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Women and the Arts at the Rubenstein Library: Performing Arts

Manuscript Collections

Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance Archives, ca. 1972-1994
Grassroots lesbian feminist activist organization. The ALFA Archives includes the organizational records of Lucina's Music/Orchid Productions; Radio Free Georgia (WRFG) women's programming; and the Southern Women's Music festival; Also includes information about many other women and lesbian arts, film, theater organizations. 

Kathy Acker Papers, 1973-1996 and undated
Cyberpunk author and performance artist. Drafts of the play The Birth of the Poet and the film script Variety. See also “Literary” and “Visual”.

Sallie Bingham Papers, 1900-2006
Feminist and writer. Collection includes drafts, research, correspondence and publicity the writing and production of her plays; and records of Santa Fe Stages, a regional theater founded by Bingham. See also “Literary”.

Ann Preston Bridgers Papers, 1871-1967, bulk 1925-1963

Actress, playwright, patron of the arts. Includes information about the play Coquette, which she wrote with George Abbott, that was presented on Broadway in 1927 and the Raleigh Little Theater, which she was instrumental in founding through the auspices of the Federal Theatre Project of the Work Projects Administration. 3,100 items.

flyerCommon Woman Chorus Records, 1980s-2004 and n.d.
Primarily sheet music, correspondence, administrative, and financial records for this lesbian feminist choral group established in the Triangle (NC) in 1983. Also includes concert programs for the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus, music catalogs, research and music selection files, performance programs and set lists, membership rosters, brochures, and other promotional materials. 4,632 items.

Viola Hill Papers, 1909-1948 and n.d., (bulk 1916-1928)

African-American coloratura soprano of Philadelphia, PA, and recipient of Certificate of Proficiency in Music from the University of Penn. Some correspondence, programs, clippings, and other materials document Hill's term as secretary of the Philadelphia branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians and her business and musical collaborations with the president, Carl Diton, including their participation in a major African-American music festival in Raleigh, NC, in 1924. 850 items.

ladyslipperLadyslipper, Inc. Records, 1978-2002
Founded in 1976, Ladyslipper, Inc. is a distributor of women’s music and independent record label in Durham, NC.  The collection contains the publisher’s negatives for the company’s wholesale and retail catalogs, which feature women musicians, composers, and singers. Copies of the Ladyslipper Catalog and Resource Guide for 1978, 1980-1983, and 1987-2002 are also included. 1440 items.

Catherine Nicholson Papers, 1942-2005

Materials relating to women and theater. Included are play scripts written by Nicholson and other playwrights and scripts with her directorial annotations. There are also clippings, correspondence, press kits, and reviews about theater, feminism and theatre and individual plays, and playbills. See also “Literary”.

Bobbye Ortiz Sound Recordings Collection, ca. 1950-1985

Spoken word and music sound recordings collected by Ortiz from the early 1950’s until her death in 1990. The items represent a wide variety of popular and political protest songs and poetry from Central America, Latin America, South America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the United States. The bulk of the collection consists of works by or about Central America, Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean, but there is also considerable material about the United States, including topics such as integration and race relations, the women’s movement, labor movements (including the United Farm Workers), and the Vietnamese Conflict. Women performers and composers are well represented. 316 sound recordings.

radical cheerleadersRadical Cheerleaders Posters, 2000
Formed in 1996 by sisters Cara and Aimee Jennings of Lake Worth, Fla, the concept is to utilize cheerleading to broadcast messages from the feminist left.  Four  illustrated posters, each containing one of the organization’s cheers, including "Fat & Fabulous," "No to Nair," "Rebel," and "Shoot that Rapist."

Rosetta Reitz Papers, 1929-2008
Business owner, stock broker, university lecturer, and writer on issues including food, feminism, women's health, and female jazz and blues musicians, Reitz was also the founder and owner of Rosetta Records, a company most prominent in the 1980s that was dedicated to re-releasing historic recordings by female jazz and blues musicians.

Rock Against Sexism Records, ca. 1981-1994 and n.d.
Primarily layouts for and the final printed versions of the self-published zine Rock Against Sexism (ca. 1981-1994 and n.d.). Also includes administrative information and printed material relating to the zine, Rock Against Sexism as a group, and the punk bands the group promoted (214 items); 30 black-and-white prints of a band in concert; 29 black-and-white negatives; and 2 audiocassette tapes, including Rock Against Sexism International Woman’s Day 1985 Radio Show. 350 items.

Jessie Simms Papers, 1899-1901

Chiefly a diary kept by Simms while touring with the Andrews Opera Company throughout the United States. It contains the complete itinerary of two of the Opera Company’s tours and names the towns and hotels in which the Company slept each night on the road from 1899 Sept.-1900 May and from 1900 Aug.-1901 Mar. Diary entries describe the places they visited, sightseeing, and Opera Company members. Her twin sister Hattie was a singer with the Company. 4 items.

Mary Lou Williams Papers, [ca. 1959]-1990

Jazz pianist, composer, and arranger; born in Atlanta,Ga., resident of Durham, N.C., where she died in 1981. Collection contains materials used by Linda Dahl in  researching her biography of Williams (Morning Glory, 1999), primarily newspaper and magazine articles (1959-1990). Also includes letters from Williams to her friend Joyce Breach; photographs; programs of performances; and other materials documenting Williams' career as a jazz musician/composer. 200 items.