Films of Phyllis Birkby
Noel Phyllis Birkby (1932-94) was an architect, filmmaker, lesbian activist, feminist, teacher, and founder of the Women's School of Planning and Architecture. Her papers provide significant documentation of the women's movement, gay and lesbian activism, and lesbian culture in New York City, circa 1970s to 1990s, in her photographs, audio and video recordings, and over 150 films. Birkby's films also document architecture (including her own designs); her personal life in home movies; and travel.
Below is a small sample of films from the collection that have been digitized from the original 8mm and 16mm formats. For a complete list of titles, with detailed descriptions, see the Appendix to the Inventory of the Phyllis Birkby Papers.
NOTE: all of the films are silent.
Compilations include the following films:
|No.||Film Title/Description||Reel #|
|8||Hampshire College||6, 7, 7A|
|"A&P Broome St./Ice Skate"||18|
|"Ann and Sue," Two women sitting in the sand on a beach in Long Island, Summer 1970||20|
|"Backyard," Creative piece of urban backyard, 1979||22-23|
|"BMT/Bridge," Shots of subway car (?) going by the Brooklyn Mass Transit Bridge||30|
|"City Island Women," Shots of the variety of women that populate an urban environment, Aug 1971||31|
|"Rooftop Shooting," Shots for a New York rooftop||62|
|"Two Bridges," Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, 1969||71, 72, 73|
|9||"Head Change," 27 Jul 1977Completed film, 5 min. [Focuses on her love obsession with a woman named Leslie [Ena?] with whom she ran WSPA conferences.]||40|
|"Kite," Two women lovers at the beach flying kites, lying in sand, holding hands, Nov 1971||54-55|
|"Tractor," Shots of Frederica Leser driving a tiny tractor, Aug 1970-Nov 1971||69, 70|
|Windsor Print, unedited, dykes in nature at Jill's, on a weekend, party, volleyball, etc.||86, 87|
|"Amazon Weekend," Peekskill footage, Women at lake nude, washing hair, swimming, rafting, dancing, drinking wine||88, 89|
|10||"Dykes at Jill's Weekend," Upstate NY||94|
|"Esther, Louise, Roberta, Martha," Aug 1971||95|
|Friendship Circle at Beach House, 1972||96, 97|
|The Girl Gang||98|
|Beach Group||99, 100|
|"Jane and Jill"||101|
|Jane O'Wyatt and Jill Johnston||102|
|Jill Johnston and Van, Mar 1972||104|
|"Self Portrait: Hello, Hello, Hello"||110|
|Street Fair with Phyllis Birkby and Leslie||112|
|"Tower, Esther, Louise"||113|
|11||Abortion Rights: St. Patrick's protest||115, 116|
|April 10 Demonstration in Washington, D.C.||118|
|Women's Liberation Demonstration, New York City, Dec 12 1970||119|
|Gay March, Jul 1971- First half of march||121|
|12||Gay March, Jul 1971||122, 122A|
|Gay March, 1977||122B|
|"It's All Right to be a Woman Theater," Women's Theater||123-26|
|"Patchapines, E-Day, 42nd St., Peace March," Demo/42nd St./Patchapines Yoga Hour||127|
|Women's Liberation March, part A||128|
|Women's Liberation March, part B||129|
|"Women's Strike for Peace and Equality"||131|
Notes on access and use:
- To view video you must have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer (available for free download). Video may take several minutes to load depending on your internet connection.
- This content is provided for educational and research purposes only. Files may not be copied or downloaded. To order digital files, please contact the Sophia Smith Collection.
- Video and audio quality varies depending on the conditions of the original recordings and possible deterioration of the original media over time. The video shown here is in a compressed format to facilitate streaming over the Web. A higher-resolution file is available for purchase from the SSC. See Duplication Services for more information.