Who We Are

Our thanks go out to so many of you who have been involved with the Archives in so many different ways; previous coordinators, interns, volunteers, staffers, researchers, visitors, friends, lesbians in the community and lesbians around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Amy Beth

Amy Beth is the Chief Librarian and Director of Academic Technologies at Guttman Community College at the City University of New York (CUNY). She received her doctorate in Environmental Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Alexis Clements

Alexis Clements is a writer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Her creative work has been published, produced, and screened in venues across the US, Europe, and South America. Her feature-length documentary film, All We’ve Got, which focuses on LGBTQ women’s spaces at a time when many are closing, premiered in October 2019 in New York City and has since screened around the US and internationally. The film also features the Lesbian Herstory Archives. A regular contributor to Hyperallergic, her writing has also appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, Bitch Magazine, American Theatre, The Brooklyn Rail, and Nature, among others. In addition to her writing and filmmaking, she is currently serving on the Executive Board of CLAGS, the Center for LGBTQ Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), and she recently co-founded Little Rainbows, a story time for queer youth and their caretakers and parents at the Archives.

Colette Denali Montoya-Sloan

Colette Denali Montoya-Sloan, MLIS is a member of the Pueblo of Isleta and a descendant of the Pueblo of San Felipe.  A librarian working at Guttman Community College, she is interested in oral history and issues of Indigenous identity.  Colette coordinates the Lesbian Herstory Archives’ Spoken Word/ Audio Project.  She is a member of the Indigenous Kinship Collective, “a community of Indigenous womxn, femmes, and gender non-conforming folx who gather on Lenni Lenape land to honor each other and our relatives through art, activism, education, and representation.” Colette loves hand embroidery and exploring lands tied to her Pueblo heritage. 

Deb Edel

Deborah Edel is one of the founders of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. She has been working with the Archives steadily since its inception in 1974. Trained as a Social Worker and Psychologist, Deborah spent her working life focused on the intersectionality of education and mental health, as an educational therapist, a counsellor and a school administrator. Retired in 2012, Deborah and her partner Teddy love to travel. Even when on the road she finds time to connect with the needs of the Archives (especially her commitment to keeping the financial books and paying bills) and her commitment to the Board of Trustees of the Mary McDowell Friends School where she had worked for many years prior to retirement. Her life is busy and filled with adventure, social activism and time for reading mystery stories.

Désirée Yael Vester

Désirée Yael Vester, MLIS
Caretaker, Librarian, Archivist, Researcher, Data Wrangler, KnitterOngoing Projects: Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)Collection Areas: Videos, Buttons, Graphics

Elvis Bakaitis

Elvis Bakaitis started the NYC Feminist Zinefest in 2012. They are deeply interested in the theoretical and practical intersections of aging and queer identity, and co-taught the course Lesbian Lives at SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders) with Flavia Rando in 2019. Bakaitis holds a Certificate in Geriatric Care Management from the Brookdale Center for Aging at Hunter College.

Flavia Rando

Flavia Rando, Ph.D., is an art historian who teaches Lesbian, Women’s and Queer Studies. A longtime lesbian activist, she joined the Gay Liberation Front in 1969 and Radicalesbians in 1970. In 2019, she was happy to accept the OUT d’Or Award in Paris on behalf of the Gay Liberation Front, which will become part of the Archives collections.In 2011, Flavia inaugurated the Lesbian Studies Institute at the Archives where she has had the privilege of teaching for nine years.  Flavia has enjoyed the community of working with class participants and coordinators on such fund raising and community building projects as marathon readings, art auctions and exhibits of Archives materials. The most recent exhibit was, By the Force of Their Presence: Highlights From the Lesbian Herstory Archives, at the New York Historical Society in celebration of Stonewall 50.

Hanna Pennington

Hanna Pennington has a BA from Smith College in the Study of Women and Gender with a Concentration in Archives. She is working toward a Masters in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. She has been working with the Lesbian Herstory Archives since 2016.

Joan Nestle

Born in 1940, in Bronx, New York, Co-founder of LHA, author of A Restricted Country, A Fragile Union, The Persistent Desire: A Femme- Butch Anthology, and six other books on lesbian and queer culture. Teacher in the Queens College SEEK program from 1964 to 1994. Followed Dianne Otto to  Melbourne, Australia in 2002, grateful for a new perspective. 80 years of life, a privilege. Our collective progressive actions needed as much as ever and often such givers of joy.

Leni Goodman

Leni Goodman has been a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives for over 20 years. She is the author of Impossible Choices: A Mothers Struggle to Save her Daughters, a memoir of the challenges a young woman faces and the changes that occur in her as life intercedes – when her first daughter is diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 5 and then years later when her second daughter, adopted from Guatemala, has to deal with the after effects of her early childhood abuse, as she enters adolescence.

Maxine Wolfe

Maxine Wolfe is an LHA coordinator and has been a volunteer at LHA since 1984. Over the years she organized and facilitated the book, tee-shirt, organizations, special collection and spoken word processing and cataloging as well as digitization projects. A longtime lesbian and feminist organizer she is currently a member of Revolting Lesbians. She was one of the founders of the NYC Dyke March Committee, the Lesbian Avengers, the NY and National ACT UP Women’s Committees and Women for Women. She was on the national board of the Reproductive Rights National Network and was a member of the Coalition for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse and the Coalition Against Racism, Sexism and Heterosexism as well as other organizations. She loves gardening and making jam. She is a Professor Emerita of the Environmental Psychology Ph.D. Program at the City University of New York Graduate School.

Morgan Gwenwald

Morgan Gwenwald – photographer, archivist, mycophile, upstate librarian. loves being outdoors, underwater or underground.

Paula Grant

Paula Grant is one of the coordinators at LHA and has been a volunteer since 1979. She was born in 1945 in Manhattan  and is a longtime activist for human and civil rights.  She  trained as a social worker and in 2010 retired from a public agency in suburban NYS after 40 years. “There is so much work to do and so much to learn. I look forward to welcoming you to the Archives.”

Rachel Corbman

Rachel Corbman is a historian of feminist and LGBTQ social movements. She earned a Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Stony Brook University in 2019 and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University. Before moving to North Carolina, Rachel was responsible for the special collections at the Lesbian Herstory Archives between the years of 2012 and 2019. 

Red Washburn

Red Washburn, PhD, is Associate Professor of English and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kingsborough Community College. They also are Adjunct Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College. Their poetry collection Crestview Tree Woman was published by Finishing Line Press. They are the co-editor of Sinister Wisdom’s Celebrating the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance. Red is a coordinator of the Rainbow Book Fair and on the board of directors of the Center for LGBTQ Studies.

Saskia Scheffer

I have been active at the Archives since 1989. When I read Joan Nestle’s “A Restricted Country” I realized that there were many communities I had not been aware of yet. I joined the Archives, and have been focussing much of my attention on our photo collection. We have lots of treasures, and I hope to see many of you at LHA!

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz has been a co-coordinator sine sometime around 2008 where she has worked on exhibits, the website, writings, and nowadays, after she had an (adorable) baby girl, coordinates mostly remotely. She began distributing her Black Lesbians in the 70s zine in 2010 as a part of the In Amerika they Called Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 70s Conference. She is an Assistant Curator as Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at New York University Division of Libraries. She teaches library school at Pratt School of Information and serves on the board of directors for CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Stevie Jones

Stevie is one of the newer co-coordinators at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.  She works with the biographical files & book collection & is a co-facilitator of the Lez Create Dyke Arts Workshop.  Stevie is also a frequent visitor to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, where she was a weekly volunteer for years.  She belongs to two cats in Brooklyn and several goats and sheep upstate.

Teddy Minucci

Teddy, now in her eighties, is happily retired with a life filled with travel and adventures with her partner Deb Edel. She worked in the business world but finding little real satisfaction there she became quite active in the NJ community working with Dignity, Amazon Autumn. The Lavender Express, NJ Pride Center, and in the struggle for civil rights.
Since she and Deb met in 1984, the Archives became her passion and she has been fully involved with helping maintain and grow the Archives.

Previous Coordinators

Arisa Reed, Beth Haskell, Georgia Brooks, Constantina Constantinou, Joy Rich, Beth Levine, Suzanne Bernard, Lucinda Zoe, Nancy Frohlich, Judith Schwarz, Jennica Born, Alexis Danzig, Caitlin Featherstone, Ed Vegas, Linda McKinney, Terry Collins, Debra Rothberg, Polly Thistlethwaite, Julia Penelope Stanley, Sahli Cavallo, Pamela Oline, Vicki Sherman, Jane Van Ingen, Gabrielle Korn, Mimi Lester, Nicole Martin, Devin Lindow, Jan Boney, Claire Moed, Monica Neal, Pam Hicks,  Sabrina Williams, Carol O’Donnell, Lauren Gulbrandsen, Ashley Bowers, Rebecca Hoffman, Lisa deBoer, Valerie Itnyre, Barbie Painter, Janet Prolman, Robin Riback, Ina Rimpau, Annette Spalling, Nancy Robertson, Kayleigh Salstrand, Ashley-Luisa Santangelo, Marguerite Campbell.

All the photographs came from the Archives collection, many of them by Morgan Gwenwald, Saskia Scheffer and many anonymous photographers who documented the Archives through the years. The website was designed and built by Emma Levesque-Schaefer off of the work of Heather Stewart All the photographs came from the Archives collection and Carrie Moyer created our beautiful logo.