Scope and Content
Materials Removed from the Collection
Title: Jackie Winnow Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1947-1994 [bulk dates 1980-1991]
Accession number: 94-19
Winnow, Jackie, 1947-1991
Extent: 1.65 linear feet
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
San Francisco, California.
The Jackie Winnow Papers (#94-19) were donated to GLHS by Teya Schaffer (Jackie's spouse)
Collection is open for research.
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian
Historical Society of Northern California.
There are 2 audio cassettes and photographs in the Papers.
[Identification of item], Jackie Winnow Papers, 94-19, The Gay and Lesbian Historical
Society of Northern California.
Jackie Winnow was born Jacqueline Weinstein on April 28, 1947 in New York City. She
attended Hunter College becoming involved in the very early Women's Liberation Movement
in New York City. She moved to Florida in 1973 or 1974, where she worked on rape crisis
and lesbian issues. In 1975 she took up residence in the Bay Area, where she spent the
rest of her life.
She attended San Francisco State University graduating summa cum laude in women's studies
in 1980. She became the Lesbian, Gay Liaison with the San Francisco Human Rights
Commission. Her original position was half-time, under her direction the staff was
increased to three full-time professionals along with many interns and volunteers. Jackie
became the first official coordinator in February of 1988. The Commission is responsible
for investigating complaints of sexual orientation and AIDS/HIV discrimination, handling
issues of concern to the Lesbian, Gay and HIV community, and staffing the Lesbian, Gay
Advisory Committee. She used much of her organizing abilities in fighting for domestic
partnership rights. Unfortunately, this fight is not well represented in her personal
papers. Her efforts at organizing the Jewish Feminist Conference of 1982 are reflected in
her papers. Jackie was also very concerned with issues involving lesbian health concerns.
Jackie had to leave the Commission in 1990 due to metastatic breast cancer. She had been
diagnosed with cancer in May of 1985. She had put her community organizing experience to
work immediately upon realizing there was no central place to get impartial information
and referral, no place to integrate the cancer experience, nor gain the support of other
women with cancer by founding the Women's Cancer Resource Center in 1986, the first such
Center in the country. The goal of the center is to empower women with cancer to be
informed consumers and decision makers, gain support, educate the community, and advocate
for change. The center opened its doors in 1989. Jackie continued to speak and write as a
cancer activist until her death on September 7, 1991. Jackie's family was very important
to her especially Teya Schaffer, her spouse.
Scope and Content
The Jackie Winnow Papers, 1.65 linear feet, covers the years 1947 through 1994 with the
bulk of materials covering 1980 to 1991. The majority of the materials document Jackie's
many activities while in the San Francisco Bay Area. The materials are arranged in twelve
series; Biographical Information, Correspondence, Writings, Miscellaneous Files
Concerning Cancer, Miscellaneous, Individuals, Political Activity, Subject Files, Women's
Cancer Resource Center, Awards, Ephemera, and Audio-Visual.
The Biographical Information series is arranged chronologically. Among the noteworthy
files is a transcript of an extensive taped interview with Sandy Polishuk taken in
February 1990 concerning Jackie's fight with cancer and her organizing around access to
cancer information. The file of Teya Schaffer's notes personalizes Jackie beyond what is
apparent from the written materials of the collection. For example, Teya elaborates on
the meaning of words and sayings Jackie commonly used. The researcher will also find
occasional photocopies of post-it notes in the collection that were written by Teya
describing those particular items.
The Correspondence is arranged mostly chronologically, a considerable amount of
correspondence concerning one subject has been grouped in a separate folder. The
correspondence in the general folders is mostly concerns routine matters including
publishing, some family correspondence, and a few more in-depth letters from friends. In
general Jackie was not a letter writer and this is reflected in the correspondence.
Following the correspondence are files of sympathy and birthday cards. Only a selected
few of these were kept, those having more extensive messages.
The Writings series is separated into three subseries. The first subseries includes all
of Jackie's writings on Cancer and Lesbian Health. These speeches, articles, and a letter
are arranged alphabetically by title. In 1989 Jackie gave the keynote address at the
Lesbian Care Givers and AIDS Epidemic Conference, Lesbians Evolving Health Care. This
speech was revised over time and became the basis for many of her other speeches and
articles (for Out/Look and Sinister Wisdom to name a few) and a chapter of a Women and
Cancer Anthology. These writings discuss the epidemic of breast cancer in women and the
need for accessible information and organizing around it the issue. In addition these
writings express frustration at women's health needs not being addressed. Jackie pointed
out that a lot of lesbian energy has gone to AIDS work and advocacy, it is time for
lesbians to start looking at their own needs especially in terms of women's health
The Course work subseries is arranged alphabetically by title of paper or course title
whichever was available. Most of the work is from Jackie's time at San Francisco State
University, 1978 to 1980. A few pieces have no dates and there is one from 1974. The
overwhelming majority of the Course work focuses on Women's Studies topics and/or
Lesbianism. Also included are an autobiography and a biography of Jackie's mother
The Miscellaneous Writings subseries contains a variety of writing forms. Jackie wrote in
a journal very sporadically, also included are miscellaneous jottings she wrote over
time, and one folder of poetry.
The Miscellaneous Files Concerning Cancer series contains various materials documenting
Jackie's life with cancer. These files include information on her care giver group,
materials on support groups she was a member of and memorials of women who died during
Jackie's lifetime. Also included in this series are a few notes on her medical treatment
and articles on women and cancer.
The Miscellaneous Series documents various aspects of Jackie's life and activities that
do not fit elsewhere. Of interest is a syllabi for a Lesbian Studies Course she created
in hopes of teaching at San Francisco State in 1980, and two outlines for oral history
projects on Jewish Women and Lesbian Mothers in the 1970s.
The Individuals series, arranged alphabetically by name, documents Jackie's interactions
with both family members and others. The files from family members (Mallory Brown, Teya
and Asher Schaffer) contain writings, poetry and artwork to Jackie. The other files are
writings and correspondence from individuals that she knew, they mostly deal with cancer
The Political Activity Series is arranged alphabetically by folder title. For information
on the Women's Cancer Resource Center see the series below. The files in this series
mostly document the Jewish Feminist Conference held in the 1982 in San Francisco. Jackie
played a very active role in the last few weeks of conference organization.
The Subject Files Series is composed of files on various topics kept by Jackie. The files
retained for this series were ones with more unique and hard to find items. Files
consisting of only New York Times clippings and other major papers have been removed form
the Jackie Winnow Papers. The files contain leaflets, newspaper clippings, papers, and
writings. See the folder listing for a list of the subjects covered.
The Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) Series documents the organization and practices
of the WCRC during 1989 and 1990. These files are a good source of information on the
programs the WCRC organized, their fundraising efforts, and general administrative
matters. The files are arranged alphabetically by title.
The Awards Series documents the recognition Jackie received in her lifetime for her
activist work. The Ephemera Series contains miscellaneous items such as her passports and
the artwork that adorned her office walls.
The Audio-Visual series includes two tapes of speakers at Jackie's memorial in 1991.
There is also included extensive photographs of Jackie's family especially Teya and
Asher. Also included are snapshots at awards dinners, Gay Pride Day Parades, and Jackie's
cats -Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein.
Materials Removed from the Collection
See the accession files for a complete list of materials returned to Teya Schaffer.
Title: 1983 Jewish Feminist Conference Records
Identifier/Call Number: #91-28
Title: Lesbian/Gay Activities Office of SF Human Rights Commission Records
Identifier/Call Number: #90-3
Title: Lesbian/Gay Advisory Committee to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission Records
Identifier/Call Number: #94-33
Title: Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Papers
Identifier/Call Number: #93-13