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Finding Aid for the Elaine Mikels papers, 1977-1984
1954  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Elaine Mikels was born in 1921 in Los Angeles where she spent much of her early life. Although raised Jewish, she attended Flintridge, a Catholic boarding school. Through different mediums Mikels has spoken about her early relationships with women, who identified as straight and later went on to get married. Similarly to other closeted women living in the 1940's, she had little concept of how to deal with her own relationships much less build community though shared interests. In the late sixties (approximately 1967), Elaine Mikels became, in her own estimation, political. She joined the anti-war movement, joined lesbian-feminist communities in Oregon and participated in peace action with lesbians in North Carolina. In 1976 she founded the Older Women's Network in order to bring older lesbian feminists together to share resources and achieve their activist goals. She would go on to participate in similar groups and helped to found the group Older Lesbians Organizing for Change later in her life. The Elaine Mikels Papers is predominantly comprised of photographs taken by Elaine Mikels in several different locations and with different groups of people. Included are photographs of lesbian activist gatherings, lesbian social gatherings and sports clubs, lesbian writing groups and self published newsletters. The collection contains over two hundred hand processed photographs. The collection also includes materials related to the publication of Elaine Mikels' autobiography, as well as a copy of the final published version. Also included are personal papers, journals, correspondence and various personal materials. The pictures contained in the Mikels collection of Feminary writer, producers and supporters reflect this new political imperative and the changes in content. The most prominent participant in the Feminary editorial collective was Minnie Bruce Pratt, photographs of her are contained within the collection. Also represented in the collection are photographs documenting the Women's Pentagon Action, a two thousand woman protest that surrounded the Pentagon in 1981. Eventually, Mikels settled in Santa Fe, but it is from this period in Oregon and North Carolina that most of her photographic collection represents.
Background
Elaine Mikels was born in 1921 in Los Angeles where she spent much of her early life. Although raised Jewish, she attended Flintridge, a Catholic boarding school. Through different mediums Mikels has spoken about her early relationships with women, who identified as straight and later went on to get married. Similarly to other closeted women living in the 1940's, she had little concept of how to deal with her own relationships much less build community though shared interests. During this period she suffered from depression and was hospitalized for severe episodes.
Extent
4 document boxes (2 linear ft.)
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Availability
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.