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COLLECTION Identifier: Vt-193: DVD-69: MP-63: T-387: CD-66

Audiovisual collection of Ann P. Meredith, 1976-2011 (inclusive), 1985-2011 (bulk)


Films, videotapes, DVDs, audiotapes and other formats that document the work of Ann P. Meredith, artist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker.


  • Creation: 1976-2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1985-2011


Language of Materials

Materials in English, Spanish, Mandarin.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except Subseries R, reels T-387.43-44, and T-387.46-48, which are closed until January 1, 2037. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the audiovisual materials created by Ann P. Meredith is retained by her until her death. Upon her death copyright in her audiovisual materials transfers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other materials in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Audiovisual materials may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures, with the exception of Subseries R, which can only be accessed in the library. Permission to make reproductions of any kind (of her works or raw, unedited footage), and permission to publish or exhibit works must be obtained in writing from Ann P. Meredith, who retains all rights during her lifetime.


95 audiotapes
474 videotapes
1 compact discs
2 DVDs
3 motion pictures (visual works)

The audiovisual collection of Ann P. Meredith primarily contains unedited interviews and events recorded by Meredith which supplement and document her larger photography projects, while other footage was shot to be part of multi-media performance pieces and stand-alone documentary films, or were works in-progress. Final edits and completed works, as far as the processor can determine, are described in a separate series. There is also material of a more personal nature such as birthday and therapeutic rituals, conversations with relatives and family gatherings, and footage of her own gallery shows and performances. Subseries are organized chronologically. Media formats include film, a variety of video formats, DVDs, audiocassettes, and a CD-R; and all are combined within each series, with format type noted. Titles in quotes and/or italics were transcribed from tape labels. All other titles were devised by the processor. For related papers, see the finding aid for the Ann. P. Meredith papers, MC 685.

Series I, Personal and Family Recordings, 1976-2005 (T-387.1-22, 61, and 71, Vt-193.1-2, MP-63.1-3), contains small-gauge film, video recordings, and audio recordings featuring family members (particularly her grandmother Lucy Lee Meredith "Tushu"), and other close friends and relatives. Also included is an unpublished interview with Meredith, recordings of her 40th birthday ritual, psychic readings, and more. Although much of Meredith's art is often personal in nature, Series I is primarily material pertaining to Meredith's personal life and family, and some of this footage may have been used in the following projects: In Passing: The Death of Lucy Lee Meredith, Climb Every Mountain, as well as Relativity in the Eighties: Women and the Aging Process.

Series II, Completed Projects, 1988-2004 (T-387.23, Vt-193.3-10, #CD-66.1), contains recordings of entire performances by Meredith, seemingly final edits of video works, and finally radio and television press coverage of her work.

Subseries A, Live performances, final edits, press coverage, 1988-2004 (T-387.23, Vt-193.3-10, #CD-66.1), includes published or final edits of Meredith's video work, as well as radio press coverage.

Subseries B, Other projects, 1997-2002 (Vt-193.11-17), contains entire episodes of the program.

Series III, Raw Footage and Recordings, 1985-2011 (T-387.24-88, Vt-193.18-153, #DVD-69.1-2), contains nineteen subseries, alphabetized by project name, whether the materials serve as further documentation of subjects Meredith photographed, or are videos, film footage or audio recordings made specifically for a media project, or both. For a fuller description of the photography projects to which some subseries are related, please refer to the Ann P. Meredith papers and the Biography section of this finding aid. Subseries G, Forgotten Angels, A Matter of Honor: Women Who Serve in the Military, reel Vt-193.63, "ANGELS-DC-March 2011," contains almost three hundred digital movie files, retained as Meredith organized it. Although all interviewees give their names and/or military rank on camera, for the most part, only people with professions in the public sphere, or of high rank, are listed by name. Regarding subjects interviewed in Subseries R, Until That Last Breath: Women and AIDS/Breathe/The Global Face of AIDS: Photographs of Women, with the exception of women who speak in an open forum, surnames of interviewees have been shortened to the first initial, although full names and ages are solicited by Meredith on each tape. Topics of discussion include: contracting AIDS or HIV, drug use, family relations, etc. Reels T-387.43-44, and T-387.46-48 are closed until January 1, 2037. Subseries R, Miscellaneous projects, may contain material related to other series of photographs such as Women in Mining, Without Reservation: Women on Native Land, Don't Call Me Honey: Photographs of Women and Their Work, women in sports, events Meredith photographed such as the NOW conference in June 1986, and public appearances by Angela Davis, Corazon Aquino, the Sweet Honey in the Rock, and others.

Subseries A, ...And No One Heard Me Scream: An Exhibition on Incest, Boundaries, Abuse, and Betrayal, 1990-1998 (T-387.224-27, Vt-193.18-24), contains audio recordings for and possibly video recordings of the performance.

Subseries B, Art, Sex, Gender, and Race: The Drag King Revolution, 2002-2004 (Vt-193.25-32), contains video footage documenting the scene, some of which was also used in a short documentary film.

Subseries C, The Big Picture: The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995 (Vt-193.33-38), contains video documentation of conference events and Meredith's visit to Beijing.

Subseries D, Climb Every Mountain, 1997 (T-387.28), includes music for the piece.

Subseries E, Don't Call Me Honey: Photographs of Women and Their Work, 1985 and 1989 (T-387.29-30), contains audiotaped interviews.

Subseries F, Other projects, 2000-2001 (Vt-193.39-49), contains raw footage edited into other productions.

Subseries G, Forgotten Angels, A Matter of Honor: Women Who Serve in the Military, 1999-2011 (Vt-193.50-66), contains videotaped interviews, some of which were included in a documentary on the topic. Also includes some preliminary edits of the final version.

Subseries H, Girls in Women's Lives - Female Survivors of Incest & Sexual Abuse, 1997 (Vt-193.67-68), contains videotaped interviews.

Subseries I, In Passing: The Death of Lucy Lee Meredith, 1999 (Vt-193.69), includes video footage for or of the project.

Subseries J, Number One Killer, 2000 (Vt-193.70-75), includes unedited video footage.

Subseries K, On Fire! Faggots, Fairies, Dykes, and Queens, 1993-1999 (Vt-193.76-84), includes videotaped interviews and footage of festivities on Fire Island, New York, in particular the community of Cherry Grove.

Subseries L, Portraits of Survivors: Ruma Village and The Sitting Room: Ruma Village / Sacred Circles, Sacred Sites, 1993 (T-387.31-34, Vt-193.85-86), contains audiotaped and videotaped documentation of local activities, performances by Kenyan artists, Meredith, and others, as well as audio recordings used in her works.

Subseries M, Reaching Common Ground: United Nations End of the Decade, Nairobi, Kenya, 1985 (T-387.35-36), contains audio recordings of select conference activities.

Subseries N, The Right to Marry: Our Right to Love, 2004 (Vt-193.87-92), contains a videotape that may be the entire documentary, or only raw material.

Subseries O, Special, 1991 and 2005 (Vt-193.94-96), contains a raw videotape footage that serve intended for a final project.

Subseries P, Tall in the Saddle: Cowgirls, Ranch Women & Rodeo Gals, 1991-2009 (T-387.37-38, Vt-97-126, #DVD-69.1-2), contains primarily videotaped interviews, but also footage of rodeos, ranches, the countryside, and some national parks.

Subseries Q, 24/7: Women Imprisoned, 1991 (T-387.39-40, Vt-193.127), contains both an audio- and a videotaped interview with an incarcerated woman.

Subseries R, Until That Last Breath: Women and AIDS/Breathe/The Global Face of AIDS: Photographs of Women, 1987-1993 (T-387.41-76, Vt-193.128-141), includes audiotaped and videotaped interviews, group meetings, and preliminary edited versions of a documentary film.

Subseries S, Miscellaneous projects, 1986-2010 (T-387.77-88, Vt-193.143-153), includes interviews and public events recorded on a variety of formats.

Series IV, Events, 1984-2002 (T387.89-95, Vt-193.154-186), includes live events that either feature Meredith in some way, or were recorded by her.

Subseries A, Gay and Lesbian film festivals, marches, Gay Pride celebrations, and Gay Games, 1984-2002 (Vt-193.154-176), includes videotape recordings of events.

Subseries B, Other, 1987-2002 (T-387.89-95, Vt-193.177-186), includes events either featuring Meredith in some way, or recorded by Meredith, such as press conferences for activities in which she was involved, interviews with Meredith, documentation of gallery shows, and other material that do not seem to directly relate to a project.


Ann P. Meredith, photographer, artist, film maker, and performance artist, was born on June 7, 1948, to Allan Wright Meredith and Elizabeth Ann (Adkins) Meredith in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Her father was a United States Air Force officer. Prior to marriage her mother had been a flight attendant for American Airlines. When she was born, her father was stationed in Mobile, Alabama, but by 1952 he was reassigned to Tulin Air Force Base in Vienna, Austria. The family spent several years there and it is during this time that Meredith says that she first became the subject of experimentation, sexual abuse, and ritual torture at the hands of the United States Air Force. Several years later, her father was reassigned to McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California, where she states that the abuse continued until 1964. It appears that as a child she retained little memory of this abuse, and that later in life these memories resurfaced.

After graduating high school, she attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, finishing her BA in art history at the University of California at Berkeley. During college it appears that she became an avid photographer and artist and took a large number of family and vacation photographs. She developed these passions into a career and began exhibiting her photography and artwork in local galleries and public venues in the early 1970s. It is also during this time that she began her business Tea For Two shirts, silkscreening feminist t-shirts and selling them out of her shop in Oakland, California, and at various women's music venues and other events. She continued this business through the 1980s, also selling African handwork and developing designs for t-shirts from African fabric designs. It appears that during this same time she became an "out" lesbian and began having amorous relationships with women.

Most of her career in photography was spent documenting the lives of women, gay and lesbian life, and her family. Photographic series documenting the life of women include: The Big Picture: The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women; Don't Call Me Honey: Photographs of Women and Their Work; Forgotten Angels, A Matter of Honor: Women Who Serve in the Military; Girls in Women's Lives - Female Survivors of Incest & Sexual Abuse; Number One Killer: Women and Breast Cancer; Reaching Common Ground: United Nations End of the Decade, Nairobi, Kenya; Tall In The Saddle: Cowgirls, Ranch Women & Rodeo Gals; and Until That Last Breath: Women and AIDS/Breathe/The Global Face of AIDS: Photographs of Women. Photographic series documenting gay and lesbian life include: Art, Sex, Gender, and Race: The Drag King Revolution; Dyke!; Dykes and Their Dogs; On Fire! Faggots, Fairies, Dykes, and Queens; Passing; The Re-identification of Sex and Gender Through Personal Self Re-presentation; and The Right to Marry; Our Right to Love. Those documenting her family and family relationships include: In Passing: The Death of Lucy Lee Meredith and Climb Every Mountain, as well as Relativity in the Eighties: Women and the Aging Process, and ...And No One Heard Me Scream: An Exhibition on Incest, Boundaries, Abuse, and Betrayal. Many of these photographic exhibits were accompanied by lectures, slide shows, documentary films, and/or performance pieces. Most of these projects were funded by grants from governmental agencies and independent organizations including the United States Department of Labor, the Nelson B. Delavan Foundation, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the New York Public Art Fund, and the Zellerbach Family Fund. Meredith was also the recipient of a Lila Wallace - Reader's Digest International Artist Fellowship for which she documented the lives of Kenyan villagers in Ruma in her series, Portraits of Survivors: Ruma Village and The Sitting Room: Ruma Village, as well as her performance piece Sacred Circles, Sacred Sites. Meredith's photographic works, films, and artwork have been shown at a number of international venues and her photographic work appears in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution as well as a number of private and corporate collections. Her photographic work has also appeared internationally in publications including Ms., Life, USA Today, and a number of smaller publications. In addition to her exhibit photographs, Meredith also contracted with individuals and organizations to do portrait and event photography. Ann P. Meredith's film and video work is produced under the name Swordfish Productions, which she founded in January 1970.

Meredith has suffered from a number of addictions throughout her lifetime, most notably alcohol and drug addiction. She has been involved in a number of recovery support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, Codependents Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Survivors of Incest Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Adult Children of Alcoholics. In 2004 she began following the teachings of self-help guru John Randolf Price, founder of the Quartus Foundation for Spiritual Research, who published his beliefs in The Abundance Book: How to Use the Law of Attraction to Get Everything You Want in Life. In 2012, Meredith was continuing her photographic, film, and art work, and living in California.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Personal and Family Recordings, 1976-2005 (T-387.1-22, 61, and 71, Vt-193.1-2, MP-63.1-3)
  2. Series II. Completed Projects, 1988-2004 (T-387.23, Vt-193.3-10, #CD-66.1)
  3. Series III. Raw Footage and Recordings, 1985-2011 (T-387.24-88, Vt-193.18-153, DVD-69.1-2)
  4. Series IV. Events, 1984-2002 (T387.89-95, Vt-193.154-186)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2008-M68, 2008-M213, 2010-M12, 2010-M205, 2011-M231

The audiovisual materials of Ann P. Meredith were acquired from Ann P. Meredith by the Schlesinger Library between 2008 and 2011.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Ann P. Meredith Papers, ca.1870-2012 (MC 685).

Processing Information

Processed: June 2012

By: Melissa Dollman

Meredith, Ann P. Audiovisual collection of Ann P. Meredith, 1976-2011 (inclusive), 1985-2011 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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