Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Ivy Bottini papers
Bulk Dates: 1974-1990
Collection number: Coll2009-005
Bottini, Ivy, 1926-
Collection Size: 11.2 linear feet.
(6 archive cartons + 3 archive boxes + 5 archive flat boxes + 1 map
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90007
Abstract: Journals, correspondence, contracts, clippings,
notes, minutes, fliers, pamphlets, photographs, audiovisual material, etchings,
t-shirts, buttons, and other material from comedian, artist and lesbian
feminist, Ivy Bottini. One of the founding members of the National Organization
for Women (NOW), Bottini was a married mother of two before coming out as a
lesbian in 1968. She has been a community leader for numerous activist causes
and organizations, including the No on Briggs and No on LaRouche campaigns, the
Los Angeles Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force,
AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, and
the affordable LGBT senior housing project, Triangle Square. The bulk of
Bottini's collection is material relating to her comedy career, her
consciousness-raising seminars, and her work for NOW and various LGBT causes.
The collection also includes her art works; recordings of a radio program she
It's a Gay Life; and her collection of
t-shirts and buttons from feminist and LGBT organizations.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access
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).
Ivy Bottini papers, Coll2009-005, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives,
Los Angeles, California.
Gift of Ivy Bottini, date unknown.
Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, July 31, 2009.
Ivy was born on August 15, 1926, to a working class family in Long
Island, New York. In 1944, she studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and
later went on to a career in graphic design, working as an illustrator and art
Newsday. In 1951, she married Edward
Bottini. She gave birth to her first daughter, Laura, in 1953, and her second
daughter, Lisa, in 1956.
By the mid-1960s, Bottini became involved in the developing feminist
movement and in 1966 became a founding member of the National Organization for
Women (NOW) at its first chapter in New York City. Soon after, she became the
New York chapter's second president. During that time, Bottini began coming to
terms with her newly-discovered sexuality, and she came out as a lesbian and
divorced her husband in 1968. After the news of her sexuality became public
knowledge, some women in the NOW membership, including NOW co-founder Betty
Friedan, began speaking out against lesbian women in the organization. Bottini,
a target of that protest, subsequently left NOW in 1970.
Soon after leaving NOW, Bottini moved to Los Angeles and further
developed performances, workshops and seminars in feminist
consciousness-raising, which she had started when she was a member of NOW. As a
feminist comedian, she performed her one-woman shows, "Everywoman" and "The
Many Faces of Woman," at numerous locations--including various NOW
chapters--throughout the United States until the late 1970s. Meanwhile, she
also earned a living as a graphic designer and a real estate agent.
Besides her feminist consciousness-raising, Bottini began to establish
her leadership role in the gay and lesbian rights movement, as well as AIDS
activism. Her accomplishments include working for the Los Angeles Gay and
Lesbian Community Services Center; becoming deputy director for the No on
Briggs Proposition 6 campaign; becoming political vice president of the
Stonewall Democratic Club; co-chairing the Los Angeles Police Department's
first Gay and Lesbian Police Task Force; founding the Los Angeles AIDS Network;
being a founding board member of AIDS Project Los Angeles; and chairing the No
on LaRouche Proposition 64 campaign. In the 1990s, she spearheaded a project to
build affordable housing for LGBT seniors, known as Triangle Square. She
continues to be involved in several activities, including the Gay and Lesbian
Advisory Board of the West Hollywood City Council.
Bottini has also been an artist throughout her life, and her work has
been exhibited at various locations beginning in the 1990s. As
of July 2009, Bottini lives in West Hollywood, California.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Ivy Bottini Papers comprise journals, date books, correspondence,
contracts, clippings, minutes, fliers, pamphlets, manuscripts, photographs,
buttons, t-shirts, audio and video recordings, etchings, a banner and other
material relating to Bottini's comedy and acting career; her work in raising
consciousness about feminist and gay and lesbian issues; her work for the
National Organization for Women; her graphic design and artistic career; and
the numerous activist organizations in which she was a central community
The collection is divided into six series: (1) Personal, (2) Acting and
Comedy Career, (3) Activism, (4) Art Works, (5) Audiovisual Material and (6)
Buttons, T-shirts and Banner. The Personal Series consists of date books,
diaries, biographical material, correspondence, writings and other papers
documenting Bottini's life from the time when she was working at
Newsday (1955-1968) until the mid-1990s when
she was receiving awards for her activism and having art exhibit
retrospectives. The Acting and Comedy Career Series comprises material from her
feminist comedy performances, as well as her acting career on stage and
television. The Activism Series comprises clippings, correspondence, notes,
organizational records and other material from her work in feminist
consciousness-raising, the gay and lesbian rights movement, as well as her
involvement in organizations and events such as the "Alice Doesn't" Strike, the
"Takeover" of the Statue of Liberty, the National Organization for Women, the
No on Briggs campaign, the No on LaRouche campaign, the International Women's
Year events, the Police Advisory Task Force and the Women's Action Alliance.
The Art Works Series comprises four metal etchings and two prints created by
Bottini. The Audiovisual Material Series consists of sound recordings of
Bottini's performances, workshops and a LGBT-themed radio program she hosted;
and one videotape reel of Bottini's audition performance. Lastly, the Buttons,
T-Shirts and Banner Series consists of 24 buttons, 33 t-shirts and 1 banner,
most of which come from the LGBT and feminist rights movements.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bottini, Ivy, 1926-
AIDS (Disease)--United States
Gay and lesbian rights
Gay liberation movement--United
National Organization for