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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.

Carmichael, James V. Sr., (MSS 576)

James V. Carmichael Sr.  Papers, 1913-1982; 42.5 linear ft. (87 boxes, 4 bound volumes, 24 oversized bound volumes, 71 oversized folders (no OP1, 45, 59-66), 1 oral history)

James V. Carmichael, Sr., graduate of Emory University (LL.B. 1933), practiced law in Marietta, Georgia (1933-1943; 1946). He served two terms as a Georgia legislator (1935-1940), and was a candidate for governor (1946).  His papers include writings of his son, James V. Carmichael, Jr., who has worked extensively in the areas of library history and gay and lesbian studies.

Carmichael, James V., Jr. (MSS925)

James V. Carmichael Jr. Papers, 4 linear ft. (8 boxes)

James V. Carmichael, Jr. (1946- ), received his B.A. (1969) and Masters of Librarianship (1977) from Emory University, specializing in American Library History.  He is Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where his scholarship has focused on library history and gender and sexuality in librarianship.  The collection includes correspondence, speeches, presentations, and printed material related to his work on gay publishing, male librarians, and gay and lesbian issues in the library.

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.

Dunaway, Kathryn Fink (MSS 618)

Kathryn Fink Dunaway Papers, 1951-1981; 15 linear ft. (15 boxes)

Dunaway (ca. 1906-1980) was a political activist from Atlanta who served as chairman of the STOP ERA Committee of Georgia.  Her papers contain correspondence, subject files, and printed material focusing on women's issues.  The collection also includes material on the STOP ERA Committee of Georgia, Georgia Federation of Republican Women, and Daughters of the American Revolution.  Materials of particular interest are related to lesbian feminist organizations in Minnesota.

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.

Hames, Margie Pitts (MSS 825)

Margie Pitts Hames Papers, 1969-1993; 98 linear ft. (117 boxes)

Margie Pitts Hames practiced law in Atlanta from 1962 until her death in 1993.  After receiving her B.S. at Middle Tennessee State University, Hames attended Vanderbilt University School of Law where she received her J.D. in 1961. After graduation she worked with Fisher and Phillips in Atlanta on labor-management relations. She left the firm in 1968 and the following year began volunteer work for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a Ford Foundation project that worked to prevent confrontations between civil rights demonstrators and police. She opened her own firm in 1971. Hames actively engaged in cases involving abortion rights, women's rights, school desegregation, employment discrimination, gay rights, workers compensation, personal injury, social security claims, domestic relations, criminal defense, medical malpractice, defense, educational rights for gifted and disabled children, and general civil litigation.

Note: Special restrictions apply: some of the case files contain materials which may be restricted due to privacy issues- such files will need to be reviewed by an archivist before access is allowed.

Harrison, Emily Stewart (MSS 556)

Emily Stewart Harrison Papers, 1829-1979; 17.25 linear ft. (35 boxes, 20 oversized folders, 1 oral history)

Harrison (1874-1973) was a teacher, journalist and environmentalist from Atlanta, Ga.  The collection contains personal and business correspondence, writings, printed material, legal and financial records, and photographs documenting Harrison's work in rural and progressive education and environmental protection.  The collection includes four decades of correspondence with Harrison’s good friend, Charlotte Hopkins.  While the series holds only letters from Hopkins, this extensive and frequent correspondence provides a picture of an intense friendship as well as Hopkins’ reactions to Harrison’s visits.

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 honored him with a Humanitarian Award.

McCullers, Carson (MSS 668)

Carson McCullers Collection, 1941-1961; .25 linear ft. (1 box)

The collection of this Southern author consists of correspondence, articles, reviews, critical works, a biography, and some of her literary works.  The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters from McCullers (1917-1967) to her friend, composer David Diamond, from her homes in Columbus, Ga., and Nyack, N.Y., and from the Yaddo Writers Colony.  Letters discuss her family, her work (especially Member of the Wedding), and her relationship with her husband, Reeves McCullers.  Known primarily as a Southern gothic author, McCullers has also been known for the ambiguous gender and sexuality categories present in both her work and her personal life.

McMillan, Louise (MSS 875)

Louise McMillan Papers, ca. 1900-1950; 6 linear ft. (12 boxes)

Emma Louise McMillan was born October 28, 1890, and was raised in Marion, South Carolina.  After high school, she attended Limestone College, a women’s school in Gaffney, South Carolina.  After leaving Limestone (poor health kept her from completing her degree), Louise went on to attend the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union Training School in Kentucky, where she received nursing training. She worked briefly as a nurse and as a teacher before settling in Marion, where she lived the rest of her life with her sister.  The extensive letters from her sister, college friends, and other family members offer insight into their thoughts on women’s education, suffrage, marriage, and business and financial matters. Of particular interest are the letters from various Limestone students, which describe the homosocial world of the women’s college and the intimate friendships that thrived there.  There are also letters related to the lives and relationships of women who chose not to marry.

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.

O'Connor, Flannery (MSS 59)

The Flannery O'Connor Collection; 1 linear ft. (2 boxes) and 2 oversized papers (OP)

This artificial collection of Flannery O'Connor letters, manuscripts, and printed items has been assembled from various sources (gifts and purchases) over many years. The earliest two items (circa 1937) relate to a childhood trip to Atlanta. The Dora Byron accession (3 items) relates to a proposed television appearance which O'Connor declined and to a reading she delivered at an adult evening course at Emory University around 1956. Also present are two photocopies of letters to Frank Daniel, letters to and from Marvin Whiting regarding a class visit to O'Connor's home, and two manuscripts of talks O'Connor delivered on the subject "How the Writer Writes" and "the problem of the southern writer." Also present is correspondence exchanged between David Estes (former Head of Special Collections) and O'Connor regarding her own personal papers.

In a series of eight letters to Joel Wells of the Critic magazine O'Connor discusses her own writing, the writing of others (James Gould Cozzens and J.F. Powers), an interview of O'Connor that appeared in the Critic, and other subjects. O'Connor's letters to Fred Darsey discuss a wide range of subjects from Darsey's flight from the hospital in Milledgeville, her own religious faith, Darsey's writing, her work, health, and daily farm life.

The collection also includes a series of letters between Robert Jiras, Flannery O'Connor, Regina O'Connor, and various film agents and producers (1956-1971) regarding a proposed film adaptation by Robert Jiras of O'Connor's short story "The River." This grouping also contains Jiras' story outline, a rough draft of the screenplay and a final copy of the screenplay.

O'Connor, Flannery (MSS 1064)

Flannery O'Connor - Letters to Betty Hester, 1955-1964; 1 linear ft. (2 boxes)

Born in Savannah, Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, after the death of her father in 1941. She published her first short story, “Geranium,” in the literary magazine Accent in 1946. She went on to publish two novels, Wise BloodThe Violent Bear it Away in 1960 and continued to produce short stories, most notably the collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955). She received numerous awards during her relatively short career, including grants from the Ford Foundation and the National Academy of Arts and Letters. in 1952 and

The collection includes a significant cache of letters from Flannery O'Connor to Betty Hester which spans nine years, from 1955 to 1964, and offers insight into O'Connor's approach to her faith and to her writing.  There are approximately 250 letters and the majority of them are written from Milledgeville at a rate of 2-3 times a month.  Reflecting the intellectual nature of their exchanges, the letters contain references to writers, philosophers, and psychologists, including Thomas Aquinas, Sigmund Freud, Caroline Gordon, Graham Greene, Baron Friedrich von Hugel, Henry James, Robert Lowell, Francois Mauriac, Katherine Anne Porter, Bryon Reece, and Simone Weil.

Pauley, Frances (MSS 659)

Frances Pauley Papers, 1919-1992; 52.5 linear ft. (98 boxes, 3 oversized boxes, and 8 oversized folders)

Activist Frances Freeborn Pauley (1905-2003) began her social work during the Depression, and  went on to serve as president of Georgia's League of Women's Voters.  Pauley actively fought to keep Georgia schools open after the Brown v. Board of Education of 1954.  She also worked with the Georgia Poverty Rights Organization.  She was extensively involved in the civil rights movement in Georgia, working alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  More recently in the 1990s, Pauley worked with issues regarding the homeless, gay rights, and AIDS.

Smith, Lillian Eugenia (MSS 491)

Lillian Eugenia Smith Papers, 1940-1962; .75 linear ft. (2 boxes)

Lillian Smith (1897-1966) was an author from Clayton, Georgia who wrote the controversial novel Strange Fruit in 1944.  Smith was also a supporter of the civil rights movement and served on the Congress of Racial Equality.  She and her partner Paula Snelling edited and published the literary magazine South Today.  This collection includes miscellaneous correspondence, speeches, articles, books, and newspaper clippings by and about Lillian Smith.

Note: The bulk of Smith’s papers are held at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia.

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.