chapter  11
16 Pages

‘And She Told Two Friends’: Lesbians Creating Urban Social Space

The Lesbian Herstory Archives takes up three floors of a beautifully renovated Victorianera brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in New York City. Begun in 1974 out of a small Manhattan apartment, the Archives is a vital treasury of lesbian literature, from academic research to pulp fiction to obscure local periodicals to personal papers (Figure 11.1). More important for the purposes of this chapter, however, is its symbolic value. The Archives embodies two processes that have been changing the neighbourhood for more than twenty years: gentrification and the creation of lesbian space.