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Los Angeles Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski records

 Collection
Identifier: Coll2014-048

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises correspondence, newsletters, clippings, press releases, fliers, court records, notes, typescripts and other material from the Los Angeles Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski, 1984-1991. The materials document the campaign by lesbian activists to raise awareness of gay and lesbian rights; and to raise funds to support Karen Thompson's legal efforts to reestablish visitation rights and be named Sharon Kowalski's guardian.

Dates

  • 1984 - 1991

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical / Historical

In 1983, Sharon Kowalski suffered severe brain injuries in a car accident, which left her physically disabled. Kowalski's father, Donald, and her longtime partner Karen Thompson both petitioned to be named Sharon's guardian. Guardianship was granted to Kowalski's father, who cut off visitation from Thompson. Thompson subsequently began a legal battle to reestablish visitation rights and be named Sharon's guardian. In 1991, the Minnesota Court of Appeals granted guardianship to Thompson.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet (1 box.)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Correspondence, newsletters, clippings, press releases, fliers, court records, notes, typescripts and other material from the Los Angeles Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski, 1984-1991. In 1983, Sharon Kowalski suffered severe brain injuries in a car accident, which left her physically disabled. Kowalski's father, Donald, was initially named Sharon's guardian and cut off visitation from Sharon's longtime partner, Karen Thompson. The materials document the campaign by lesbian activists to raise awareness of the legal battle and lesbian rights; and to raise funds to support Karen Thompson's legal efforts to reestablish visitation rights and be named Sharon Kowalski's guardian.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Other Finding Aids

Carolyn Weathers Photographs and Papers, Coll2014-008, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Clothespin Fever Press Records, Coll2013-092, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Carolyn Weathers, June 20, 2012.

Separated Materials

Separated to the ONE library

Thompson, Karen, and Julie Andrzejewski. Why Can't Sharon Kowalski Come Home? San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute Book Company, 1988. (inscribed to Carolyn Weathers and Jenny Wrenn)

Separated to the ONE Archives poster collection

National Free Sharon Kowalski Day, Sunday, August 7, 1988, Minnesota.

Separated to the ONE Archives button collection

“Bring Sharon Home / D.C. Lesbian Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski. Round, black text on white, red, and yellow background.

“Free Sharon Kowalski.” Round, white text on purple background.

Separated to the ONE Archives T-shirt collection

“Bring Sharon Home” next to a stick figure in a wheelchair. White text and purple figure on a black background.

Separated to the ONE audiovisual collection (regarding the Free Sharon Kowalski movement)

Clothespin Fever and Lambda Delta Lambda event at Pat Shanahan and Joyce Nordquist's house, April 29, 1988. (audiocassette)

Karen Thompson on West 57th Street, March 4, 1989. (VHS, DVD)

Los Angeles Central Library, Gay and Lesbian Authors, June 6, 1991. (VHS, DVD)

Lifestyle Update, Coast-to-Coast, show #58. (VHS)

Lifetime Commitment: A Portrait of Karen Thompson. (VHS, 33 minutes)

National Organization for Women Second Conference on Lesbian Rights, San Diego, October 8-10, 1988. (3 audiocassettes)

Processing Information

The materials in this collection were originally part of the Carolyn Weathers Photographs and Papers (Coll2014-008). In 2017, upon request of the donor, the materials were separated from the Weathers collection to become its own Los Angeles Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski Records (Coll2014-048). Collection was originally processed by Kyle Morgan with assistance from volunteers, 2014.

Title
Finding aid to the Los Angeles Committee to Free Sharon Kowalski records, 1984-1991
Status
Completed
Author
Loni Shibuyama
Date
© 2014, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

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

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