“I am discovering, now, in the late afternoon of the day, that the dead still speak.” (Jeanette Winterson)

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(main floor of the archive. autobiographies, fiction, filing cabinets, purple couch. photo courtesy of fuck yeah, lesbian literature.)

I spent three hours at the archive today, upstairs in the periodicals, looking at and filing copies of Heresies, Aegis and Chrysalis (save an extra copy of things published before 1980).

There’s a grey box that contains what folks at the archive think is the first lesbian newsletter, Vice Versa, written in 1947 by a woman in California on her typewriter “for all her dykey friends.” (F, another volunteer) I was afraid to touch it, it’s so important, but this is the point of an archive, especially a feminist one, for enable people to encounter history.

We looked at piles of newsletters and magazines that had been donated from individuals and universities, deciding if they had anything to do with lesbians, or if they were just general feminist publications. It was such an interesting distinction to make, and to consider, since for me, they’ve always been inseparable. I have such great, complicated thoughts at the archive, there must be something in the walls, or the books, or, most likely, it’s the energy of all of it.

Before I left, F told me that the brownstone next door  had recently been purchased by two women, a couple, for around two million dollars. “Some women have money, I guess,” she said.

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