On Monday, Annabelle and Nancy and I met Nina and two friends at the Ohio Lesbian Archives. Nina went wild listening to audio cassettes–yes, you read that right–audiocassettes of women’s, i.e., lesbian, music from earlier decades.
One friend was enthralled about the different sizes and shapes of books. They are creations, after all, and the ’70s and ’80s in particular had several grassroots women’s presses and publishers who were quite creative.
The mantra was Enthusiasm.
It was gratifying to have visitors–3 in all–yet their appreciation shown through their youthful enthusiasm was quite wonderful. Visits keep us going. Indeed, the Archives just sits there waiting to be used. Whether research for a school paper or curiosity and wonder, we are happy to open the door. Because we are a handful of volunteers, you do need to make an appointment first. [Contact us through our website OLArchives@gmail.com, this blog, or leaving VM @ 513-256-7695 (phebe’s cellphone)].
When will we meet you?
Phebe (Karen) Beiser, for the Archives
Nancy and I have been meeting weekly to input the hundreds of journals, magazines, and newsletters the Ohio Lesbian Archives has. Although detailed work, it is necessary to know our holdings.
We’re using Excel to keep it simple and share-able. For now, Nancy is entering the data and I am reading out Volume, Issue, Date, Publisher. I actually have the fun part for I get to glance at the cover and first pages. From time to time, I’ll exclaim, “Oh, look who was published in this early issue of Conditions.” Or, “Did you realize? X has a Cincinnati connection.” And the librarian in me still becomes excited when we discover a Volume 1, Issue 1.
This might sound boring to some of you (if you’ve even made it as far as this paragraph). But archives need to know what we have. And we want to know. We want to know what we’re spending time and resources on saving. I’d like to offer some issues to lesbian archives in other regions of the country, e.g., if we have a newsletter from Oklahoma, then it would be better placed in that state or a collection that covers the western region. We are using our space well in the church basement but we have boxes yet to unpack. Surprises to find, magazines to catalog.
If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, we are happy to involve you. Even an hour sporadically will help. Thanks,
Phebe for the Archives
It’s hard to believe but the Ohio Lesbian Archives is officially 25 years old!
Back in spring of 1989, a handful of us began meeting regularly to collect and preserve the wonderful (and sometimes rare) materials we’d held on to. Vic and Phebe, the two co-directors, actually had talked about a Cincinnati Lesbian HERstorical Society years before without any other interested women coming forth at the time. Then we became one of the first groups to have an office at the Crazy Ladies Bookstore & Center after it opened (the owned building on the corner across from Hoffner Park). The Archives (OLA) remained at this Center until the building was sold.
We’ve been housed in Clifton United Methodist Church since summer 2006. This is where we’ll host our birthday party–complete with a cake! We will have an Open House – refreshments – readings – informational moments – refreshments – old friends & new — and did we say it was FREE? A celebration is just that — a gathering of like minded people (men and non-lgbtq’s invited) complete with refreshments and inspiration.
So stop by or spend the evening – 7:00-9:00 p.m. Saturday, October 18th. Come through the glass doors on Senator Place (Church is at corner of Clifton & Senator just north of the big Ludlow & Clifton intersection).
UPDATE Friday, Dec 13: VIC & I ARE CANCELLING DUE TO EXPECTED SNOW STORM TONIGHT. SORRY!
Put our semi-annual Open House on your calendar now!
Please come & enjoy delicious refreshments, mingle with old friends (and new) at the Ohio Lesbian Archives, located in the basement of the Clifton United Methodist Church at Clifton & Senator Place, Cincinnati, OH 45220.
Jewelry Sale: Rainbow & Goddess – All proceeds donated to OLA.
We will raffle off prizes & have duplicate books & VHS tapes (remember those?) to give away.
PLEASE NOTE: Vic is turning 60 & instead of a big party she would like her friends to donate to OLA & come enjoy several delicious homemade birthday cakes (she is a great cook!). See you there!
We will be open between 11 am – 3 pm
Please stop by & see what we’ve been collecting, have some refreshments, say hello. Our upcoming Open House will kick off LGBT Pride here in Cincinnati. From 12-2 on Saturday, June 22nd, our little reference library in the basement of Clifton United Methodist Church will be open (usually you need to make a request to visit).
Victoria, our summer intern Annabelle, and I would love to see you and answer any questions. If you’re a lesbian mother, she’d be interested in talking to you for her project for Women’s Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Also, we discovered we have lots of duplicate copies of some novels, so we’re GIVING BOOKS AWAY! Know that this is highly unusual for an archives. It is only because they are duplicates that we can do this. Our small space also demands it.
NOTE: we have a new email: OLArchives@gmail.com. (We are no longer using the old yahoo account).
Curious about the Ohio Lesbian Archives and all we collect?
We are having our annual Open House on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 from 1-4. Please join us for conversation, refreshments, and adventure in all things archival. Vic, X-a, and Phebe will be there to greet you and show off our collection. Although OLA is a reference library, we do have a gratis lending shelf of duplicate copies, magazines, and videos that you can borrow. Victoria will have rainbow and goddess jewelry for sale for holiday gifts; these are handmade creatively by her and will sell for great prices.
Besides the hundreds of books by and about lesbians, we have magazines, fliers, photographs, LPs, cds, dvds, and even the old DINAH softball team trophy. We have files on Ohio & Kentucky organizations and old Crazy Ladies files. Many of our visitors have been students doing papers on the 1970s. But we also have had–and invite–those who wish to come visit out of curiosity. We believe you will leave feeling empowered!
Maybe you haven’t seen or even thought of the Archives since our old Crazy Ladies days. We used to be on the third floor above Crazy Ladies Bookstore in Northside (Cincinnati neighborhood). When the Center was sold, we moved to a basement office of Clifton United Methodist Church at the corner of Clifton & Senator Place (in the Clifton neighborhood near the University of Cincinnati). You will need to enter the glass door entrance on Senator. From the front door, you can see our window–first one to the left–that’s right, the one with the rainbow clock. Make a face and/or tap gently on our basement window or call Phebe’s cell phone at 513-256-7695 and someone will come unlock the door to let you in (for safety, the Church requires the door to be locked).
We hope to see you at the Open House!
You may also reply here at this blog or email OLA at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been awhile, we know. No excuses ….
We’re back to let you know we’ll be having a semi-annual fundraising event in the form of a COFFEEHOUSE. It will be held the evening of Saturday, October 20, 2012 in the basement recreation area of our home at Clifton United Methodist Church.
We have some great musicians lined up but can still use a comic and emcee.
If you are interested in performing or know of talent we should include, please email us at email@example.com.
We’ll be collating and sending out our newsletter this week. Watch for all the news.