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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Elsa Gidlow was a lesbian poet, journalist, and woman of letters who in 1923 published the first book of openly lesbian poetry. The collection contains her correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, published works, journals, audiovisual materials, and ephemera.
Background
Elsa Gidlow (29 December 1898 – 8 June 1986) was a lesbian poet, philosopher, and woman of letters. Her book On a Grey Thread (1923) was the first collection of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America, and her autobiography, Elsa: I Come With My Songs (1986) was the first lesbian autobiography whose author did not publish under a pseudonym. In 1954, she purchased a ranch which she named Druid Heights and used as both a personal home and a retreat for fellow artists, feminists, and bohemians. An appearance in the 1977 documentary Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives brought a larger audience to Gidlow, who lived her long life outside of the closet and in queer community.
Extent
13 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials is not held by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Availability
Collection is open for research.