Guide to the Honey Lee Cottrell Papers,

Collection Number: 7822
Honey Lee Cottrell photographing goddaughter Aretha Bright. March 18, 2014. Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca.  By Brenda Marston.
Honey Lee Cottrell photographing goddaughter Aretha Bright. March 18, 2014. Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca. By Brenda Marston.

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library

Contact Information:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3530
Fax: (607) 255-9524
Compiled by:
Marcie Farwell, September 2015
Date completed:
September 2015
EAD encoding:
Marcie Farwell, September 2015
Date modified:
Marcie Farwell, September 2016

© 2015 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library


Honey Lee Cottrell papers, 1950-2015.
Collection Number:
Cottrell, Honey Lee,
4.1 cubic feet and digital recordings.
Forms of Material:
Photographs, artwork, and printed materials.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Personal papers and photographic archives.
Collection material in English


Honey Lee Cottrell is a noted photographer who helped define lesbian erotica in the 1980s through her contributions to the women's sex magazine On Our Backs. She studied at the National Sex Forum and was a volunteer switchboard operator at San Francisco Sex Information. Her photographs appeared in I Am My Lover (1979), Coming to Power (1981), A Dyke's Bike Repair Handbook (1990), and Nothing But the Girl (1996), as well as in magazines including The Blatant Image and Sinister Wisdom. In 1981, Cottrell received a BA in film studies from San Francisco State University. She was director and camera for Sweet Dreams, starring Pat Califia (National Sex Forum, 1980), and from 1985 to the early 90s, a cinematographer for Fatale Video, the first lesbian-created erotic movie company. She photographed her lovers and friends and documented queer and kink cultures for decades with her first camera, a 35 mm Nikkormat.


Personal papers and photographic archives. Also, erotic and sex education videos of interest to lesbians and others by S.I.R. video production company, run by Shar Rednour and Jackie Strano, circa late 1980s, early 1990s. Shar and Jackie collaborated with Honey Lee to photograph and visualize projects. Honey Lee took photos of Shar for her book cover for The Femme's Ultimate Guide to the Universe. Photographs, event publicity, and files. Includes photos of Phyllis Christopher, friend and staff photographer for the periodical On Our Backs.


Cottrell, Honey Lee, 1946-2015
Bright, Susie, 1958-
Califia, Patrick, 1954-
Corinne, Tee, 1943-2006
Hollibaugh, Amber L., 1946-
Kinney, Nan.
Rubin, Gayle.
Sundahl, Deborah.

On our backs.

Butch and femme (Lesbian culture).
Lesbians -- Pictorial works.
Photography, Erotic.
Photography of women.
Pornographic films.
Sex instruction.
Sex oriented businesses.
Women -- Sexual behavior.
Women-owned business enterprises.
Pornographic films.
Sex instruction.
Sex-oriented businesses.
Women-owned business enterprises.
Women -- Sexual behavior.


Cite As:
Honey Lee Cottrell Papers, #7822. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Collecting program: Human Sexuality Collection.


Series I. Photographs
Erotic Portraits
On Our Backs photographs
Personal photographs
Series II. Paper Documents
Series III. Publications
Series IV. Interviews


Handwritten list of Erotic Portraits
Box 2 Folder 1
Erotic Portraits: Goyle and Pat, Amber, Jim Garver, National Sex Forum
Box 2 Folder 2
Erotic Portraits: Pat Avenues
Box 2 Folder 3
Erotic Portraits: Jeff and Mark
Box 2 Folder 4
Erotic Portraits: Rhonda
Box 2 Folder 5
Erotic Portraits: Judith Chicago
Box 2 Folder 6
January, 1985
Carla and Mark Chester, Mythic Postcard Series
Box 2 Folder 7
Nancy and John
Box 2 Folder 8
Includes negatives.
Susie and Steven
Box 2 Folder 9
February, 1988
Morgan and Beth
Box 2 Folder 10
Lee Rae
Box 2 Folder 11
Box 2 Folder 12
Angela and Lewanda
Box 2 Folder 13
Lady Chatterly
Box 2 Folder 14
Chris and Susie Porn Picnic
Box 2 Folder 15
Studio Test: Erica, Jill, Honey (playing hockey), Rhonda and Friends
Box 2 Folder 16
T9 Jamie and Lauren at Bessie Street
Box 2 Folder 17
Includes "Rites of Passage" Newsletter, Volume 1 Number 1
Jacqueline Livingston exhibit prints
Mapcase 1
Subway Pictorial Final prints extras for working script
Box 2 Folder 18
Stripper Jessica and Elexis, Rachael and Elexis contacts and prints
Box 2 Folder 19
Dildo ad prints and contacts
Box 2 Folder 20
Food Comic
Box 2 Folder 21
Leather Fashion Pic Prints
Box 2 Folder 22
Dossie and Babs in the Woods contacts and prints
Box 2 Folder 23
Boy Porn
Box 2 Folder 24
Safe Sex
Box 2 Folder 25
Gay Games
Box 2 Folder 26
Donna and Barbara
Box 2 Folder 27
Cassy and Lauri proofs and prints
Box 2 Folder 28
Box 2 Folder 29
Susie, Debi, Staff promo prints, Lulu Belliveau, and movie Theatershot
Box 2 Folder 30
Sarah Davis
Box 2 Folder 31
January, 1990
Nina and Bobby
Box 2 Folder 32
Nina and Bobby- The Hunt layouts, letter about the story
Box 2 Folder 33
Portfolio of personal photographs
Box 1
Given to Curator Brenda Marston near the time of her death.
Includes photo of Honey Lee playing the harmonica as a child; self-portraits, other photographs and collages by Honey Lee Cottrell; photographs by Tee Corinne; letterhead for Duanne and Patricia in Leslie, Michigan; photographs of Gayle Rubin, Pat Califia, Amber Hollibaugh, Tee Corinne, and unlabelled photographs.
Large black and white prints of Honey Lee's photographs
Box 8
List of personal photographs
Box 3 Folder 1
Old insert shots, including little Honey and Family and Paris
Box 3 Folder 2
Holiday cards and portraits
Box 3 Folder 3
Michael Rosen and Gen Portraits of H and S
Box 3 Folder 4
Moving Out
Box 3 Folder 5
Spinellis and Haircut
Box 3 Folder 6
Spinelli's was a coffeeshop on 24th Streey
Memorial Day Barbeque
Box 3 Folder 7
June, 1990
Susie Birth photos
Box 3 Folder 8
Includes negatives. UCSF Hospital
Perfect Apple
Box 3 Folder 9
Honey with Calla Lilly
Box 3 Folder 10
Taken by Susie
Susie and New House
Box 3 Folder 11
Assorted Susie
Box 3 Folder 12
Assorted Honey
Box 3 Folder 13
Family, with Aretha's birth announcement and newspaper clippings
Box 3 Folder 14
Erotic Portraiture, Amber and Honey
Box 3 Folder 15
Amber and Honey went to Baja California on vacation
Box 3 Folder 16
Raelynn Gallina died of cancer about a year before Honey, and was the first serious lesbian piercer
Gerald and Honey Wedding prints
Box 3 Folder 17
Gerald was a Chinese businessman Honey Lee married as a green card favor
Honey Porn
Box 3 Folder 18
Three binders of some of Honey Lee's favorite photographs, including cards and childhood photographs
Box 6
Two binders and an album of some of Honey Lee's favorite photographs
Box 5
Large prints of some of Honey Lee's favorite photographs
Box 4 Folder 1-2
Including Paris, London, Samois, Tee, Steven, Cinderdyke, Luce and Susan, Scorpig, Gay Day, March on Wash, Born Butch, old lesbian historical photos, history project parade.
Presentation portfolio of large prints
Box 4 Folder 4
Portrait of Gayle Rubin
Box 4 Folder 5
Miscellaneous travel photographs
Box 7 Folder 1
Miscellaneous negatives and contacts
Box 7 Folder 3-4
Includes Triple Play San Ramon, Susie, Aretha, Lisa Palac, Pat and Gayle, Jane and Sally, and more
Miscellaneous prints
Box 7 Folder 5-7
Closeups of flowers, travel photographs.
Pictures of a farm and of people, with hand drawings of a barn and the layout of Decatur, Michigan.
Box 7 Folder 8
Countervision and On Our Backs vision statements
Box 1 Folder 1
An advertising flyer for On Our Backs with information about Countervision on the reverse.
Box 3 Folder 19
Including miscellaneous photographs, letters from family, graduation material, and a small password book
Portrait drawing by Melinda
Box 4 Folder 3
April 23, 1995
Poster for "The Vulvart Show"
Box 4 Folder 3
Altered poster of the Nutcracker
Box 4 Folder 3
Nothing But the Girl, thoughts on Lesbian photography, with photograph
Box 7 Folder 2
Vasta catalogues
Box 3 Folder 20
Box 3 Folder 21
Sex Issue
Box 3 Folder 21
Box 3 Folder 21
Facilitator's Guide to Eroticizing Sex
Box 3 Folder 22
Harley Women
Box 3 Folder 22
Yellow Silk
Box 3 Folder 22
Inside, No. 2
Box 3 Folder 22
Art in Jeopardy: an Exhibition Curated by Jeannie Kamins
Box 3 Folder 23
The Sexuality Library
Box 3 Folder 23
National Lesbian and Gay Writers Conference: Outwrite
Box 3 Folder 23
The Best of Wimmen's Comix
Box 3 Folder 23
Body Play
Box 3 Folder 24
Sexual Portraits and Private Acts from the Warzone Mark Chester
Box 3 Folder 24
Sexual Portraits Mark Rosen
Box 3 Folder 24
Box 3 Folder 24
Box 3 Folder 25
Box 3 Folder 25
Box 3 Folder 25
Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism
Box 3 Folder 25
Xenogenesis calendar
Box 3 Folder 26
Lesbian Lust number 2
Box 3 Folder 26
Word City Works, Chicago Council on Fine Arts Artists in Residence Program
Box 3 Folder 26
Diary of a Conference: on Sexuality
Box 3 Folder 26
Venus Infers, volume 1 number 4
Box 3 Folder 27
Heirs, with note to Honey Lee from Melinda
Box 3 Folder 27
Box 3 Folder 27
Stormy Leather
Box 3 Folder 28
Cunt Coloring Book, drawings by Tee Corinne
Box 3 Folder 28
Two copies, one with signatures and notes
January-June, November 1989
On Our Backs
Box 3 Folder 29
January-October, 1990
On Our Backs
Box 3 Folder 30
January 1992, September 1994
On Our Backs
Box 3 Folder 31
On Our Backs calendar
Box 3 Folder 31
September 6, 2015
Interview of Honey Lee Cottrell by Brenda Marston
Description of full recording: On Sunday, September 6, 2015, Honey Lee Cottrell and Brenda Marston spent a few hours looking through Cottrell's files and photographs, which she is sending to be preserved in Cornell's Human Sexuality Collection. Cottrell explained the organization and highlights of the collection. A video camera was left on to record the conversation, which could contain helpful insight to those who later want to use the collection. At the end, Cottrell says "They need to be turned loose. I'm glad we're turning them loose on Cornell, but I'm like, man! You know, who's going to be lining up at Cornell to see these things?"
An excerpt of the interview can be found here:
Description of Excerpt: September 6, 2015. Talking about her vision for the first issue of On Our Backs and the psycho-sexual subway map of urban lesbian life she created. Shows an ad for her erotic photography and reflects on the vision for both On Our Backs and Countervision. Highlights of her commentary as we look at the photographs and files she is sending to be preserved in Cornell's Human Sexuality Collection. (Talking with Brenda Marston.) 13:54 minutes.


Books - cataloged individually in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections