Skip to main content

Judith Pauline Autio papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll 722

Content Description

This collection contains material created and collected by Judith Pauline (JP) Autio and her community. The material is primarily related to: first, Stepping Woods, the Oregon Women's Land Trust, and other lesbian land, LGBTQ+ communities, and communal living movements in Oregon and the United States; and second, to Autio's medical care and death as related to her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's.

Most of the material related to lesbian lands is in the form of newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s, as well as some literature on organic gardening and sustainable agriculture.

Included are assorted issues of such newsletters and publications as:

Practicing Anti-Racism

Lesbian Community Project newsletter

On Wings

The L Word

Lambda Rising News

Lesbian Resource Center news

New Mexico Women's Land Trust newsletter

Lesbian and Gay Pink Pages

Women's Review


We Are Visible

On Target

Southern Oregon Lamba Association Gazette


Aquarian Alternatives

Organic Gardening and Farming

Sustainable Agriculture News

National Historic Communal Societies Association newsletter

The material related to Autio's illness and death include caretaking notes, records of visitors, flow charts, activity logs, and calendars. Autio was cared for by her friends and community, who strove to make it so that she was able to live at home for as long as possible. The records cover approximately 5-8 years of this communal support and were written by her caregivers. Topics include notes on Autio's steady decline, trying to maintain and regain her mental strength with games, falls and emergencies, interactions with the State, taking Autio to women's events in the area, purchases, the passage of time and seasons, observations of nature, and some in-fighting between Autio's caregivers. Also included are copies of Autio's last will and testament, photographs of her death and cremation, a small amount of art and writings by both Autio and others.


  • Creation: 1965-2001

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the material in this collection is restricted due to the presence of confidential medical information. Restrictions lift in July 2051.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Judith Pauline (JP) Autio was born in Michigan in 1938. She graduated from the School of Medical Technology in Seattle, Washington in 1961 and received a Master of Science degree in Zoology from Arizona State University. She worked in nuclear medicine before coming to Oregon in 1975.

Along with Jemma Crae, Autio founded Steppingwoods, a 140-acre women's land community in Southern Oregon in the 1970s. She built the original cabins on the land herself, as well as numerous outbuildings and bridges. She began showing signs of dementia in her late 40s, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at age 52, and died in 2001 at age 62.


2.75 linear feet (2 containers) : 1 records storage box, 1 flat box

Language of Materials



Judith Pauline (JP) Autio was a founding member of Steppingwoods, a 140-acre women's land community in Southern Oregon. This collection contains material related to the broader LGBTQ+ community, communal living, gardening and agriculture, as well as to Autio's medical care and death as a result of early-onset Alzheimer's.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Francis Eatherington, 2013.

Related Materials

Related materials are found in the following collection: OWL Trust records, Coll 342

See also the "Oregon Lesbian Land Manuscript Collections in Special Collections" Research Guide.

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Mahala Ruddell in June 2023.

Guide to the Judith Pauline Autio papers
Complete Description
June 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA