Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (ALFA) Archives, circa 1972-1994
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- Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance
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- Scope and content:
When ALFA disbanded in 1994, the archival collections and the bulk of the periodicals collection were transferred to Duke's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The book collection and the remaining periodicals stayed in Atlanta, with books relating to feminist theory going to Emory University and the rest to a community library. The ALFA Archives and Periodicals Collections that have been transferred to Duke are an incredibly rich source of information about feminist and lesbian activism and communities, especially in the Southeast, from the early 1970s to the present.
The ALFA Archives includes the organizational records of ALFA as well as other southern radical women's groups such as Lucina's Music/Orchid Productions; Radio Free Georgia (WRFG) women's programming; the womonwrites conference for lesbian writers and publishers; the Southern Women's Music festival; the Atlanta Socialist-Feminist Women's Union; and Dykes for the Second American Revolution (DAR II). The extensive subject files, which are a part of ALFA's archives, document scores of other feminist, lesbian, and activist organizations and events as well as provide information on a broad range of feminist and lesbian issues. Of particular note are ALFA's "Theory/Analysis (Women)" files, as well as their collection of publications by KNOW, Inc., in the "Publishers" subseries; using these primary materials, researchers can get a good sense of the issues that gave rise to the women's liberation movement and to ALFA in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The ALFA Periodicals Collection contains literally hundreds of grassroots newsletters and journals, many of which are now ephemeral and not in any library. This extensive library of feminist, lesbian and gay, and activist periodicals is more fully described in a separate guide.
- Biographical / historical:
The Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (ALFA) was founded in 1972 by a group of radical lesbians, many socialist and all feminist, who broke away from Atlanta's Women's Liberation Center and the Gay Liberation movement because they felt that neither had adequately addressed issues of concern to women as lesbians and lesbians as women. ALFA initially worked to fill a social void for and to offer a political voice to Atlanta lesbians, publicizing its efforts through a self-produced monthly newsletter, the Atalanta. Over the years, as the political and cultural climate changed and lesbians created new avenues through which to pursue their interests, ALFA struggled to find a clear and unique sense of purpose; this historically telling struggle is well-documented by ALFA itself, in minutes and mailings to its membership. In spite of its eventual decision to disband, ALFA remains known as one of the oldest lesbian feminist organizations in the United States, and a pioneer in the fight for lesbian, gay, and women's rights.
One of the activities of ALFA--deeply concerned from the outset with the preservation of lesbian "herstory"--was to build and maintain the Southern Feminist Library and Archives (SFLA). The library and archives, which provided a material link between ALFA and other progressive movements and organizations throughout the world, included the archival records of ALFA and several other southern feminist groups; a massive collection of feminist, lesbian, and activist periodicals; and a circulating library of feminist and gay and lesbian books. ALFA disbanded in 1994 after over 20 years of Southern feminist activism.
- Acquisition information:
- The Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (ALFA) Archives were purchased and transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library in 1994.
- Processing information:
Processed by: Diane McKay, Archival Assistant, and Ginny Daley, Women's Studies Archivist
Completed July 1995
Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller
Accession 2022-0009 added and finding aid updated by Laura Micham and Tracy M. Jackson, January 2023.
For the most part, the original order of the ALFA Archives was maintained after being transferred to Duke. Several boxes, which had been in storage and never fully processed by ALFA, were organized upon arrival at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Minor rearrangement and consolidation of some of the ALFA records and subject files helped to reduce confusion and highlight areas of strength. The following container list was created to give maximum access to an incredibly dense and rich collection of information.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Feminist theory
Women political activists -- United States
Lesbian activists -- Southern States
Feminism -- Southern States -- Societies, etc.
Women -- Southern States
Gay liberation movement -- Southern States
Lesbianism -- United States
Lesbianism -- Georgia
Lesbians -- Southern States
Gay activists -- Southern States
Lesbian activists -- United States
Feminism -- Georgia
Gay liberation movement -- United States
- Atlanta Socialist-Feminist Union
Southern Women's Music Festival
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Copyright interests in the ALFA Archives have not been transferred to Duke university and therefore remain with the original creators of the materials.
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