Florence Jaffy papers

Finding aid created by GLBT Historical Society staff using RecordEXPRESS
GLBT Historical Society
989 Market Street, Lower Level
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 777-5455

Descriptive Summary

Title: Florence Jaffy papers
Dates: circa 1952-1972
Collection Number: 1997-23
Extent: 1.5 linear feet (1 carton, 1 half manuscript box)
Repository: GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94103
Abstract: Florence Jaffy, a professor of Economics at the College of San Mateo, served as Research Director for the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) from approximately 1960 to 1970, where she worked under the alias of Florence Conrad.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Florence Jaffy papers. Collection Number: 1997-23. GLBT Historical Society

Biography/Administrative History

Florence Jaffy was the Research Director for the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) from the early 1960s until 1970, where she worked under the alias of Florence Conrad. She appears to have been in charge of gathering information, handling a variety of correspondence, working with groups who wanted research questionnaires submitted to DOB membership, and maintaining a file of news clippings, among other work. She also contributed book reviews to The Ladder, especially for non-fiction and psychology books. She was an active correspondent with a variety of prominent lesbian and gay activists, including Barbara Gittings, Barbara Grier (aka Gene Damon) and Frank Kameny. She was also quick to respond to any negative portrayal of lesbians in the media, and the files include numerous letters to editors, authors and academics critiquing their work. Jaffy was a professor of Economics at the College of San Mateo (CSM), in San Mateo, California. The collection documents her interest in issues such as comparable worth, affirmative action, discrimination, Title IX, wage differentials, women and employment, and psychology, among other topics. Upon her death in the fall of 1986, a scholarship was started in her memory at CSM.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of three series: Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) research materials, personal reference materials, and photographs. The DOB series consists of bibliographies, correspondence, and letters between Jaffy and Barbara Gittings, Barbara Grier, and Frank Kameny. The Gittings letters from 1963 to 1971, as well as the Grier letters from 1968 to 1970, focus primarily on The Ladder, and are of particular interest for their insight into the inner workings of the DOB. The letters also include commentary about a variety of actions taken by the group, as well as discussions about personal relations between some members. The Kameny letters (and clippings) comment on Kameny’s work, and are not personal in nature. The collection also includes a long series of letters concerning DOB’s participation in a questionnaire by the Gender Identity Research Clinic at UCLA, as well as the actual questionnaire, its results, and subsequent articles written about the results. There is also a small file of news clippings, a brief history of the DOB, and a group of research papers on homosexuality. Finally, there is a survey of psychologists about their views on homosexuality, which Jaffy and DOB helped to prepare as well as disseminate. 2 Jaffy’s personal papers are largely reflective of her professional life as an economics professor and her interest in issues relating to women and equal rights. They include a large amount of clippings and articles about comparable worth, affirmative action, the Bakke case, the Equal Rights Amendment, and international women’s issues. It also includes files on the legal aspects of discrimination and affirmative action, protective laws, psychology, religion, Title IX, wage differentials, and the Women’s Equity Action League. Finally, there is a series of folders relating to women and economics, employment, discrimination, and Social Security. GSSO linked terms: http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/GSSO_000381; http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/GSSO_002235; http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/NCIT_C16529; http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/GSSO_002229

Indexing Terms

Homophile movement

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