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Register of the Los Angeles Women's Liberation Movement Collection, 1970-1976
MSS 023  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Background
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Los Angeles Women's Liberation Movement Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1970-1976
    Collection number: MSS 023
    Creator: Smith, Barbara
    Extent: 1 record storage box

    1 cubic feet
    Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research.
    Los Angeles, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles.  The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Los Angeles Women's Liberation Movement Collection, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles.


    The collection was donated by Barbara Smith, a local activist in the women's movement in the 1970s. She was very active in the L.A. Women's Liberation Center (also known as the Los Angeles Women's Center) where she played a key role in organizing the Liberation School. Later she was active in the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and with Federally Employed Women (FEW).
    The Los Angeles Women's Liberation Center was founded in 1970. Among its activities were consciousness raising and campaigns regarding issues affecting women, issues such as abortion rights, prisoner rights, gay and lesbian rights, and labor conditions.

    Scope and Content

    The collection is divided into three series: L.A. WOMEN'S LIBERATION CENTER, NOW, and FEW.
    The following local periodicals associated with the Women's Liberation Center are separated from the collection:
    • Everywoman - May, 1970 - May, 1972
    • Women's Center Newsletter - June, 1972 - December 1972.
    • Sister - January, 1973 - March, 1976
    The L. A. WOMEN'S LIBERATION CENTER series contains numerous issues of the Center's newsletter as well as various other documents related to the Center. Folder 3 includes early papers describing a proposed women's center for L.A. and the original working structure of the Center as of January 5, 1970. It includes a list of the original board of directors, member organizations, and contact persons. Folder 8 contains documents relating to the Feminist Women's Health Center's legal battles over its advocacy of menstrual extraction as a method of abortion. Folder 4 contains articles on the Feminist Theater.
    The center's monthly newsletters are particularly useful in identifying key individuals and activities of the early L.A. women's liberation movement. Vol. 1, No. 3 contains an account of the participation of the Women's Center Labor Committee in a 1970 strike of the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), Local 854, at the Van Nuys RCA plant. Vol. 1, No. 5 has an account by a participant from the Center in the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium, a large demonstration in East L.A. to protest the draft and the Vietnam War. Vol. 2, No. 10 notes the campaign of Margaret Wright, a Center activist and representative of Women Against Repression (a black women's liberation group) to run for the L.A. Board of Education. Vol. 2, No. 5 includes the call for a meeting to plan the founding of a westside women's center as well as the newsletters of the newly-formed Westside Center.
    Folder 11 of the NOW series contains a report on the 1973 National NOW conference held in Los Angeles.