Scope and Contents
Title: Jean Swallow Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1961-1996
Date (bulk): 1968-1994
Collection Identifier: GLC 50
5 cartons, 1 oversized box
(5.0 cubic feet)
James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
The collection contains drafts, background research, and publicity materials for the books, poems and stories written by Jean
Swallow. She also amassed material on Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups that assist people in recovery from substance
The collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in
The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk
hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items. The San Francisco
Public Library owns copyright.
[Identification of item], Jean Swallow Papers (GLC 50), Gay and Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.
The Jean Swallow Papers were donated to the San Francisco Public Library in 1998 by Betsy Walker and Marian Michener.
Jean Swallow was born on September 8, 1953. She was a lesbian writer and editor. Her work included newspaper editing for the
Charlotte (North Carolina)
Observer, poetry, novels, essays, and grant-writing. Her anthology
Out From Under was published in 1983 and was the first book by and about lesbians in recovery from substance abuse. In 1986 her novel
Leave a Light on for Me was published; it was reissued in 1991. She continued to write shorter pieces, poems and stories, which she collected in
How (Some of) It Works.
The success of
Out from Under led to a follow-up volume published as
The Next Step in 1993. Both volumes were welcome additions to the literature of lesbians in recovery. Swallow died of an apparent suicide
on January 16, 1995 in Seattle, Washington. At the time of her death Swallow had been clean and sober for 14 years.
In 1995 Swallow had just finished a draft of a book of interviews with photographs by Geoff Manasse; the draft was published
under the title
Making Love Visible: In Celebration of Gay and Lesbian Families. The book
A Woman Determined was published in 1998.
Scope and Contents
This collection includes the written work of Jean Swallow and materials that she collected as background research on various
subjects. There is correspondence with authors and publishers, drafts of books, poems, stories, and talks, and copies of published
pieces. The collection includes drafts of
Making Love Visible co-authored by Geoff Manasse. Swallow also amassed material on Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups that assist people in
recovery from substance abuse.
The collection is arranged in six series: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2. Writings by Jean Swallow; Series 3. Talks and
Workshops; Series 4. Subject Files; Series 5. Photographs; and Series 6. Publications and Scrapbooks. Series 2 is subdivided
in four subseries: Series 2a. Poems, stories and interviews; Series 2b. Book Reviews; Series 2c. Books; and Series 2d. Grants.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Feminist fiction--United States
Gays--California--San Francisco--Social life and customs--20th century.
Lesbian authors--United States--Archives
Lesbian poetry--United States
Lesbians--Drug use--United States
Recovering addicts' writings--United States
Recovering alcoholics' writings--United States
Substance abuse--United States