The papers contain correspondence, drafts of books and articles written and edited by West, subject files for library work,
and Booklegger Press and Elsa Gidlow materials.
Celeste West (1942-2008) was a writer, activist, radical librarian, publisher, polyamorous lesbian, and Buddhist. She graduated
with a B.A. in journalism from Portland State University and an M.A. in Library Science from Rutgers University. She moved
to San Francisco in the late 1960s and worked at the main San Francisco Public Library. West was a founder of the Bay Area
Reference Center (BARC), which published the monthly periodical "Synergy" for librarians engaged in addressing bias and systemic
change. She also founded Booklegger Magazine, a feminist library journal in the mid 70’s. With Sue Critchfield and Valerie
Wheat, West co-founded Booklegger Press. Their first title, "Revolting Librarians," edited by Elizabeth Katz and Celeste West,
was an anthology that highlighted biased library practices. West wrote numerous books on the theme of lesbian love and literary
freedom, encouraging librarians to be critical thinkers and to challenge established library traditions. West served on the
advisory board for the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch library, and she was the library director at the San Francisco
Zen Center for over 20 years.
UNARRANGED COLLECTION. The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available
during Photo Desk hours. Box 17 (love letters) is closed for research until 2056.