Founded in July 1975 by Johnie Staggs and Rosalie Nichols, Ms. Atlas Press opened as a commercial printing operation and bookstore in downtown San Jose at 53 West San Fernando.
In addition, Johnie and Nikki wrote and published Lesbian Voices, a literary quarterly containing short stories, poetry, and essays that was internationally distributed as far as Egypt, Northern Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand. They also worked with Dan Relic to produce Lambda News, a local gay newspaper. When Lambda News started to falter, they created Our Paper, Your Paper, a local gay paper that also included important national news for the community.
Ms. Atlas Press was the official printer for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, and both Johnie and Nikki were deeply involved in the struggle for gay rights through the existing political process.