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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 998; T-558; Vt-320; CD-120

Papers of Lynn Phillips, 1961-2013 (inclusive), 1970-2000 (bulk)

Overview

Screenplays, scripts, movie and television treatments and proposals; articles and interview transcripts; children's books, poetry, and short fiction; correspondence; video- and reel-to-reel tapes; and 2 archived web sites of feminist writer and editor Lynn Phillips.

Dates

  • 1961-2013
  • Majority of material found within 1970-2000

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The bulk of the collection is open for research.

As specified in James Raglione's agreement with the Schlesinger Library, access to letters, emails, financial documents, and diaries created between the years 1984 and 2017 (#1.8-1.12, 2.1-2.12, 3.2-3.4, 3.7-3.8, 3.12-3.18, 4.1, 4.7, 4.11, 4.18, 5.20, 5.23, 6.7, 6.9-6.13, 6.15-6.16, 7.1-7.2, 7.8, 8.11, 8.14, 9.6, 9.8-9.9, 9.12, 12.3, 12.16-12.19, 15.7, 15.13, and 16.4) requires the written permission of James Raglione during his lifetime. Upon his death, access to letters and emails from, to, or concerning Scot Crawford, Ellen Scott, and Ginny Newsom, as well as diary entries, notes, etc. addressing or mentioning them (#3.3, 3.15, 3.18, 4.1, and 4.7) requires the written permission of Melanie Falk until January 1, 2050.

An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lynn Phillips is held by James Raglione during his lifetime. Upon his death, copyright descends to Melanie Falk. Upon the death of Melanie Falk, copyright transfers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Copying of letters, emails, financial documents, and diaries created between the years 1984 and 2017 (#1.8-1.12, 2.1-2.12, 3.2-3.4, 3.7-3.8, 3.12-3.18, 4.1, 4.7,4.11, 4.18, 5.20, 5.23, 6.7, 6.9-6.13, 6.15-6.16, 7.1-7.2, 7.8, 8.11, 8.14, 9.6, 9.8-9.9, 9.12, 12.3, 12.16-12.19, 15.7, 15.13, and 16.4) requires permission of James Raglione during his lifetime. Upon his death, copying of letters and emails from, to, or concerning Scot Crawford, Ellen Scott, and Ginny Newsom, as well as diary entries, notes, etc. addressing or mentioning them (#3.3, 3.15, 3.18, 4.1, and 4.7) requires the permission of Melanie Falk until January 1, 2050. Other papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Extent

6.46 linear feet ((15 + ½ file boxes) plus 3 folio+ folders,1 slide folder, 12 reel-to-reel audiotapes, 27 mini audiocassettes, 2 videotapes, 1 CD, 2 archived web sites)
29.07 Megabytes (2 files)

The collection primarily documents Phillips's professional life, with relatively little personal material included. Included are film and television scripts, including for the show Mary Hartman Mary Hartman; correspondence; articles, short stories, drafts of children's books, and poetry; contracts, agreements, and other financial records; printed material related to women's organizations; and audio- and videotapes, a compact disc, and a DVD. Also included are Phillips's web sites, which are being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program. Electronic records were received on a mini compact disk and one file was converted to PDF/A format; this material relates to the animated version of "The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons," and is included in Series II, Subseries A, as #E.2. An mpeg file of the animated short The Adventures of Kitty Lyons: "Honestly Abe" is included in Series III as #E.3. The bulk of the folder titles were created by the archivist; Phillips's titles, when used, appear in quotation marks.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL, PERSONAL, AND CORRESPONDENCE, 1962-2013 (#1.1-4.16, F+D.1, E.1), primarily consists of correspondence, with many folders containing a mixture of personal and professional correspondence. Much of the early correspondence is between Phillips and friends who at various times lived communally with her in either St. Louis or San Francisco. Phillips's letters express her deep affection for some of these friends, particularly Gay Falk, and conflicted feelings towards others. Her letters also describe her involvement with a women's theater group in St. Louis. Some of the letters from her parents reflect their concern at the lack of closeness in their relationship with Phillips and their hope that this situation would change. The later correspondence largely focuses on professional matters. Of note are drafts of a letter to Richard Eagan and his daughters. Eagan and Andrea Boroff were married during the student occupation of Columbia University buildings in 1969 and the wedding was captured in the film Columbia Revolt; after Boroff's death, Phillips wrote to her family, sharing reminiscences of her experiences working with Newsreel and filming Columbia Revolt. Also of note is a letter in which Phillips refers to having an abortion and noticing a cockroach in the waiting room. The series also includes Radcliffe College coursework; Phillips's resume; and "to do" lists. Also included is printed material from women's organizations such as the Women's Action Coalition, and an essay by Phillips on her feelings about the women's movement and what it might achieve. Phillips's archived websites are also included. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series II, PROFESSIONAL, 1961-2012 (#4.17-16.5, F+D.2-F+D.3, PD.1sl, E.2), documents Phillips's career in print journalism and as a writer for film and television. The series includes magazine and newspaper articles; film and television scripts and proposals; drafts of children's books; poetry and short fiction; and contracts and agreements with publishers and producers. The series is arranged in the two subseries described below.

Subseries A, Writings, 1961-2012 (#4.17-9.11, PD.1sl, E.2), includes articles Phillips wrote for magazines including The Nation, Newsweek, Glamour, Spelman Messenger, New York Woman, and Ms. Some articles appear under the name "Maggie Cutler," and her "Mabelle" column in New York Woman is not credited to her. The series also includes transcripts and notes from Phillips's interviews with Lily Tomlin and Madonna, as well as the resulting articles published in American Film. Other materials include a photocopy of Phillips's feminist children's book Exactly Like Me and correspondence with the book's publisher (including letters in which the publisher expressing concern at the book's heroine being depicted with a toy gun). Also included is correspondence with Zelda Zeldin of the Women's Media Workshop regarding a filmstrip based on the book and the development of a related filmstrip aimed at boys rather than girls; and drafts of the unpublished children's book Lasty's Path. Additional material includes "The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons" columns and reviews of the column, with a column in which Kitty fantasizes about Osama Bin Laden drawing particularly negative reactions. The subseries also includes an electronic file (#E.2) of a promotional image for the "Adventures of Kitty Lyons" animated short. Phillips's work for the website "Vague" is represented by reviews, proposals, correspondence, and a focus group guide. The subseries also includes clippings, press releases, correspondence related to the tabloid Her New York; issues of the Getting It Gazette and the Lordville Bridge; and poems, short stories, and essays. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Television, film, and radio, ca.1970-2008 (#9.12-16.5, F+D.2-F+D.3), includes treatments and screenplays as well as related contracts and agreements. The subseries documents Phillips work for the television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, with this material including preliminary and revised scripts she wrote for the show's second season; her notes on the series; her employment agreement; writers' meeting notes; a sample script she submitted; and the transcript of an interview Norman Lear conducted regarding spousal abuse, presumably as background research for the series. The subseries also includes scripts for the radio soap opera The Winds of Change and notes for a radio show on rock & roll and women's lives Phillips developed in the early 1970s. Also of note is the material on the musical I Ch'ing (also known as Red Stardust and China Dream), which includes drafts of the musical, sheet music, critique and contract, biographical information on Mao and Jiang Qing, and background material including postcards of the Red Detachment of Women ballet. Also included are programs and related correspondence for retrospectives about Newsreel and radical filmmaking. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Series III, AUDIOVISUAL, ca.1971-2001 (#T-55.1 - T-558.39, Vt-320.1 - Vt-320.2, CD-120.1, E.3), includes recordings of The Winds of Change, the radio soap opera Phillips developed; a demo CD for the musical I Ch'ing and interviews of individuals (primarily women) in the film industry. Interviewees include Lily Tomlin and film executives such as Sherry Lansing and Marcia Nasitar; the director and producer of the Lily Tomlin/Bette Midler film Big Business are also interviewed. The sound quality of many of these interviews is poor. Also included are tapes of rock songs compiled by Phillips's women's group in St. Louis, with the intent of telling the story of one woman's life through song while also highlighting the impact of rock music on women's lives. The series also includes an animated cartoon based on The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons (#E.3) and interviews with Phillips and other activists conducted during the 1992 Democratic Convention. The series is arranged by format and chronologically thereunder.

BIOGRAPHY

Feminist, writer, and editor Lynn Phillips was born in New York City in 1945, the daughter of Edith (Schaffer) Phillips and D. John Phillips. She had one brother, Jonathan. Her mother, one of the first prominent women in U.S. corporate law, worked for Paramount Pictures and the American Broadcasting Companies, as well as in small claims courts in New York; she also served on the Senior Committee of the New York Women's Bar Association. D. John Phillips was a motion picture industry lobbyist.

Phillips attended New York City's High School of Music and Art, where one of her classmates was television producer Steven Bochco. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1966 and joined The Newsreel, a collective of independent filmmakers, photographers, and media workers seeking to make politically relevant films. As the first woman editor of a Newsreel film, she worked on Columbia Revolt (1968), a documentary about the student occupation of Columbia University buildings. She also worked as an assistant editor for the documentaries Salesman (1968) and Monterey Pop (1969). In the early 1970s, Phillips lived in a feminist collective in St. Louis and, with other women including Gail Pellett, developed a feminist radio soap opera, The Winds of Change. Phillips wrote scripts for the show's eleven episodes, which aired first in St. Louis and subsequently in San Francisco, after Phillips and some of her friends relocated there in 1972. She married James Raglione, an artist and sculptor, in 1982; they lived in New York City and in Lordville, a hamlet in southern New York State.

Beginning in the 1970s, Phillips wrote or co-wrote a number of screenplays and television or motion picture treatments, the majority dealing with issues confronting modern women, issues she also addressed in her other writings, sometimes with a satiric tone. From 1976 to 1977 she was a staff writer for the second season of the cult television show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which was produced by Norman Lear. From late 1993 to early 1994, she was the op-ed editor of HER NY, at the time the only daily women's tabloid in the United States. The newspaper was owned by Steven Hoffenberg, whose indictment on a Ponzi scheme caused the newsletter to fold after only a few months. She also wrote for publications such as Glamour, The Harvard Lampoon, The Realist, and The Nation, and New York Woman, with her column for the latter credited to "Mabelle." Some of her writings appear under the name Maggie Cutler; these include the "Secret Life of Kitty Lyons" column, about a young woman's sexual fantasies about a variety of living and dead political figures. These columns appeared in both the print and online versions ofNerve, a magazine focused on sexual relationships and culture. An adult cartoon version of the "Abraham Lincoln" column appeared on HBO in 2001, animated by Frank Gresham and Richard Mather. In the late 1980s she interviewed Madonna and Lily Tomlin; both these interviews appeared in American Film; she also interviewed Sherry Lansing, Marcia Narsigar, and other women who had achieved success as producers or in other executive roles in Hollywood.

Much of Phillips's writing focused on keeping women informed about politics. She was the editor-in-chief of vaguepolitix.com, a website established in the late 1990s to help people, particularly women, learn about political issues in an entertaining and enjoyable way. She cofounded Getting It Gazette, the women's newsletter for Republican and Democratic delegates in 1992 and 1996, and was the creator of The Lordville Bridge, a quarterly that attempted to meld the political left and right in Lordville, New York, by stressing commonality and nostalgia. She also wrote the book and lyrics for the unproduced musical I Ch'ing, about Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's widow; Galt MacDermot, the composer of Hair, wrote the music. Additional works include the feminist children's book Exactly Like Me (1972), two works of satire : How to Be A Mogul (1986), co-written with Diane Hartford, Milo Steale, and Rusty Unger, and the mock advice manual Self-Loathing for Beginners (2008), and chapters of books, including Paul Krassner's Pot Stories for the Soul. Phillips died in 2017 from complications from lung cancer.

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Biographical, personal, and correspondence, 1962-2013 (#1.1-4.16, E.1, F+D.1)
  2. Series II. Professional, 1961-2012 (#4.17-16.5, F+D.2-F+D.3, PD.1sl, E.2)
  3. Series III. Audiovisual, ca.1971-2001 (#T-55.1 - T-558.39, Vt-320.1 - Vt-320.2, CD-120.1, E.3)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2018-M17

The papers of Lynn Phillips were given to the Schlesinger Library in February 2018 by her widower, James Raglione.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors: James Raglione

Accession number: 2018-M17

Processed by: Susan Earle

The following items have been removed from the collection and offered to the Schlesinger Library Printed Materials Division:

  1. The Getting It Gazette, vol. 4, no. 1, January 20, 1993
  2. Her New York, October 1 - December 20, 1993
  3. Liberated Guardian, December 14, 1970, January 4, 1971
  4. Nerve, 2000-2001
  5. Model, November 1989
  6. Spelman Messenger, Vol. 110, No. 1, Summer/Fall 1995
  7. Stay Free, 1998
  8. Young Lust, No. 5, 1977

Processing Information

Processed: August 2019

By: Susan Earle, 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.

Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
und
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by the 1955 Manuscript Processing Fund.
EAD ID
sch01668

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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