activist Barbara Gittings's archive of letters, photos,
manuscripts, and publications will be held and preserved by
the New York Public Library. The materials were
donated by Gittings and her partner, photojournalist
Kay Tobin Lahusen. Gittings died in February.
In addition to
personal papers, the collection includes fliers, T-shirts,
buttons, press clippings, and sound and video recordings.
Gittings is well
known for founding the Daughters of Bilitis, the first
national organization for lesbians. She also edited the
group's publication, The Ladder.
donated by Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen is a
remarkable firsthand chronicle detailing the battles of gays
and lesbians to overcome the prejudice and
restrictions that were prevalent prior to the activism
and protest movements that started in the 1960s," NYPL
president Paul LeClerc said in a statement. "It also
provides an invaluable view of an era of dynamic change in
which new ideas flourished and new freedoms were
gained in all corners of society."
The archive also
features a collection of Lahusen's photographs,
documenting demonstrations of gay activism, early picketing,
parades, political campaigns, and cover photos for
will remain at the Humanities and Social Sciences
Library's Manuscripts and Archives Division on Fifth Avenue
and 42nd Street in Manhattan. Other historical
collections housed by the library include the
International Gay Information Center Archives and the
records of the Gay Men's Health Crisis and ACT UP/NY.