Guide to the New York Radical Feminists Records, 1969-2011


The New York Radical Feminists (NYRF) was a radical feminist group founded by Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt in 1969. Collection contains organizing and theory documents as well as photographs from the New York Radical Feminists, as well as groups associated in some way with the NYRF or NYRF members dating from 1969-2011.

Collection Details

Collection Number
New York Radical Feminists records
New York Radical Feminists
1.2 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The first 14 folders of the collection (acc. 2008-0262; dated 1969-1985) contain organizing and theory documents of the New York Radical Feminists, such as the first introduction to the group completed on December 5, 1969 by Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt with other members of its founding Stanton-Anthony Brigade (formed on October 3, 1969). Also included are consciousness raising topics and guidelines, lists of accomplishments and activities from 1971-1976, as well as notes from a 1971 session of the Lucy Stone Brigade; materials documenting speak-outs, conferences, and other activities; public relations and financial documents; and copies of the NYRF newsletter (1970-1977). Documents include originals as well as photocopies.

The collection includes a USB flash drive with images from the collection. These images are page scans of the entire collection except for the newsletters. Contents of the flash drive have been transferred to a library server.

Folder 15 in box 1 (acc. 2010-0203; dated 1972-1984) contains a selection of materials documenting enterprises that NYRF members participated in such as Mother Courage Restaurant, Womanbooks, Women’s CoffeeHouse, the New York Feminist Federal Credit Union, and the Women Like Me Oratory Group. Included are clippings, fliers, handouts, programs, press releases, conference schedules, newsletters, fund-raising letters, and photographs.

Box 2 of the collection (acc. 2011-0114; dated 1970-2011) contains material documenting NYRF member participation in other groups. Included are clippings, fliers, and other documents related to a range of events and spaces such as Women's Equality Day events, 35 West 22nd Street Women’s Center, East 5th Street Abandoned Women's Shelter Takeover, and the 1974-1975 New York City Feminist Community Coalition.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], New York Radical Feminists Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

Introductions - Consciousness Raising Group Guidelines, 1969-1976
Box 1
Folder 1
First draft - New York Legislative Program, 1971
Box 1
Folder 2
Lucy Stone Brigade notes, 1971
Box 1
Folder 3
Speak-outs, conferences, and other activities around the sexual abuse of women and children, 1971-1976
Box 1
Folder 4
Speak-outs, conferences, and other activities around marriage and motherhood, 1973-1975
Box 1
Folder 5
Production of "Focus on Me!" by Bobby Ausubel, 1974-1985
Box 1
Folder 6
Women and Work conference, 1976
Box 1
Folder 7
Retro-Fashion speak-out, 1978
Box 1
Folder 8
Newsletters, 1970-1977
Box 1
Folder 9-14
Selection of NYRF member activities, 1972-1984
Box 1
Folder 15
NYRF member participation in other groups, 1972-1984
Box 2
Folder 1-2

Historical Note

New York Radical Feminists (NYRF) was a radical feminist group founded by Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt in 1969 after they had left Redstockings and The Feminists, respectively. Firestone's and Koedt's desire to start this new group was aided by Vivian Gornick's 1969 Village Voice article, The Next Great Moment in History Is Theirs. The end of this essay announced the formation of the group and included a contact address and phone number, raising considerable national interest from prospective members.

Central to NYRF's philosophy was the idea that men consciously maintained power over women in order to strengthen their egos, but also held that women internalized their subordination by diminishing their egos. Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt left NYRF in 1970, but the group continued to be active through the mid-1970s. Its activities during that time included holding monthly consciousness raising meetings, publishing a regular newsletter, and maintaining a speaker's bureau. NYRF also organized a number of public conferences and speak-outs through the early to mid-1970s on topics such as rape, sexual abuse, prostitution, marriage, lesbianism, motherhood, illegitimacy, class, and work.

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The New York Radical Feminists Records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Lynne D. Shapiro in 2008, 2010, and 2011.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Meghan Lyon, 2008;

Processed by Megan E. Lewis, July 2009;

Encoded by Megan E. Lewis, July 2009;

Updated to include Acc. 2010-0203 by Alice Poffinberger, July 2011;

Updated to include Acc. 2011-0114 by Alexandra Krensky and Meghan Lyon, August 2011;

Accessions 2008-0262, 2010-0203, and 2011-0114 are described in this finding aid;

Updated August, 2016.