Poster: Lucia Vernarelli
Congress to Unite Women, 1970
New York City
HISTORY FOR ACTIVIST USE --
WOMEN'S LIBERATION STUDIES
Building on What's Been Won
"Their view of history was not as past-as static; but of history as movement, as development, as continuing struggle; a history of the present as well as the past-for the future. It is a history of the arguments and the debates, not just to show progress but how it came about. Theirs was a history that sums up in order to move forward, a history not just to give credit but to record, record attempts and mistakes, a history to use-an arsenal for women, as they put it. It was a history by the activists, those who write history to change history."
By Knowing What's Been Done!
--Kathie Sarachild describing History of Woman Suffrage, edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Gage,1881, in "The Power of History," from Redstockings' Feminist Revolution.
The Redstockings Women's Liberation Archives Distribution Project is a mostly volunteer, grassroots effort, which teaches history for activist use. Through our catalog, we make available some of the founding documents of the women's liberation movement, as well as materials which take stock of and seek to advance the gains won through the freedom organizing of the 1960s. Feminists, community, and youth organizers use our material for all kinds of activism, such as speakouts, campaigns, conferences, zap actions, consciousness-raising and study groups. In addition, students, journalists, and professors use Archives material for women's studies classes, school research papers, and to produce films, articles and books.
Excerpts From The First Archives For Action Catalog, 1989:
"Redstockings is working to make available a chronological bibliography of, and
public access to, all the written documents of the 1960's rebirth years of
feminism. This catalog is only the beginning of the project. As resources grow,
a more extensive and broader range of material will be available to nourish and
spark today's progressive organizations and activists.
We are sorry that we have mostly had to choose the relatively costly (and also
not very permanent) photocopying process for making these materials publicly
available. But it is a way that Redstockings can get these vital tools and
knowledge out and used without the need for lots of storage space and advance
spending. As facimile editions, the work will be exactly as originally published,
without the introduction of errors that often occurs in the digitizing process.
Movement groups or activists are welcome either to order more from us or
duplicate those materials that are not copyrighted after obtaining a Redstockings
copy. We ask only that you inform us and inform readers of the work of the
Redstockings Archives in reviving and transmitting knowledge of the material.
It's possible to apply for access to materials and information resources in the
Archives collection beyond what's available through this catalog. For further
information about this, write to us…"
Spreading the Radical Signposts From Feminism's Past
We are happy to report that, since 2011, the larger goal that the 1989 catalog announced as "only the beginning" has come into being and even surpassed itself. The "chronological bibliography" and, in fact, a chronologically organized compilation of the widest range yet of the pamphlets and position papers of the 1960s rebirth years of the "Women's Liberation" branch of feminism, is now publically available in the most longlasting form there is: microfilm. Also in this microfilm publication is virtually all of the Redstockings uncatalogued collection - now catalogued. Furthermore, Redstockings will soon be offering for free on its website all of the selected materials it has been providing in photocopied form for nearly three decades.
For more information about all this, click here.
Pioneer Of Women's Liberation Activist History
Laura X's Women's History Research Project
Begun in 1968 by Laura X in Berkeley, California, the Women's History Research Center was the first activist and women's liberation movement connected archives. By 1970, it had become a mass organizing tool and was widely listed in early women's liberation publications. A major achievement of the Women's History Research Center was to put on microfilm many of the early women's liberation movement writings, particularly the explosion of women's liberation periodicals of the time. This microfilm is available in libraries across the country. Ask your librarian to phone the National Women's History Project at (707) 838-6000 for ordering information. Laura X now heads the NationalClearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape, which can be reached at (510) 524-1582. Or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Women's History Library, 2325 Oak Street, Berkeley, CA 94708.
The Online Archive of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union
Statement of purpose: "Out of the upheavals of the 1960's came a group of Windy City women determined to challenge the suffocating male supremacy of the time. They joined the growing women's liberation movement and organized the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) which touched the lives of thousands of women through its many organizing projects from 1969-1977. Now they are sharing their history on the Internet to inspire new generations to continue the struggle for justice and equality. "
The Genesis Project in England...
is a mapping initiative, funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) to identify and develop access to women's history sources in the British Isles. The Genesis Project Team is currently designing the database which will enable you to search over 2000 archive, library and museum collections from 45 institutions relating to women's history. This will be available in June 2002. Please keep visiting this site for updates on progress.
How You Can Help Us
The Archive is supported by the time and money of volunteers and people who use our materials. We need your help to keep use of the Archives growing.
As longtime activist and Archives user Jenny Brown says, "We will not be able to build a radical movement for women's liberation or the liberation of anyone else until we uncover the foundations of radical organizing in our own history and experience.We have to alert our sisters to the vital storehouse in the feminist tradition and get our movement going in a direction which will actually win some of the things we need." ("Women for Peace or Women's Liberation? Signposts from the Feminist Archives," Vietnam Generation, Summer/Fall 1989).
To continue in this direction, the Archives needs your donation of time and money. Make a contribution to Redstockings, to help us continue collecting, cataloguing, preserving and analyzing from the treasure trove of newspapers, journals, position papers, tapes, photographs, and posters of the Women's Liberation Movement. Arrange for a women's liberation activist who works with the Archives to speak in your community or at your college to share the new organizing and mobilizing ideas coming out of Redstockings Archives work. Every dollar, every hour, you donate sows the seeds of a women's liberation resurgence. You can make your contribution here.
Correspondence and donations can also be sent to the address below. You can also email us at
Please make checks out to Redstockings, Inc. Donations are tax deductible.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement
P.O. Box 744 Stuyvestant Station
New York, NY 10009
USE HERSTORY TO CHANGE HISTORY!