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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 975

Papers of Margo Rila, 1957-2016


Papers of sex counselor, bisexual activist, and sexual freedom advocate Margo Rila.


  • Creation: 1957-2016


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margo Rila as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


5.25 linear feet ((6 file boxes, 2 folio+ boxes) plus 6 photograph folders, 181 slides)

The papers of Margo Rila include correspondence, flyers, questionnaires, clippings, t-shirts, photographs, etc., documenting her involvement with the San Francisco Sexual Freedom League, San Francisco Sex Information, and the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, as well as her work as a bisexual activist. Photographs include color slides of events during San Francisco's Summer of Love (1967) taken by Frank Esposito Rila. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. Folder titles were created by Rila; additional information provided by the archivist appears in square brackets. Files are arranged alphabetically.


Sex counselor, bisexual activist, and sexual freedom advocate Mary Ann "Margo" Rila (1941-2017) received a BA in social work from the University of New Mexico in 1963 and an EdD from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in 1977. In 1967, she co-founded the San Francisco Sexual Freedom League with her partner, Frank Esposito Rila (1938-1974). She was a founding member of the San Francisco Bisexual Center and San Francisco Sex Information, serving as SFSI's training coordinator for several years. In the 1990s, Rila became an American Board of Sexology Certified Sex Counselor.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M2

The papers of Margo Rila were acquired from the Center for Sex and Culture in January 2019.

Processing Information

Processed: February 2019

By: Johanna Carll, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Rila, Margo. Papers of Margo Rila, 1957-2016: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Jeannette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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