Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 17, 2018.
English
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Table of Contents
Summary Information …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Biographical / Historical ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Scope and Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Arrangement ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Administrative Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Controlled Access Headings ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Collection Inventory ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7

Summary Information
Repository: Local History & Genealogy Division
Source: Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley
Title: Kathie Reilly papers
ID: 2017.020
Date [inclusive]: 1984-1991
Physical Description: 1.0 Cubic Feet 2 clam shell document boxes, 1 over sized box.
Language of the
Material:
English
Mixed Materials
[box]:
1-2
Graphic Materials
[box]:
OS1
Abstract: This collection consists of the papers collected by Kathleen Reilly,
a women’s rights activist and one of the seven women dubbed the
“Rochester Topfree Seven” in 1986. The materials date between
1986 and 1991. The materials consist of news articles, newspapers,
newsletters, notes, photographs, brochures, legal documents, publicity,
membership information and reference for C.L.A.W. (Challenging
Laws and Attitudes against Women), and reference for the Topfree
movement.
Preferred Citation
Kathy Reilly Papers, [box#:folder#]. Local History and Genealogy Division, Central Library of
Rochester and Monroe County N.Y.
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Biographical / Historical
Kathleen Reilly was born on April 29, 1946. Reilly is a women’s rights activist and part of the “Topfree
7”, the group of women arrested for “exposure of a person” in 1986.
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
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Topfree 7
On June 21, 1986, seven women removed their tops and bared their breasts in public during a picnic at
Rochester, New York’s Cobb Hill Park. They did so as an act of civil disobedience in protest against the
state law that requires women to wear tops in public. The women felt the law was discriminatory since
men can go topless in public. The 50 year old penal law 245.01, or “exposure of a person” law stated that
women in New York State could breastfeed infants in public, but could only go topless in public in very
specific circumstances that were deemed entertainment. It was illegal for women to show below the top
of the areola. The law did not restrict men from doing this. The seven women – Nikki Craft, Kathleen
Reilly, Ramona Santorelli, Mary Lou Schloss, Deborah Seymour, Elsie Joe Tooley, and Lynn Zicari
were arrested at Cobbs Hill Park and charged with violating the law. They appealed. Six years later, on
July 7, 1992, the seven were acquitted when the state’s highest court reversed penal law 245.01. The
court declared in unconstitutional and ruled that women have the right to go topless anywhere in public
that men can.
C.L.A.W. was founded in 1990. Challenging Laws and Attitudes against Women was originally part
of the Coalition for Topfree Equality. C.L.A.W. was formed because they wanted to focus on Topfree
Equality as a feminist issue and to have women making the decisions on actions, legal defense, and
publicity.
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Scope and Contents
This collection consists of the papers collected by Kathleen Reilly, a women’s rights activist and one
of the seven women dubbed by the media as the “Rochester Topfree Seven” in 1986. The materials
date between 1984 and 1991. The materials consist of news articles, newspapers, newsletters, notes,
photographs, brochures legal documents, publicity, membership information and reference for C.L.A.W.
(Challenging Laws and Attitudes against Women), and reference for the Topfree movement. The
materials document the fight for women to be able to remove their shirts in the same way that men
are legally allowed. It also documents the reasoning for why the women decided to protest the way
that they did. The collection documents the public opinion on the movement at that time and the legal
ramifications of the Topfree Seven’s actions.
The bulk of the materials are news articles and newspapers regarding the Topfree movement. The articles
consist of letters to the editor, coverage of the Topfree picnics, the trial of the “Rochester Topfree 7”, and
opinion pieces.
The materials also contain legal documents from the trial in 1986 and the appeal. The legal documents
consist of briefs, decisions, and motions. Any legal documentation that contains correspondence to or
from the Topfree 7’s attorneys as well as, any trial preparation have been removed from their original
location and placed in a restricted folder due to attorney-client privilege. These files will be restricted
until 75 years after the creation date.
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
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Arrangement
This collection consists of three boxes.
^ Return to Table of Contents
Administrative Information
Publication Statement
Local History & Genealogy Division
115 South Ave.
Rochester 14604
585-428-8370
lochistref@libraryweb.org
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated by the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, 100 College Avenue, Suite
100, Rochester, New York 14607 on August 11, 2016 [Acquisition number 2017.020].
Conditions Governing Access
Access to the restricted folders in this collection have been restricted by the Local History and
Genealogy Division of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County N.Y. in order to protect
attorney-client privilege for 75 years after the document creation date. Contact the Local History and
Genealogy Division for information on access to the restricted folders of this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use in any current or future manifestations must be
obtained in writing from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division.
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
– Page 6-
Processing Information
This project was made possible by a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York
State Archives, a program of the State Education Department.
Processing Information
This collection contained many duplicate newspaper articles. The archivist retained three copies of
duplicate articles. All other duplicates will be returned to the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley as
per the deed of gift form. All metal fasteners were removed from the collection. The archivist left
the collection in the original order in which it was donated. The folders that were unlabeled had a
title imposed by the archivist. There are two restricted folders in the collection. These folders contain
materials prepared in anticipation of litgation such as attorney-client notes and correspondence,
and testimony preparation and therefore will be resrticted for 75 years from the creation date. The
restricted files also contains a prisoner data report and bank statements. The prisoner data report
and bank statements are restricted due to the personal information on them such as, social security
numbers and bank account information.
Processing Information
According to deed of gift, any duplicates or items found unsuitable to the RPL collections and not
retained should be returned to the donor. Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, 100 College Ave., Suite
100, Rochester, New York 14607.
^ Return to Table of Contents
Controlled Access Headings
• Rochester (N.Y.) — Social conditions
• Women’s rights — New York (State) — History
• Women — Social conditions — 20th century
• Women — Political activity — New York (State) — History.
• Women — Legal status, laws, etc. — New York (State) — History
• Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley
• Challenging Laws and Attitudes against Women (Rochester, NY)
• Coalition for Topfree Equality (Rochester, N.Y.)
Bibliography
Smith, Merril D. Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
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Collection Inventory
Title/Description Instances
C.L.A.W. finances, 1990 box 1 folder 1
C.L.A.W correspondence, 1990 box 1 folder 2
“Clothed with the Sun”, 1984, 1986-1987 box 1 folder 3
“The New Yorker”, March 19, 1990 box 1 folder 4
“The Event”, December 1986-February 1987 box 1 folder 5
’89, 1989 box 1 folder 6
News articles, 1989 box 1 folder 7
Susan David, 1986-1987, 1990 box 1 folder 8
C.L.A.W brochures, Undated box 1 folder 9
Challenging Laws and Attitudes against Women, 1990, undated box 1 folder 10
[Court decision], 1989 box 1 folder 11
Topfree, June 1987 box 1 folder 12
TBF, 1986-1987 box 1 folder 13
Proud’s peanut letter and ed, 1988 box 1 folder 14
TF speaks, 1988 box 1 folder 15
[Topfree Seven article draft], Undated box 1 folder 16
Invite letters, May 27, 1987 box 1 folder 17
D&C article on appeal and response letter, March 21, 1987-April 2,
1987
box 1 folder 18
“California Naturist” essay, Winter 1987 box 1 folder 19
Walz decision, December 1986 box 1 folder 20
Inaccurate editorial, December 19, 1986 box 1 folder 21
D & C on Relin appeal, December 20, 1986 box 1 folder 22
December 17, 1986, December 17, 1986 box 1 folder 23
December 16, 1986, December 16, 1986 box 1 folder 24
“Bare in Mind” An essay in feminism, October 1986 box 1 folder 25
Supp.mem., October 6, 1986
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
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box 1 folder 26
Supplemental Memorandum – Mary Lou, October 6, 1986 box 1 folder 27
T-U letter, October 20, 1986 box 1 folder 28
TE revised letter, October 10, 1986 box 1 folder 29
Times-Union misquote, September 17, 1986 box 1 folder 30
D&C first article, June 19, 1986 box 2 folder 1
T-U article, June 25, 1986 box 2 folder 2
T-U letters to the editor, July 3, 1986 box 2 folder 3
D&C, June 21-24, 1986 box 2 folder 4
Page 1B, July 9, 1986 box 2 folder 5
Letters D&C, July 10, 1986 box 2 folder 6
S13 D&C and press release, 1986 box 2 folder 7
T-U, September 7-8, 1986 box 2 folder 8
D&C front, September 18, 1986 box 2 folder 9
Times-Union and D&C articles, October 28-29, 1986 box 2 folder 10
Mass article, Undated box 2 folder 11
“Naturist Rochester” newsletter, June-August 1986 box 2 folder 12
Open Forum (misc. – crank calls), 1986 box 2 folder 13
Downtowners, June 25, 1986 box 2 folder 14
Downtowner, July 2, 1986 box 2 folder 15
Relin on female attorneys, September 1986 box 2 folder 16
Affadavit – David, July 18, 1986 box 2 folder 17
Briefs – September (David), August 13, 1986 box 2 folder 18
Brief; September – Mary Lou, August 12, 1986 box 2 folder 19
T.E (arguments in general), 1986-1988 box 2 folder 20
Topfree Equality Performance Picnic program, June 23, 1990 box 2 folder 21
Newspaper copies, 1988-1989 box 2 folder 22
Briefs, 1990-1991 box 2 folder 23
Surveys and polls, 1986 box 2 folder 24
Brochures, 1986, undated box 2 folder 25
5/23 to legislatures, 1988, undated box 2 folder 26
Notice of motion and notice of appeals, 1989-1990 box 2 folder 27
Guide to the Kathie Reilly Papers 2017.020
– Page 9-
Memorandums of law, 1986 box 2 folder 28
Court documents, 1986 box 2 folder 29
Walz decision, 1986 box 2 folder 30
Correspondence, 1986-1991 box 2 folder 31
Susan David notebooks, Undated box 2 folder 32
Restricted access – correspondence, 1989 box 2 folder 33
Restricted access – (my) testimony, September 17, 1986 box 2 folder 34
“The struggle for equal rights…” sign, Undated box OS1 item 1
Newspapers, July 1989 box OS1 folder 2
“The Empty Closet”, December 1989-January 1990 box OS1 folder 3
“City Newspaper”, June 1991-July 1991 box OS1 folder 4
“City Newspaper”, October 1986-March 1987 box OS1 folder 5
“Downtown – The Unbound Magazine”, July 16, 1986 box OS1 folder 6
“The Bulletin” The American Sunbathers Association, July 1986-
September 1988
box OS1 folder 7
“Monroe Doctrine”, October 20, 1986-December 8, 1986 box OS1 folder 8
“Bare in Mind”, November – December 1986 box OS1 folder 9

 

23 2017-020 Kathie Reilly papers-1.pdf

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