Held at: John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center [Contact Us]1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
LGBT poetry and other forms of writing and creative expression from the 1960s onwards has been shaped by a number of social forces. The rise of the gay liberation and lesbian feminist movements play an important role in the amount and kind of material that is produced during the early years of this time period. Likewise, those movements owe a great deal to the civil rights, antiwar and women's liberation movements which preceded and grew alongside them. Rejection of authority and the promise of "coming out" are central themes in much of the LGBT writing of this time. The material also explores new and more prominent conceptions of class, race, and gender. Changes in the technology of printing and means of distribution also affect the writing and reception of those in the gay liberation, lesbian feminist, and subsequent LGBT rights movements. Independent journals, magazines, and newspapers, along with small independent and radical presses, gay and lesbian/feminist bookstores, and cooperative structures of organization flower during this period. Changes in society's acceptance of LGBT people as well as the advent of the AIDS epidemic lead, a growing acknowledgement of gender variance, and the mainstream commercialization of the works of LGBT writers and other creators are factors which influence poetry and other creative expression as well.
This collection is made up of LGBT-related poetry, prose, music, and photography chapboooks produced from the 1960s through the current day, most from the 1970s and 1980s. The majority of the materials are in the poetic genre, but literature including short stories and plays are included, as well as books of lyrics and musical notation, and books of photography, especially those which include creative texts alongside the graphics material. Not included in the collection are non-fiction or educational pamphlets, comic books, coloring books, or 'zines. For the most part, periodical publications, including serial poetry journals and anthologies, are not included. These may be found within the Archives' periodicals collection by journal title. Most of the items in this collection were produced by small presses including some collectives, and some of the works are self-published. Books by a single author are included side by side with those with multiple contributors and one or more editors. Many of the writers and presses are from the Philadelphia area, but other centers of LGBT life in the United States are represented as well. Some titles exist in more than one copy. They are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author, editor, or if neither of these is known, by the title of the work. There is one final file at the end which includes clippings, transcriptions, and manuscript copies of LGBT poetry primarily from the 1970s and 1980s.
Gifts of mostly unknown origin, and transfers from the Center's library.
- John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center.