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Lesbian Legacy Collection subject files

Identifier: Coll2009-004

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Scope and Content of Collection

The Lesbian Legacy Collection Subject Files comprises clippings, catalogs, organizational records, flyers, pamphlets, correspondence, manuscripts, press material, posters, textiles, calendars and other printed material that document organizations, events and individuals significant to the feminist and lesbian rights movement. The collection is divided into two series: (1) Subject Files and (2) Posters and Textiles. The Subject Files are arranged alphabetically, and approximate dates range from the 1960s to 2000s. The Posters and Textiles Series includes posters from events and organizations, and a single cloth armband.


  • Creation: circa 1960-2008



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).

Administrative History

In 1996, the ONE Institute / International Gay & Lesbian Archives (now the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives) introduced three female members to its board of directors: Jeanne Córdova, Ivy Bottini and Karen Quimby. Along with other lesbian women on the ONE board, Córdova, Bottini and Quimby spearheaded a campaign to increase lesbian visibility at ONE and to develop a special collection within the archives, known as the Lesbian Legacy Collection. Karen Quimby served as its first director.

The Lesbian Legacy Collection (LLC) developed under the supervision of lesbian feminist, activist and librarian, Yolanda Retter. Through a grant from the California Community Foundation and additional funds from ONE, Retter was hired as LLC's full-time librarian, and the LLC opened its doors to the public in 1997. Among Retter's projects and activities was curating gay and lesbian exhibits; creating and maintaining a website on lesbian history; providing resources for researchers and scholars; and collecting, organizing and preserving the LLC subject files, a substantial portion of which was acquired by Jim Kepner, founder of the International Gay & Lesbian Archives. In 2006, the Lesbian Legacy Collection ended its operations.


28.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Clippings, catalogs, organizational records, flyers, pamphlets, correspondence, manuscripts, press material, posters and other printed material make up the Lesbian Legacy Collection Subject Files, begun in 1996 by lesbian feminist activist and librarian, Yolanda Retter, at the ONE Institute / International Gay & Lesbian Archives (now the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.) The collection consists of over a thousand files related to lesbian history and the women's rights movement, circa 1960-2008.

Acquisition Information

A portion of the collection was acquired by International Gay & Lesbian Archives founder, Jim Kepner. The rest of the materials were collected by Yolanda Retter and volunteers of the Lesbian Legacy Collection. For most of the materials, donors and dates of acquisition are unknown.

Related Materials

ONE Subject File Collection, Coll2012-001, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Separated Materials

Photographs in this collection have been separated to the ONE Archives Subject File Photographs, Coll2010-007, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, March 27, 2009. Processing this collection has been funded in part by a generous donation from Jeanne Córdova.


Finding aid of the Lesbian Legacy Collection subject files, circa 1960-2008
Loni Shibuyama
© 2009, revised 2016
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