscriptions, contributions, change of address requests, and letters between members of NFLO News staff.
Box 1, Folder 20

NFLO News Memos. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: memoranda; meeting minutes

Scope and Content Note

Contains memos to NFLO News Staff; NFLO News Staff Minutes; and memos from NFLO News Staff to other committees, including the finance committee.
Box 1, Folder 21

NLFO News Budgets. 1979.

Physical Description: memoranda; financial reports

Scope and Content Note

Contains a memoranda outlining expenses (1979 May 17), a financial report from the NLFO News to the NLFO Treasurer (1979 June/July), and expenditures from the first issue of NLFO News (1979 April 21).
Box 1, Folder 22

NLFO Publications. 1978-1979.

Physical Description: organization publications

Scope and Content Note

Contains original issue of NLFO no. 2, D.C. March (undated); NLFO News no. 3 (1979 April/May), no. 4 (1979 June/July), no. 5 (1979 September/October), no. 6 (1979 October/November); and the Wisconsin NLFO Networker volume 1, no. 1 (1979 February).
Box 1, Folder 23

Proposal for Gay Rights March on Washington. 1978.

Physical Description: committee letters; questionaire

Scope and Content Note

Contains a letter from the Committee for the March on Washington presenting the idea for the march with a proposed date of May 6, 1979, which includes a completed questionaire suggesting ideas (1978).
Box 1, Folder 24

Miscellaneous. no date.

Physical Description: photos, comics, letterhead, stickers, directory, newsletters

Scope and Content Note

Contains bumper stickers; several comics, some hand drawn, others from newspapers (most have Anita Bryant as the subject); request form to join NLFO; NLFO letterhead; directory of women's periodicals, labeled 'presslist'; newsletters and flyers from other organizations, including National Organization for Women, Tribe, Tri-City National Defense Fund, Seabrook Safe Energy Walk, and Mobilizer; and two photos.