Monday, October 24, 2016
Illustration for the article "Bisexuality" which appeared in the inaugural issue of Bi Women, 1983. Courtesy of Schlesinger LibraryIllustration for the article "Bisexuality" which appeared in the inaugural issue of Bi Women, 1983. Courtesy of Schlesinger Library

Boston is home to the longest-lived bisexual women’s periodical in the world. Bi Women Quarterly (formerly Bi Women), a grassroots publication, began in September 1983 as a project of the newly-formed Boston Bisexual Women’s Network.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, and containing essays, poetry, artwork, and short fiction on a wide range of themes, Bi Women Quarterly provides a voice for women who identify as bisexual, pansexual, and other non-binary sexual identities.

Robyn Ochs, editor of Bi Women Quarterly since 2009, donated the only complete collection of this publication to Schlesinger Library several years ago with the agreement that it would be preserved, and digitized in a searchable format. The digitized collection at Schlesinger covers the years 1983 to 2010.

We are delighted to announce that this project is complete, and this resource is now available to researchers and to the general public through Harvard's catalog and directly on the web.

According to Robyn Ochs, “Bisexual people, despite comprising approximately half of all LGB people, have long been written out of LGBT history. Making the voices of bi women accessible will hopefully provide researchers primary material with which to begin to fill this gap."

Issues of Bi Women Quarterly from 2009 to the present can be found online at BiWomenBoston.org. These more recent issues will be added to the Library’s collection in the near future.

Schlesinger Library is honored to preserve the legacy and newsletter of this pioneering organization and to make it accessible alongside other resources at the Library documenting bisexuals, which encompass papers of bisexual women, biographies and memoirs, periodicals, and zines. Our work with founder Robyn Ochs on this collection has also inspired other groups to deposit their publications and records here, such as the Seattle Bisexual Women’s Network, whose newsletter North Bi Northwest is now also available digitally here and whose records have been deposited at Schlesinger.

Cover of the February March 1990 issue of Bi Women. Courtesy of Schlesinger LibraryCover of the February March 1990 issue of Bi Women. Courtesy of Schlesinger Library

Author: 
Robyn Ochs and Marylene Altieri