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The Manuscripts and Archives Sexuality Subject 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. This page, though not comprehensive, lists the most substantive sources from the 19th century.
Additional information about each collection is available in the catalog record in ORBIS, the Yale University Library online public catalog, and/or a finding aid. (Finding aids are more detailed than the annotations in this guide. They provide context for the materials described as well as a contents list, usually to the box and folder level and sometimes to the item level.) Click on the highlighted titles to access the finding aid.
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.