Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Born in Los Angeles in 1921, Elaine Mikels spent her early life in California attending UCLA, UC Berkeley, and USC, later receiving a Master's in Social Work. During this time, Mikels' struggles with expressing and living out her lesbian identity began as she grappled with forming healthy relationships and finding queer community amid the conformist atmosphere of the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. Documented by over two-hundred photographs in the collection, Mikel's political activism on a national scale began in the late 1960s and continued throughout her life as she organized demonstrations for the anti-war movement, created lesbian-feminist communities, and participated in pacifist and civil disobedience actions. The collection includes materials related to the publication of Elaine Mikels' autobiography, as well as a copy of the final published version. Also included are personal papers, journals, correspondence, and various personal materials.
Elaine Mikels was born in 1921 in Los Angeles, and she spent much of her early life in California. Although raised Jewish, she attended Flintridge, a Catholic boarding school. As a closested lesbian, Mikels spoke about her early relationships with women who identified as straight and later went on to get married. Similarly to other closeted women living in the 1940s, she had little concept of how to deal with her own relationships much less build community though shared interests. During this period she suffered from depression and was hospitalized.
1.6 linear feet (4 document boxes)
Property rights to the objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.