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Lillene H. Fifield papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2007-014

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection comprises reports, drafts, notes, publications, correspondence, research files, audio and videotapes, and other materials documenting the career of social worker, psychotherapist, and lesbian activist Lillene H. Fifield (born 1941), relating in particular to her studies of alcoholism in the Los Angeles gay and lesbian community, her involvement with the establishment and early years of both the Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center (now the L. A. Gay & Lesbian Center) and the Alcoholism Center for Women, and her participation in the International Women's Year and the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977. The collection also contains several videotapes documenting the life and career of gay activist Morris Kight (1919-2003); a pocket diary/appointment calendar, several open reel audio tapes of Lesbian music, and other materials relating to Fifield's lover and fellow lesbian activist, Daphne Hatfield (1937-2006); and a cartoon of gay actor and activist Justin Smith (1921-1986). The collection is divided into 10 series: (1) Writings; (2) Alcoholism; (3) Gay Community Services Center; (4) Research; (5) International Women's Year; (6) Daphne Hatfield; (7) Photographs; (8) Printed Materials; (9) Audio and Video Materials; and (10) Ephemera, Memorabilia, and Artwork.


  • Creation: 1973-2003 (bulk 1973-1987)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1973 - 1987



The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).


Lillene Henrietta Fifield, social worker, psychotherapist, and lesbian activist, was born in Los Angeles on October 28, 1941, and spent many of her early years in Kansas City, Missouri. Active in civil rights issues since high school, she became active in the gay and lesbian movement after coming out at age 19. She earned her B.A. with honors from California State University Los Angeles in 1971, and her MSW with honors from the University of Southern California, where she was the first openly lesbian student, in 1973. Fifield served as research associate at the Regional Research Institute in Social Welfare, School of Social Work, University of Southern California, from 1972 to 1975, the year her pioneering research on alcoholism in the gay and lesbian community was published. After maintaining a private practice in clinical social work from 1976 to 1979, Fifield moved in 1980 to Roseburg, Oregon, where she was a psychiatric social worker for Douglas County Mental Health. Fifield became involved with the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles in November 1971, becoming its principal grant writer; and serving as Vice-Chairman of its Board of Directors in 1974/1975. She also served as first co-chairwoman of the California Women's Commission on Alcoholism, and on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Alcoholism Advisory Board, the California Institute for Human Sexuality, and the California Alcoholism Foundation. She was named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles gay community in 1978, and delivered keynote speeches at the National Council on Alcoholism Annual Forum in Seattle in 1980, at the San Francisco Conference on Alcoholism in the Gay Community in 1985, at and the second National Conference of the National Association of Lesbian & Gay Alcoholism Professionals at Chicago in 1987.


3.4 Linear Feet (10 boxes, 1 map-case drawer.)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Gift of Lillene H. Fifield, October 22, 2005, and June 30, 2007.

Related Material

L. A. Gay & Lesbian Center Records, Coll2007-010, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael P. Palmer, October 2007.

In June 2013, open-reel audiotapes were assigned call numbers (ARR####), replacing the box numbers that were assigned to the audiotapes when this collection was originally processed. These items were formerly housed in Box 9 of this collection.

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid of the Lillene H. Fifield papers
Michael P. Palmer
© 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in: English

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771