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Celeste West Papers
GLC 124  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Celeste West Papers
    Dates: 1972-1996
    Collection Number: GLC 124
    Creator/Collector: West, Celeste.
    Extent: 24 boxes
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: 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.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Celeste West Papers. San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Tina Perricone for the Estate of Celeste West, 2009-2012.

    Biography/Administrative History

    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.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    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. There are files for "Lesbian Polyfidelity," "A Lesbian Love Advisor," "Words In Our Pockets," "Revolting Librarians," "Women's Films in Print," "Positive Images," and the "Passionate Perils of Publishing."

    Indexing Terms

    Librarians--United States.
    Lesbian librarians--United States.
    Women publishers--United States.
    Lesbians--Sexual behavior.
    Lesbians--Social life and customs.
    West, Celeste--Social and political views.
    West, Celeste--Archives.
    Gidlow, Elsa, 1898-1986.

    Additional collection guides