Also during this period, women began telling about their lives through a wide variety of venues. The Free University Courses organized by Meredith McElroy, Ann Gallmeyer, and others at New Orleans Public Library offered one place for such expression (exhibit items 32 and 52). Various womens centers around the city (Felicity Street, Willow Street, Jackson Avenue, Saratoga Street and others), the Womens Building (partially funded by the city), and womens coffeehouses offered other such places (exhibit items 36 and 38).
Womens Studies courses were designed during this period, responding to the fact that most academic courses looked at the lives of white men. Women were a footnote if mentioned at all in countless books. The members of the Atlantis Commune, the Newcomb Womens Center, and the various local womens centers were among the few places where books on the lives of women could be found at all (items 22 and 39). In 1975 when the New Orleans commune Atlantis began book distribution, selected titles included Opening the Medical Profession to Women, My Mother the Mail Carrier, Drug Manufacture for Fun and Profit, and Dancing on the Grave of an S.O.B. The great disparity among the subjects of these books (exhibit item 31) reflected upon the overall period as one of intense experimentation, questioning, and indeed revolution. The early titles of the Newcomb Womens Center reflected the acquisition of many reprinted and out-of-print editions on the history of women. Vaughn Baker at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette wrote persuasively about the neglected but rich history of Louisiana women, and highlighted the need to collect manuscripts, as well as to locate the papers of women usually located under a male name in library catalogs. Women scholars such as Pam Tyler, Elna Green, and Livia Baker began research on the lives of women including three of the founding members of the Independent Womens Organization (exhibit item 42) and civil rights workers in Louisiana. Emily Toth, Barbara Ewell, and others began impressive work on Kate Chopin and other long neglected literary writers.