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Maida Tilchen papers

Identifier: MSS 794

Scope and Contents

The Maida Tilchen papers consist of approximately 1.5 linear feet of material dating from 1973 to 2021. The collection consists of correspondence, unpublished essays, journal entries, published articles, concert ephemera, interviews with musicians, recordings of women’s music and other performances. Audio recordings will be transferred to a digital format for user access.


  • Creation: 1973 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open and available for research in the MSU Libraries Special Collections' reading room. Researchers are limited to accessing three folders at a time for security.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Maida Tilchen, born in 1949 in Brooklyn, N.Y., received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook in 1971, and a Master of Science in Education in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University in 1976.

From 1973-1974, Tilchen served with the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in Vincennes, Indiana. From 1976 to 1993, she held various research and writing jobs. She moved to Boston in 1980. From 1993-2001, she worked as a writing tutor at Cambridge College in Massachusetts. In 2001, Cambridge College promoted her to direct library services where she remained until her retirement in 2015.

Tilchen helped produce women's music concerts in Bloomington Indiana from 1975-1980. She co-wrote the first article about lesbian pulps by “second wave” lesbians, published in Margins Magazine in 1975. From 1976, she published articles in a variety of feminist and LGBT books and publications, including Body Politic and Gay Community News, writing primarily on women’s music, LGBT literature, Jewish, and anti-nuclear issues. From 1980-1982, she was the Promotions Manager at Gay Community News (Boston). In the early 1980s, she helped backstage for Allegra Productions in Boston, Mass.

In 1982, Tilchen wrote the foreword to The Lesbian in Literature: A Bibliography (Tallahassee, Fla.: Naiad Press, 1981). Her historical novel, Land Beyond Maps (Salem, NY: Savvy Press, 2009) was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian Debut Fiction in 2010 and won New Mexico and Arizona Book Association awards. Her second novel, She’s Gone Santa Fe (Salem, NY: Savvy Press, 2013) was a finalist for New Mexico and Arizona Book Association awards. In 2020, Tilchen won the Ticknor Society Book and Book Culture Collecting prize for her New Mexico book collection.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in 8 series:

1. Biographical Material 2. Correspondence 3. Writings 4. Publications 5. Ephemera 6. Interviews 7. Photographs 8. Media

The collection is arranged in chronological order, with a few exceptions selected by the donor to contextualize materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Maida Tilchen in 2021.

Processing Information

Eli Landaverde processed this collection in 2021.

Original newspaper clippings have been replaced with photocopies or prints from digitized files. Some photocopies of clippings have been replaced with copies in acid-free paper, or a new copy has been added for preservation purposes.

Maida Tilchen papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Eli Landaverde
September 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA