NHPRC-Supported Project Sheds Light on Early LGBTQ Activism

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/30/13

In the past year, archivists at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries cataloged 95 collections that document the lives of many pioneering figures in the struggle for LGBTQ equality. Thanks to the NHPRC-supported project, researchers can now access a number of previously hidden archival collections, including A Different Light Bookstore Records, the Antonio Reyes Papers, the Esther Herbert Papers and Photographs, Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE), and the Molly McKay & Davina Kotulski Scrapbooks.

In addition to the 59 collections previously processed through this project, ONE Archivists recently processed 36 additional collections shedding light on early activist organizations like Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE), which dates back to 1966 and inspired later organizations like ACT UP and the Gay Liberation Front. PRIDE organized demonstrations following the 1967 LAPD raid on the Black Cat Tavern.

The newly processed collections also shed light on the lives of important LGBTQ activists, artists, and scholars. The Esther Herbert Papers and Photographs include scrapbooks and weekly correspondence between four lesbian friends who all served in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII. The Tony Reyes papers document the career and personal life of the Latino dancer and entertainer who was also a founding member of ONE, the oldest operating gay organization in the US. Also included in the collections are a number of photographs, scrapbooks, and mementoes from early gay and lesbian weddings.

See the complete list of newly processed collections below, as well as selected photographs of early LGBTQ activists.

Esther Herbert and friends from the Women's Army Corps relaxing at Lake Arrowhead in 1944


Antonio Reyes with Dale Jennings, Chuck Rowland, and W. Dorr Legg from the early days of ONE Incorporated in the 1950s


February 1967 PRIDE Newsletter discussing the Black Cat Raid and announcing the planned demonstration


The office of Inaczej, one of Poland's first gay magazines, in 1994 from the Shades of Red and Pink (Douglas Conrad) collection


Finding aids for the newly processed collections are available online:

A Different Light Bookstore Records                                          

Al P. Busendorfer Papers                                                            

Tony Reyes Papers                                                                  

Naked Boys Singing Records                                                                  

Carol Waymire Papers                                                                  

Charles W. Gossett Papers                                                           

David Tierney Alternative Comics                                             

Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs                                      

Falcon Studios Still Images Collection                                          

George Raya Papers                                                                   

Harry D. Arends Collection                                                        

Ivy Theatre Records                                                                    

Jill A. Mendelsohn Papers                                                           

Marjorie Rushforth Papers                                                           

Merrit Moore Thompson Papers                                                 

LGBTQ Manuscripts Collection                                       

Molly McKay & Davina Kotulski scrapbooks (digital)             

New Alliance of Gay Equality (NEW AGE) Records                 

Paul Serchia Papers                                                                       

Personal Rights in Defense and Education (PRIDE) Records                   

Philip Cary Jones Papers                                                             

Richard Silverthorn Papers                                                           

Rick Herold Collection                                                                 

Robert Basker Papers                                                                   

Ron Emler Photographs                                                                

San Francisco Unified School District's Family Diversity

Curriculum Resolution Records                                                    

Shades of Red and Pink (Douglas Conrad) Collection                  

Shane Que Hee Collection                                                            

Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists Records               

Steven Reigns Papers                                                                   

Sunny Bak Photography Collection                                             

Suzi Nash Collection                                                                   

Wil Kinsley Collection                                                                 

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