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Sallie M. Fiske Papers and Photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2010-005

Scope and Content

This collection comprises manuscripts, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, negatives, contact sheets, financial records, tax records, bankruptcy records, legal documents pertaining to lawsuits and the prosecution of Valerie Terrigno, drawings, paste-ups, mementos, personal notes, lists, and slides. The core of the collection consists of documents pertaining to the West Hollywood Paper, including financial documents, manuscripts written by Fiske, resumes sent to the paper, contact and circulation lists, photographs, negatives, and contact sheets. The collection also contains research notes and articles; articles for other magazines and newspapers; a photocopy of Harry Hay's "Towards the New Frontiers of Fairy Vision"; work from her career in public relations; and documents related to Valerie Terrigno's indictment. The personal portion of the collection contains love letters and correspondence dating from 1958-1994, Fiske's last will and testament, financial records, photographs, news clippings, drawings, and other personal documents and mementos.

The collection is divided into three series: (1) Career and activism, (2) Personal, and (3) Photographs, negatives, and slides. The bulk of the (1) Career and activism series includes Sallie Fiske's work and manuscripts related to the West Hollywood Paper, as well as her work as an activist and in public relations, 1978-1996. The (2) Personal series includes love letters and other correspondence, financial records, and manuscripts given to her from other writers, 1958-1994. The bulk of the (3) Photographs, negatives, and slides series includes photographs, negatives, and contact sheets related to the West Hollywood Paper, as well as personal photographs, 1985-1986.


  • 1958-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1984 - 1986



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

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).


Sallie Fiske was born in 1929 to Los Angeles journalist and Orange County socialite, Frank Fiske and Dorothy (Guthrie) Fiske. She graduated from Fullerton College in the 1940s.

One of the first women in broadcast journalism in the United States, Fiske worked as news editor at KCOP-TV (Channel 13) in the late 1950s and hosted the afternoon talk show, Strictly for Women, during the 1970s. In 1977, Fiske, in reaction to Anita Bryant's anti-gay "Save Our Children" campaign, disclosed her sexual orientation on the air and was subsequently fired from the show. She never worked in broadcast journalism again.

Fiske was active in the gay and lesbian rights struggle during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1978, she actively participated in the campaign to defeat the California Proposition 6 Briggs Initiative. She later served as a co-chair of the Stonewall Democratic Club. In 1984, Fiske managed the successful mayoral campaign of Valerie Terrigno, who became the first mayor of the City of West Hollywood.

During 1985-1986, Fiske was the publisher and editor-in-chief of the West Hollywood Paper. The paper lasted less than two years due to financial difficulties.

In 1994, Fiske edited Alan Cantwell's book, Queer Blood! The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot, which explored the origins of HIV. Fiske died in Los Angeles on February 19, 2004.


3.5 Linear Feet (6 archive cartons + 1 oversized envelope + (0.4 linear feet, unprocessed).)

Language of Materials



Collection includes documents, correspondence, financial records, photographs, negatives and slides pertaining to the life and career of lesbian journalist, Sallie Fiske, 1929-2004. The majority of the records document her involvement as publisher and editor-in-chief of the West Hollywood Paper, including original manuscripts by Fiske, photographs, negatives, contact sheets, financial records, contact and circulation lists, and records related to the bankruptcy of the paper. This collection also includes personal love letters, cards, and other correspondence; a photocopy of Harry Hay's "Towards the New Frontiers of Fairy Vision"; papers related to the indictment and prosecution of Valerie Terrigno; personal financial papers; and work from her career in public relations.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ed Garren, executor of the Sallie M. Fiske estate, November 14, 2006.

Separated Materials

Issues of the West Hollywood Paper, the Los Angeles Dispatch, the Orange County Dispatch, and Frontiers Magazine have been separated from this collection and moved to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' collection of periodicals.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Emily Prior, August 19, 2010. An additional 0.4 linear feet of deteriorated and damaged material remains unprocessed, awaiting conservation.

Sallie M. Fiske Papers and Photographs
Emily Prior
August 19, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is 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