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Laura Ann Moore Papers

Identifier: LH-wua00493


  • 1949-2014


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


14.75 linear feet Linear Feet (plus 5 oversize boxes and 1 drawer)

Biographical Information

Laura Ann Moore was a St. Louis civil rights leader and community activist. Born in 1945, Moore grew up in an orphanage and foster homes. She was a co-founder in St. Louis of the Lesbian Alliance in the late 1960s. With others, Moore helped found a rape crisis center and the St. Louis Abused Women’s Support Project.

The Lesbian Alliance helped organize a state lobbying day to protest when Anita Bryant campaigned in Missouri in 1977 and protested the Miss Universe contest when the event came to St. Louis in 1983.

In the early 1970s, Moore and her group successfully challenged the sexually biased admittance policies of Ranken Technical College. The school initially admitted two women, including Moore. She successfully completed a program in Automotive Technology and went on to open a garage and form the St. Louis Women’s Garage.

Joining NOW in the 1970s, Moore became chair of the St. Louis Abortion Rights and Legal Committees. The committee lobbied the city of St. Louis mayor’s office for women’s rights, to get funding for women’s initiatives, and to get women appointed to city government. The committee also wrote a booklet that told women what to do in cases of sexual harassment, held protests, and lobbied for abortion rights. Moore was also an elected delegate to International Women's Year Conference in Houston in 1977.

Moore was the first woman in St. Louis to serve as a housing inspector, a building inspector, and a multi-discipline inspector for commercial and residential property. She was fired from her job as a building commissioner of Vinita Park when the fact that she was a lesbian made the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Moore sued, received a settlement.

Moore also served as director of the St. Louis Tenants’ Union where she assisted in writing handbooks, Women and the Law and Tenants’ Rights. She served as a board member of Freedom of Residence, St. Louis Housing Council, Campaign for Human Dignity, Redevelopment Opportunities for Women, Women’s Eye Bookstore/Resource Center, Neighborhood Resource Center, and Community Housing Improvement and Preservation.

Moore also became the first "out" LGBTQ person appointed to the St. Louis Civil Rights Commission in 1993 by Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. She co-founded Gay Liberation Front, Lesbian Acts, and Mid-west Women’s Festivals.

Moore received numerous awards including the 1985 Women in Struggle Award and the 1982 Campaign for Human Dignity and Rededication Award. She was also a contributor of political analysis articles for Les Talk and other journals. Moore received her B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1974.

She passed away on April 26, 2015.


The bulk of this collection was recieved unorganized and without file folders. For materials recieved with organization by Moore, this was retained and is noted with the folder description.

Archival staff organized the remainder of the collection into series and folders by topic or type of material.

Source of Acquisition

Accession number LH2018-012. Gift of Marlene Schuman, April 1, 2018

Other Descriptive Information

Part of the St. Louis LGBTQ Collecting Initiative.

Processing Information

Processed by Abigail L. Dunn, Summer 2019. Additional processing by Miranda Rectenwald, 2020-2021
Laura Ann Moore Papers
Created by Abigail L. Dunn, Summer 2019. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in August 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Local History Collecting Area

Miranda Rectenwald
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495