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Primary Sources for LGBT Research

This guide identifies manuscript collections and rare book collections that may be useful for scholars and researchers of LGBT studies and the history of sexuality in the U.S.

Craig, Calvin (MSS 612)

Calvin Craig Papers, 1957-1975; 3 linear ft. (3 boxes, 1 oversized paper)

The collection consists of papers of Calvin Fred Craig from 1957-1975.  The papers primarily pertain to Craig's involvement in the Ku Klux Klan, particularly while serving as its Grand Dragon.  Materials include Klan broadsides, brochures, bulletins, and press releases, constitution and by-laws; membership and information cards; minutes and notes, printed material, photographs, and memorabilia.  There are also materials related to the Klan’s opposition to homosexuality and “sex deviants,” as well as information regarding civil rights activism among lesbian feminist organizations.

Emory University's President's Commission on LGBT Concerns (RG101/Series 28)

The Presidents Commision on LGBT Concerns - Records, 1992-1999; 2 linear ft. (2 boxes)

The President’s Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Concerns at Emory University is an advisory body to the President of the University. The records of the Commission consist of general committee records, subcommittee records, and clippings, the bulk of which were created from 1992-1994 prior to the beginning of the Commission.

For more current information and some additional background check out their website.


Georgia Women's Christian Temperance Union (MSS 647)

Georgia Women's Christian Temperance Union Records, 1888-1982; 26 linear ft. (58 boxes, 67 oversized folders, 2 audio cassettes)

The first Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in Georgia was founded in Atlanta after Eliza Stewart, one of those instrumental in the 1874 founding of the national WCTU, spoke to a group of Atlanta temperance advocates.  After the initial contact, other national WCTU organizers, including Frances E. Willard, visited cities and towns throughout the state.  By 1883 there were enough unions in the state to organize the Georgia Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  The WCTU as a whole was primarily a temperance organization, but because its leaders, if not its members, identified alcohol as a root of most social ills, they participated in many of the social reform movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Of particular interest are items related to moral reform and the moral education of children.  While homosexuality is not explicitly addressed, the rhetoric of “natural” sexual development and warnings against moral degradation are reminiscent of the campaigns against homosexuality during the same time period.

Lowe, David (MSS 1072)

David Lowe Papers, 1988-1992; 2 linear ft. (2 boxes)

David attended Emory from 1988 through 1992 and was very active in Emory's LGBT community. He was an officer of Emory's Lesbian and Gay Organization at that time called "ELGO". He helped coordinate the first display of the NAMES Project quilt at Emory, successfully lobbied for a distribution box at the DUC for Atlanta's GLBT newspaper, Southern Voice and narrowly lost the election for SGA president as an out gay man.

While a student at Emory, David was also a leader of ACT-UP Atlanta. The collection also holds materials relating to his AIDS activism in Atlanta in the late '80's and early 90's, including stickers, shirts, pins and other ephemera, photos, meeting minutes, and demonstration plans. He was arrested several times for his AIDS protests in which he raided the CDC, CNN and the capital in downtown Atlanta. At one memorable protest of the Southern Baptist Convention, the then Vice-Chair wrote a letter to the president of Emory, demanding his expulsion. Instead of expelling him, Emory commended him for his efforts.

Nat. Assoc. Black and White Men Together (MSS 1071)

National Association of Black and White Men Together Records, 1980-1999; 1 linear ft. (1 box)

The (NABWMT) is a gay multiracial, multicultural, political and social organization founded in 1980. The organization, made up of numerous local chapters, holds social functions, discussion groups, and an annual conference.

The collection contains organizational records and newsletters from the National Association from circa 1980-1999. The collection also includes documents and newsletters produced by many of their local chapters including Atlanta where the founder of the organization lived until his death in 1990.

Network Q (MSS 1010)

Network Q Records, 1992-1996; 37 linear ft. (37 boxes)

Network Q was the first weekly program about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals to be shown on public television. During the first two years of Network Q, the program was a subscription series of video tapes, and by 1994 they were being broadcast on 10 PBS stations across the country. By the end of their broadcast in 1996, they were being seen in all 50 states and in 11 foreign countries.

The program’s topics ranged from interviews with important national figures such as Allen Ginsberg and Martin Duberman, to more underground community based programming such as the Mr. International Leather Contest. Some of the more important programs for the gay and lesbian movement were the episodes devoted to the 1993 March on Washington, and the world’s largest display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each program focused on a different city, and included profiles of openly gay activists and artist, book, film and theater reviews and other topics of interest to the gay and lesbian community.

The research aspect of Network Q goes beyond queer studies and the gay rights movement, by allowing students and researchers of film studies programs an in depth look at the entire process of television and film creation. For each episode, the collection consists of initial planning documents, correspondence with city officials and episode guests, travel itineraries, episode planners, location and production stills, unedited original footage, the edited film and the final product.

Southeastern Arts, Media and Education Project (MSS 1015)

Southeastern Arts, Media, and Education Project (S.A.M.E.) Records; 10.5 linear ft. (11 boxes)

The Southeastern Arts, Media & Education Project was started in 1984 with a mission to provide education and expression during the AIDS crisis.  The organization sponsored plays, the Out on Film Festival, Amethyst (a literary magazine), the Arts for Pride festival, and other events.  The gay newspaper, Southern Voice, was a part of the organization for its first two years.  The collection consists of the records of the Southeastern Arts, Media & Education Project in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1986-1996. The collection includes correspondence, promotional materials and fliers related to Arts for Pride and the Out on Film festival, issues of Amethyst, newsletters, membership lists, grant applications, and board minutes. There is also a small amount of audio-visual material and photographs.

Stansell, Ed (MSS 1065)

Ed Stansell Papers, 1984-1997; 6 linear ft. (6 boxes, 2 oversized papers)

Ed (Edwin) W. Stansell, Assistant Dean at Emory University and gay rights activist.

The collection contains papers of Ed W. Stansell from 1984-1997, including posters, organizational records, and ephemera related to Stansell’s work with Atlanta, Georgia, gay rights activist and political organizations.  Organizations represented in the collection include the Atlanta Campaign for Human Rights, AIDS Atlanta, Southeastern Arts Media Education Program, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Chapter of the ALCU of Georgia, the Greater Atlanta Political Awareness Coalition, and the Atlanta Lambda Community Center.  The collection also contains material from the 1987 and 1993 marches in Washington, D.C.

WSB Radio Station, Atlanta (MSS 663)

WSB Radio Station Collection, 1955-1980; 189 linear ft. (189 boxes, 1 oversized folder)

Licensed in 1922, WSB was the first radio station in the south.  Originally owned by the Atlanta Journal, the station broadcast first from the roof of the newspaper's building, then from the Biltmore Hotel, and finally from the headquarters of WSB Radio and WSB-TV on West Peachtree Street.  Governor James M. Cox of Ohio bought the Atlanta Journal and WSB Radio on 1939.  The collection consists of sound recordings of news and other programming of WSB (Radio Station: Atlanta, Ga.) from the 1950s-1970s.  Of particular interest are programs on gay bath houses, gay marriage/benefits, Anita Bryant, “Gays,” “Black Male Homosexuals,” and “A Different Lifestyle.”

Note:  Restrictions on access and reproduction may apply.