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Phyllis Birkby Papers
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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
Laundromats, 1978 8
"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
Maryland II 105
"Peekskill--Leslie/Dinah" 107
"Self Portrait: Hello, Hello, Hello" 110
"Softball" 111
Street Fair with Phyllis Birkby and Leslie 112
"Tower, Esther, Louise" 113
11 Abortion Rights: St. Patrick's protest 115, 116
Albany March 117
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


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