James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Accession / Old Friend: Barbara Grier

Barbara Grier and Helen Bennett, 1958
(Barbara Grier--Naiad Press Collection)
As we close out the year, I thought it would be fun to share some photos from a recent accession. In July Donna McBride, Barbara Grier's life partner, mailed 16 cartons of additions to the Barbara Grier--Naiad Press Collection. Grier was a lesbian publisher, author, and one of the founders of Naiad Press. To be honest, opening the boxes felt a lot like Christmas morning.

Barbara Grier, December, 1962
(Barbara Grier--Naiad Press Collection)
The additional material includes correspondence, photographs, publicity, books and periodicals, and some manuscripts written by others. The correspondence with Jane Rule from 1964 through 1978 is probably the single-most significant part of this accession. Their letters discuss Jane's writing, the writing of other authors, mutual friends, family, and their personal relationships.

The photos captured my attention, too. What made me smile most are the snapshots and scrapbook pages that document Grier's two committed relationships: with Helen Bennett (1952-1972) and with Donna McBride (1972-2011). These are touching because they show a slice of life that we can all relate to: vacations, new clothes, new cars, Christmas celebrations, birthdays, family, and pets. As we flip through these images, we (re)discover the life of an old and dear friend.
Barbara Grier, January 27, 1963
(Barbara Grier--Naiad Press Collection)
Descriptions of these newly added materials are being incorporated in the existing finding aid for the Barbara Grier-Naiad Press Collection (GLC 30). The collection is available through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library.

1 comment:

Van Buskirk said...

Thanks for posting this. What great photographs. What a wonderful holiday accompaniment to "Indomitable," Joanne Passet's masterful biography of the pioneering publisher.