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The Sexuality guide is annotated list of personal papers and organization records in Manuscripts and Archives related to gender, sexuality, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lives and culture. The guide, though not comprehensive, lists the most substantive sources.
Click on the links to access the collection finding aid. Finding aids are more detailed than the descriptions annotations below. They provide context for the materials described as well as a contents list, usually to the box and folder level and sometimes even to the item level.
Evangeline Holcombe Walker Andrews’ (1869-1962) voluminous letters to Charles McLean Andrews are interesting as examples of middle-class language of courtship and romance in the late nineteenth-century. Dates covered 1723-1967 (inclusive), 1885-1956 (bulk).
Annie Beecher Scoville (1866-1953) material includes correspondence from Katharine Lee Bates. Bates and Scoville maintained an intimate friendship for most of their adult lives. The two women met in the late 1880s at Wellesley College, where Scoville was a student and Bates a professor. Their correspondence in its early years (ca. 1883-1890) is filled with emotionally effusive expressions of desire, longing, betrayal, and secrecy. By the turn of the century, though, this ardor seems to have dissipated. Bates and Scoville’s relationship evolved into a friendship centered around intellectual pursuits and the shared experience of being single, educated, independent women who did not define themselves according to conventional ideologies of family and gender.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) material includes correspondence, church records, and other materials relating to the Beecher-Tilton adultery scandal.
Diary kept by Albert Dodd while at Yale College (1836-1837) describing his relations with men and women, a manuscript of his poetry (with printed engravings of Hoboken and Manhattanville), and three letters to his family from Bloomington, Illinois (1841-1844), where he had gone to practice law. The letters describe modes of travel, hunting, the habits of wolves, and conditions of health and hygiene in the area. Included also is Dodd’s obituary from the Hartford Daily Times, June 1844.
Bryant, the left-wing journalist and writer, was a major figure among intellectual circles and bohemian communities in Paris and New York in the 1910s-1930s. An advocate of socialism, woman suffrage, and free love, she consciously sought to transgress conventional gender roles in her personal as well as professional life. She was married three times, to Paul Trullinger from 1909 to 1916; to John Reed, 1916-1920; and to William Bullitt, 1923-1930. Bryant’s heterosexual romances – which were filled with turbulence and emotional intensity – are also extensively documented in the collection. See, particularly, the folders for John Reed and Eugene O’Neill. She also had a long-term lesbian relationship with a sculptor named Gwen Le Gallienne, which led (in part), to the breakup of her marriage with Bullitt. Although this relationship is not extensively documented, Bryant’s papers provide fascinating glimpses into lesbian & gay life in expat Paris during the 1920s – see, especially, the letters of Claude McKay and Richard McAlmon. [Bryant’s relationship to Le Gallienne, not well documented in her papers, is documented in the William C. Bullitt papers (MS 112): see papers documenting his divorce from Bryant.]
Virginia Louise “Midge” Donaldson (1919-1960) materials include letters from several women including Sarah “Sally” Spock Trueblood, sister of Dr. Benjamin Spock (Series V, Box 11, Folders 11 and 12). Sally’s Vassar letters contain lengthy, detailed discussions of dating, first sexual experiences, masturbation, and sex education; they also richly describe female friendships. Her adult letters, mostly written after she married, discuss marriage, adultery, free love, and divorce; psychoanalysis and couples’ therapy; menstruation, birth control, and gynecological problems; and her dissatisfaction with traditional gender roles, especially her loneliness and boredom at being a housewife. Letters from “Ruth” (Series V, Box 11, Folder 15): Ruth, last name unknown, appears to have been an actress, a lesbian, and seems to have had a romantic relationship with Midge.
British psychologist. Correspondence and manuscripts on literary and psychological subjects, particularly on the question of sex. Important correspondents are Thomas Hardy, William James, Leo Tolstoy, Amy Lowell Rockwell Kent, Bertrand Russell, Herbert Spencer, Upton Sinclair, Rebecca West and Sigmund Freud. There are only a few outgoing letters from Havelock Ellis. The bulk of the papers consists of manuscripts by Ellis, of which the longest is "My Confessions". This work is made up of seventy short pieces, each based upon a problem posed to Ellis by a correspondent. The literary essays are on Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Marcel Jouhandeau and William Morris.
Elizabeth Page Harris (1889-1969), graduate of Vassar College, writer, and pacifist, remained single until her sixty-sixth year, when she married Dr. Herbert Taylor Harris. Page Harris had several intimate relationships with women that are well-documented in her correspondence. See, for example, the letters of Hope Avery and Helen Drusilla Lockwood. Hope Avery was one of Elizabeth Page Harris’ childhood friends. Her letters, written while she was touring and studying in Europe, describe the girl-girl crushes known as “raves” in the parlance of the time. Helen Lockwood (1898-1971) was a friend of Harris from the Vassar class of 1912. Lockwood never married, and it is difficult to discern much about her private life from her letters, which tend to be highly intellectual. However, a few examples from 1915-1916 make intriguing allusions to intense desires that need to be repressed. Although it is unclear whether Lockwood and Harris were romantically involved, it does seem that they shared and discussed such desires. Because of their oblique, coded language, these letters are difficult to interpret.
Includes documentation on WWII related projects that studied the effects of military service on Yale and Harvard men and the identification and suitability of homosexuals, psychoneurotics, and psychopaths in the military.
The papers consist of the diaries of Donald Crossley Vining for the years 1932-1958 and for 1971-1985, as well as typed transcripts from his diaries for 1926-1927. The diaries provide a detailed account of the life of an intellectual, homosexual man in the 1940s and 1950s. Vining, who spent most of his adult life in New York, took a great interest in the arts, and his diaries contain descriptions of operas and plays which he attended; outlines of his current writing projects and theater activities; and details of his daily life and personal relationships. Typescripts of several one and two act plays are included in the papers.
The collection might be of interest to someone writing about sexuality among the mid-20th-century bohemian New York left. Anna’s relationships with Jack London, William English Walling, and Leonard Abbott exemplify many of the contradictions inherent in the New York left’s ideal of “free love” (for one, the fact that free love tended to benefit men rather than women, who were still expected to raise children and adhere to accepted standards of female propriety, at least in public). See, especially, the Leonard Abbott folders: his letters (and some of hers) contain lengthy discussions about the nature of their relationship, especially in relation to the social benefits of marriage vs. free love.
The collection documents Harvey Fierstein as author, actor, and gay activist. The papers include scripts, professional correspondence, publicity materials, clippings, legal documents, scrapbooks, photographs, audio recordings, and videotapes.
The collection includes publications, flyers, newsletters and ephemera related primarily to the gay and lesbian liberation movements, but also includes documentation on bisexuality, transgender, trans-sexual and queer issues.
The collection contains assorted gay and lesbian comic publications from the 1970s to the 1990s dealing with issues such as coming out, depression, and gay and lesbian liberation. Some magazines appear to be self published.
The collection includes printed ephemera and publications from the 1940s to early 21 century documenting the development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities in their own voices. Includes mass circulation and small press publications.
The collection includes assorted illustrated publications and ephemera, generally produced by the radical sex and leather communities, documenting the development of a wide array of sexual practices, costumes, and communities. The collection dates from the 1970s to the 1990s.
The collection includes illustrated publications and printed ephemera from the 1940s to the early 21st century that chronicle transgender communities, performance, and identities ranging from transvestism to transsexual surgery. The collection references a range of perspectives on transgenderism from within and without its communities.
The papers consist of correspondence, speeches, writings, and other papers (including research and teaching materials, photographs, memorabilia, newspaper and periodical clippings, books, and radio and television tapes) of Max Lerner, an American educator, author, lecturer, historian, and political scientist. The papers include documentation on his controversial writings on homosexuality. Correspondence from the 1950s documents Lerner's interest in national politics and homosexuality. Prominent correspondents include Alfred C. Kinsey in 1954, criticizing Lerner's interpretation of his work.
The papers, dating 1924 to the present, consist of personal materials, correspondence, clippings, subject and writing files, and audiovisual materials that document David Mixner’s life as a gay male, leader in the gay rights movement, author, and political consultant and advisor. [The papers are closed until January 1, 2031, unless researchers receive permission in writing to access them from the donor, the person holding power of attorney for the donor, or the executor of the estate of the donor.]
The New Haven and Connecticut Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection includes publications and ephemera, dating from the 1980s to the present, related to LGBT people and culture in New Haven and Connecticut.
The papers are comprised of writings, collected ephemera, correspondence, book and article research materials, audiovisual materials, and photographs documenting the personal and professional lives of Christopher Phillips, who was active in the gay liberation movement beginning with the founding of the first Yale gay group in October 1969. He worked full time at the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles (1973-75), and lived with other Center gay activists in the Highland Park Collective. [Series XV, Diaries, is closed until January 1, 2060, unless researchers receive written permission to access the diaries from the donor or his executor.]
The Candida Scott Piel papers, dating from the 1950s to the present, document a socially active gay and lesbian culture centered in New York City. The papers include subject files, printed materials, writings, ephemera, and audiovisual materials. There is particularly substantive material on AIDS and AIDS treatments, gay clubs and "the circuit" culture, the Jewel Box Revue, and events organized by Piel, mainly as fundraisers for organizations such as the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
The digital images consist of Cherry Grove celebrities and royalty at various functions, including teas, beauty contests, and the annual Invasion of the Pines. The images are crafted using the digital equivalents of photography, stage makeup, and cosmetic surgery.