LAGAR Newsletter, No. 23 (January 2003)


Harry Hay 1912-- 2002 

NGLTF announced on 24 October 2002 that Harry Hay, well-known gay rights activist, passed away at the age of 90. Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said, "Today our movement lost one of its treasures. The death of legendary gay activist Harry Hay leaves a heavy sadness in our hearts and minds. Harry was one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement." 

In 1950, Harry Hay and four others formed one of the nation's first gay rights organizations, the Mattachine Society. The idea that homosexuals should organize for civil rights was formed at an election-year party in Los Angeles that was attended exclusively by gay men. The name came from the Matachinos, court jesters of the Italian Renaissance who, behind their masks, were free to speak the truth. The Mattachine Society was the first to propose that gay and lesbian people are an oppressed cultural minority. 

In the 1960's Hay helped organize the first "gay pride" parade in Los Angeles. He was chair of the L.A. Committee to Fight the Exclusion of Homosexuals from the Armed Forces and chaired the Southern California Gay Liberation Front. In the late 70's and early 80's, Hay turned increasingly toward spiritual issues; he formed the Radical Faeries, a movement devoted to ecology, spiritual truth and "gay-centeredness." 

NGLTF honored Hay at the October 1999 Creating Change(TM) conference. In his award acceptance speech, Hay said, "I want you to realize, of course, that by honoring me you are all honoring yourselves." He indicated that upon first reading Alfred Kinsey's book, The Sexual Behavior of the Human Male, he sensed that this book would eventually require that all Americans rethink their stance on homosexuals. Kinsey's fifth chapter was particularly seminal for Hay as seeing ourselves as a "cultural minority." Hay concluded, "Indeed, a viciously oppressed minority, who, were we to organize, might someday even liberate ourselves under principles protected by the American Constitution." 

Projects of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Repositories and Organizations 

CatalogQ: A Cooperative Venture

GLBT Historical Society,

ONE Institute, and

June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives

by Julia Bazar

Special Projects Librarian (Archivist) 

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society announces the launch of the first draft of CatalogQ, intended to become a California union catalog of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender periodicals and holdings information. The beginnings of CatalogQ have been made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered by the California State Library. The cooperating institutions are the ONE Institute, the San Francisco Public Library and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives . 

CatalogQ currently holds the combined periodical catalogs of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco and the ONE Institute and Archives in Los Angeles. Within the next year, the project personnel anticipate adding the holdings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-related periodicals in the San Francisco Public Library and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives. Eventually they will add university holdings over the next few years. 

Readers are invited to look at the beta version of the database at or connect through the GLBT Historical Society, From this latter site, there is currently a link to "CatalogQ" in the Hot Box on the first page. One can also get to CatalogQ by clicking on "Archives," then on "Catalogs," and then on "Periodicals." 

Feel welcome to contact Julia Bazar at with any suggestions or comments. If any readers are interested in being a part of the project or if any know of a California periodical collection that should be part of the project, please contact Julia at the above email or by telephone at 415-777-5455 x3#. Hopefully one of the results of the project will be "to create cooperative working and expertise sharing relationships between GLBT community libraries and archives throughout the state." 

"Hidden History Site Debuts"

contributed by James Eason to LAGAR-L; edited by newsletter editor 

The Gay Bears! Collection in University Archives, University of California, Berkeley announces the debut of a web site, "The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus" which explores the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history of Cal. The web site is available on the Library's Sunsite at: 

Erik Klavon designed the site. William Benemann and Steve Finacom compiled and wrote the contents. Mary Scott created the graphics. The web site allows researchers to explore by date, campus location, or personal name or event. Each entry provides a brief summary of the topic, followed by a bibliography for further reading. Comments and suggestions are very welcome at

LAGAR Committee

to Update Lavender Legacies 

Debbie Richards has called for volunteers to help update the addresses of repositories from the United States listed in Lavender Legacies before it is included in the list published by the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliate of the American Historical Association. The web site for CLGH is

Publication deadline is mid-March 2003 so we need lots of volunteers soon. If you can help, contact Debbie at or at (617) 495-8647. 

lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Veterans History Project 

 The Veterans History project was created by an act of Congress and is being managed by the U.S. Library of Congress, in order to collect and archive videotaped and tape recorded histories of veterans who served during a period of war, to include WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. For more information on the project, see 

The Library of Congress does not conduct the bulk of the interviews itself; instead, it has enlisted volunteers from across the country and about 500 organizations that are willing to become "official partners" to the project. The volunteers interview the vets and prepare the tapes and forms for submission to the Library of Congress' archives. American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), formerly Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America, became one of these organizations. Ms. Lara Ballard, a member of AVER and a lesbian former Army officer from 1991-1995, now serves as the National Veterans History Project Coordinator website at

"AVER became an official partner to this project because we believe it is absolutely vital that the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans to the nation's defense be recorded in the nation's archives. The Library of Congress has been completely supportive of this endeavor. We are trying to get as many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans as possible to tell their stories, not only of their wartime service but of their experiences as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military service members." To accomplish this goal, AVER invites the assistance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender archivists, not only in publicizing the project but in helping interview on video tape and even collecting oral histories. 

Moreover, organizations can become official partners in the project. It provides an opportunity to enhance the holdings of oral histories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. "You don't have to send the original tapes to the Library of Congress," Ballard explains. "If you are building your own archives, you can send copies or even just the bio data sheet and release forms to the Library of Congress with information on where the tape is archived, and they will still enter the veteran into their national registry." For example, Ballard indicated that the first interview done on this project in Washington, D.C. was with Frank Kameny who served in World War II in the Ninth Army in Europe. The interview offered a valuable view of Kameny's pre-activist life. Ballard said the Kameny interview would be placed in the Rainbow History Project repository. 

Feel free to contact Ballard for further information at or at (202) 408-0087. 

lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Religious Archives Network 

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Religious Archives Network (RAN), a group at the Chicago Theological Seminary, operates a list of archives, libraries, etc., holding records of spiritual movements among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The project web site provides access to a newsletter, a gallery of pioneers in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender religious world, and of course the list, at Although the project is sponsored by the Chicago Theological Seminary, it is difficult to find one's way to RAN from the Seminary home page. 

New Acquisitions 

Ted Sahl Collection

of Lesbian and Gay History

Donated to San Jose State University 

(I omitted this announcement from the last newsletter for which I apologize. -- ed.) 

Last April, Theodore (Ted) Sahl, an awardwinning photographer in San Jose, donated his collection of San Jose gay and lesbian history materials to San Jose State University Library. The collection contains photographs, negatives, essays, newspapers, newsletters, magazines, books and the rough draft of Sahl's new book, From Closet to Community -- A Quest for Gay and Lesbian Liberation in San Jose and Santa Clara County. The collection, totaling approximately 50 linear feet, consists of over 6,000 images, early local gay/ lesbian magazines, newsletters, and memorabilia. Steven D. Groth, SJSU Special Collections and Archives, has hired a graduate archival intern experienced in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender archives in San Francisco to process the collection. The Library is also establishing an endowment fund to support the processing of the collection, and acquisition of other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books and materials. The collection provides documentation of the San Jose gay and lesbian community from 1977 to 2001. 

Sahl served as the staff photographer for the Lambda NewsSouth Bay TimesOur Paper, and Valley Views. His photographs have appeared in a number of other works, including a 1999 San Jose Mercury documentary on the San Jose lesbian and gay community, entitled "A Community of One." In 1981, the San Francisco Cable Car Award Association nominated Sahl for an award in photojournalism. He was also the recipient of an honorable mention inAdvocate magazine's National Photo Contest in the people category. 

For additional information, contact Steven D. Groth via email at or via snail mail at Special Collections / University Archives, San Jose State University Library, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0028. 



SIECUS (Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States) mounts a monthly e-publication, "The Source," on their web site, On home page, click on the icon in the left hand column "Library & Info Services." In the purple box on the right hand side, click on "Mary S. Calderone Library." On this page, click on the link to "The Source -- free online library newsletter." 

Lesbian Letters on E-Bay

Purchased by Cornell 

Brenda Marsden announced via the LAGAR list that she had been successful in buying through e-Bay a series of letters exchanged between two lesbians, one living in Colorado and one in Illinois. The announcement ended a series of postings discussing the pros and cons of buying materials for our collections via e-bay. 

For some information on the letters, log on to ViewItem&item=742278291&ssPageName=ADME:B:OAB:US:6 . For details on the debate, check for archives at LAGAR-L. 

Other News Items



SAA Announcement

of Roundtable Meetings,

Los Angeles, August 2003 

LAGAR is among the Roundtables now scheduled to meet on Friday, 22 August, 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. We hope to have interesting ideas, perhaps a guest speaker, as well as the usual business meeting. 

NARA launches the

Archival Research Catalog

by Dorothy Dougherty <dorothy.dougherty@NARA.GOV>

adapted from article to archives.listserv 

On 19 September 2002 National Archives and Records Administration launched the web interface to its online catalog, Archival Research Catalog (ARC). ARC includes holdings in all Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries as well as holdings in the Washington, DC, area repositories. ARC replaces NAIL, the NARA Archival Information Locator. ARC is now available at

ARC features displays of archival descriptions on all levels of Archival hierarchy as well as connections among the hierarchical levels. Using ARC, one may search by simple keywords or perform advanced Boolean searching. One may also search by date. In ARC one may establish limits for types of records, such as photographs, audio recordings, digital images, text records, maps; and/or for location of records. Using ARC, a researcher may browse through or employ filtering by authority files, such as the  Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) for names of people, the Getty  Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), or the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). 

ARC currently holds only approximately 13% of NARA's total holdings. Furthermore current ARC data may not reflect the new NARA standards because most of the descriptions come from older NARA systems. As NARA staff update descriptions, these revisions will be brought into conformity with the new standards. 

Report From Australia:

6th Annual Lesbian and Gay

Cultural Festival

by Jenny Scott

Collection Specialist -- Archives

State Library of South Australia 

After the completion of the Gay Games VI in Sydney; Adelaide, the capital of South Australia launched it's 6th Annual Lesbian and Gay Cultural Festival -- "Feast." Each year "Feast" features various events in music, theater, film, and literature. 

On 13 November a stunning evening of lesbian literature, herstory and archives took place at a popular local gay bar, The Edinburgh Castle. Three outstanding lesbian writers spoke to a packed audience of women about their books, archives, and lesbian herstory. 

The night began with Lisa avis, New York City author of Under the Mink, resplendent in black tuxedo and red bow tie giving the audience a visual tour of Greenwich Village and her favorite spots in New York City before reading from Under the Mink

Andrea Goldsmith, equally stunning Melbourne based author of The Prosperous Thief followed. Andrea gave the audience a brilliant reading from her latest book in which portion she describes the disintegrating relationship between the major character Laura and her partner Nell and the emotions which Laura feels as she comes to terms with Nell's departure. 

After a break for refreshments, meeting the authors, and book buying, the second part of the evening featured Joan Nestle, author of numerous works of fiction and lesbian history. She enthralled the audience with her stories of the NYC Lesbian Herstory Archives, conveying her love for the contents of the stacks that probably only another archivist could fully appreciate. She spoke of her beautiful memories of life in New York City and of her new life in Melbourne. She stressed the fundamental need for minorities to take responsibility for preserving their own history. She gave several memorable readings during the course of the evening. 

The evening was hosted by "Feast" Artistic Director, Margie Fisher and transgender lesbian archivist, Jenny Scott. 

As an aside, Adelaide hosts the Annual Australian Society of Archivists conference in September 2003. If anyone is interested in attending or is looking for a gay friendly town to visit and/or talk archives, Jenny will be happy to offer advice or assistance. Jenny's email is Web site for "Feast" is; web site for the State Library of South Australia is