Guide to the Women's Press/Up Press Records, 1972-1987

Processed by Becky Skaife; machine-readable finding aid created by Gabriela A. Montoya
Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
P.O. Box 424280
San Francisco, California 94142
Phone: (415) 777-5455, #2
© 1998
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Women's Press/Up Press Records, 1972-1987

Accession number: 91-23

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

San Francisco, California

Contact Information:

  • Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
  • P.O. Box 424280
  • San Francisco, California 94142
  • Phone: (415) 777-5455, #2
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Becky Skaife
Date Completed:
April-May 1997
Encoded by:
Gabriela A. Montoya
© 1998 The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Women's Press/Up Press Records,
Date (inclusive): 1972-1987
Accession number: 91-23
Creator: Women's Press/Up Press
Extent: 5.1 Linear feet
Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
San Francisco, California.
Shelf location: Housed at the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center  of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. See GLHS and SFPL agreement. 
Language: English.

Administrative Information


The Papers (#91-23) were donated to GLHS in 1991.


The bulk of the records are open for research with student files restricted.

Publication Rights

Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

Audio-Visual Materials

The Papers contain photographs.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Women's Press/Up Press Records, 91-23, The Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

Historical Note

The Women's Press Project started in 1974 in the Mission district of San Francisco, as part of a nonprofit women's vocational school at the Women's Skills Center. In 1976 they became a collective, run by volunteer labor (later becoming paid staff), with the main purpose being a school to teach women the skills of the printing trade in a supportive environment. They gradually took on more printing jobs to support themselves. In 1980 they moved and became a business as well as a school, with a priority being the printing of political and feminist work. They become a union shop in 1983.
Up Press was formed out of the People's Union in 1972 in Redwood City as a collectively run movement press, printing political and feminist work. They became a women's press in 1974.
In 1984 Up Press merged with the Women's Press Project to form the Women's Press and continued the school as the Women's Printing School. The Women's Press closed in January 1987 due to financial difficulties and the departure of several longtime members.

Scope and Content

The Women's Press/Up Press Records (5.1 linear feet) are arranged into 6 series; Women's Press Project Files, Up Press Files, Women's Press Files, Printed Materials, Photographs, and Oversized Items (mainly posters) covering the years 1972 through 1987. Within the first 3 series (1.9 linear feet) folders are arranged alphabetically by title.
The Women's Press Project files consist of school files: applications, class evaluations, follow up letters and course syllabi ranging from 1979 to 1983. There is a jobs completed list from 1974 through 1983 that outlines printing jobs. Also included is a file on other women's presses histories and an interview with a woman on how she got in the printing trade and the sexism she encountered. The Board meeting minutes are from mostly 1979 to 1980. They include discussion on the types of work they wanted to do. The minutes from October 1983 through January 1985 include information on the transitional period to the Women's Press.
The Up Press files include a creation statement about what a movement press is, financial statements, correspondence with other presses, staff meeting minutes from part of 1974, and material concerning the non-payment for the 1982 GAIA's Guide. There is a file on the San Francisco Coop, which Up Press was a member of, whose purpose was to consolidate facilities and skills to make printing more available to people's progressive organizations. The most documented printing project of Up Press is The People's Bicentennial Quilt: A Patchwork History, which is a book of photographs and text documenting the 45 pieces portraying the struggles of common people in United States history. Files include photographs of the quilt and a copy of the book (box 6).
The Women's Press files contain an article in Tradeswomen magazine, flyers, correspondence on jobs, and a letter announcing the sale of the Women's Press and press release. The minutes aren't complete but include the discussion on closing the press.
The printed materials (3.2 linear feet, boxes 4-6) created by the presses contained in this collections have not been processed yet. They have been roughly sorted into types of materials including brochures, small booklets, newsletters, journals, programs, and books. The printed matter provides not only illustrations of the presses work but offers an excellent overview of many Bay Area feminist and movement groups of the time.
The Oversized Materials, mainly posters, have been sorted by press into 2 subjects: Feminist, Women's Cultural, Lesbian and Gay Subjects; and Movement, Cultural, Miscellaneous Subjects. The posters like the other printed works give an excellent cross section of many movement and feminist groups of the time. For many of the posters the design and execution of the printing are very well done and are fine examples of the presses work. Many of the items are done in multiple colors. The posters in the unidentified presses folder were possibly not done by one of the 3 presses in this collection.
Certain folders in these records were restricted because they concern student records for women attending the Women's Press Project School. Student records are restricted by federal law.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photographs are located in the Photo Room.
Some routine financial materials were discarded such as invoices and canceled checks.

Related Collections

Other women's businesses:

Title: Old Wives Tales Bookstore Records
Identifier/Call Number: 95-24
Title: Oracle Books (Hayward, CA) Files
Identifier/Call Number: 94-11
Title: Woman's Place Bookstore Records and Audiotapes
Identifier/Call Number: 93-10

Other Press records (not lesbian or women identified):

Title: Crossing Press Records
Identifier/Call Number: 96-29
Title: Glenn M. Turner/Guild Press-Records
Identifier/Call Number: 91-33

Container List


Women's Press Project

Box Box 1

Applications for Admission-Accepted Students (restricted)


Applications- Graphics Class Fall 1982 (restricted)


Applications-Press Class Fall 1982 (restricted)


Applications-Press Class Spring 1983 (restricted)


Applications & Evaluations-Press Class October 1983 (restricted)


Applications for Admission- on file (restricted)


Articles of Incorporations & Bylaws 1979


Bay Area Feminist Federal Credit Union Passbook


Board of Directors & Community Advising Board 1981-1982


Board Meeting Minutes April 14, 1979 -January 20, 1981


CETA (Community Employment Training Act) Proposal & Information


Class Catalogs & Flyers 1981-1984


Class Evaluations 1981-1983 (restricted)


Class Lists (restricted)


City Planning 1980


Contract agreements


Correspondence 1977-1984


Correspondence-support 1981-1984


Course Outlines & Syllabi 1977-1981


Directory of Women's Media 1982 & 1983


Donations-Receipts & Correspondence 1978-1982


Employee Job Descriptions


Estimating Workshop


Federal Exemption Application 1979


Financial 1980, 1981


Financial 1982


Financial 1983, 1984


Flyers of Political/Women's organizations 1978-1981?


Follow up Letters, Teaching/ learning contract


Follow up Questionnaires (restricted)


Funding-Proposals & Correspondence 1975-1981


General Information Requests


Graphic Artists/Typesetters-Resumes & Flyers


Individual Women Printers


Interview for Newsletter July 1982


Job Announcements


Jobs Completed List 1974-1983


Job Descriptions, Cooperative contract


Job/Employer Contact, Agency Information 1980-1983


Job Placements Records


Lesbian Gay Freedom Day 1982


Letterhead & card


Loans 1979-1983


Loan for larger press- Support Letters & Credit Info


Mailing List


Mailing List Organizations


Media Contacts & Information


Minutes October 1983-January 15, 1985




Notice of Non Discriminatory Policy


Organization Political Contacts


Outreach Drafts


Personnel-Florence Stickney


Phone & Address List


Policy Statement, Retreat Notes


Printing & Resource Guides


Proposal Women's Printing Training Program March 9, 1984


Satirical Letters (in house)


Seller's Permits, Resale Papers, Tax Exempt Status 1978-1981


State Department of Education-Course Approval Application & Correspondence 1980-1984


State Department of Education-Course Approval 1981-1985


State Department of Education-Personnel Data Forms & Certificate 1980-1982


State Exemption Application


State Exemption forms, letters 1979-1981


State Surplus Property Application 1982


Taxes-Federal 1981, 1982


Taxes-State 1980-1983


Union Contract & Work Agreements 1983


Women's & Alternative Press Histories


Women Printer's Party-Flyer & Mailing List January 1983


Workplace Drawings


Workshop Attendees List


Volunteers contracts, Things to do


Up Press

Box Box 1

Article on Up Press-Palo Alto Times 1982


Bay Area Movement Print Shops & Typesetting


Business Information Report 1972


Collections-Hummingbird & Demeter 1983


Correspondence 1973-1984


Creation Statement 1972


Fictitious Name Filing 1975, 1977, 1980


Film 1976


Financial 1972


Financial 1977-1978


Financial Business Property Statements 1974-1977


Financial Statements 1972


Financial Statements 1975-1977, 1980-1983


Job Layout Sheets & Price List


Legal-Gaia's Guide Case 1982


Hassle with Printers Exchange 1975


Letterhead & Card


Loan Agreements & Bill Repayment 1972-1973


Nelson Industrial Dispute 1976


Partnership Dissolution 1974


Partnership Dissolution 1977


Partnership Dissolution Papers 1982-1983


People's Medical Center Camera Agreement 1974


Press & Flyers


Proposals for Money


Proposal 1972


Resumes & Applications


Samples of Printed Envelopes & Stationary


San Francisco Coop-Guidelines, Meeting Notes 1974-1975


Sole Proprietorship 1983


Seller's Permits & Applications, Business Licences 1972-1977

Box Box 2

Staff Meeting Minutes February 19, 1974-July 9, 1974


Taxes 1974-1982


Women's Press

Box Box 2

Address List


Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Stock 1984


Correspondence 1984-1987


Customer List


Financial - Equipment Needs


Financial Consultation 1985


Flyers & Women's Printing School Catalog 1985


Merging & Moving Flyers 1984


Hiring Policy


Hours Forms


Legal-Contract with Bruce Fletcher


Legal-Hart Case


Letterhead & Card


Loans 1984




Minutes November 4, 1985-December 15, 1986


Print Shops List


Printing Orders-Sampling


Questions for Mobilization Support Network 1985-1986


Sale Letter & Fact Sheet 1986-1987


Sale Press Release 1987


Tradeswomen article 1984


Union Contract & Correspondence


Workers' Compensation


Legal Sized Documents


Women' s Press Project

Box Box 3

Budgeting Worksheet


Crackpot Letters


Financial Statements 1976-1984


Graphic Artists/Typesetters


Marilyn Kalman, People's Law School


Miscellaneous Flyers Political & Organizations


Miscellaneous Lists


Operating Forms


Presses, Print Shops, Publishing


Sales Taxes 1981-1983


Sketch of Facility


Women's Printer Forum Follow up, Notes, Et c. 1979


Up Press

Box Box 3

Lease & Correspondence 1972-1979


Movement Press


No On 6 Calling list 1978


People's Bicentennial Quilt- Miscellaneous


Women's Presses-Women Who Print Newsletter & Correspondences


Women's Press

Box Box 3



Drawings 1986


Financial-Balance Sheet, Income Statement July 1985-April 1986


Financial- Profit Analysis 1986


Lease & Correspondence 1984-1987

Box Box 4

Brochures/Small booklets

Box Box 5


Box Box 6



GLHS Poster Collection


Feminist/Women's Cultural/Lesbian and Gay Subjects

Box Box C

Up Press


Women's Press Project


Women's Press


Unidentified Presses


Movement/Cultural/Miscellaneous Subjects

Box Box C

Up Press


Women's Press Project


Women's Press


Unidentified Presses