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Michigan State University

LGBTQ+ Resources in Special Collections

About archival collections

The LGBTQ+ Collection contains many archival collections from individuals as well as organizations, these collections range from personal papers, ephemera collections, project management, and organizational records.

Below you will find an alphabetical list of all of the archival collections in the LGBTQ+ Collection. You will find a links to the collection's finding aid (inventory) and link to our catalog where you can request the collection.

Anne E. Tracy collection

Contains correspondence, notes, inventories, and miscellaneous material related to the creation of the Special Collections LGBTQ+ Collection at MSU Libraries, as well as some biographical material on Anne E. Tracy. The collection traces some of the research done by Tracy to build the LGBT collection, and gives examples of how the collection began to be used in course instruction.

Barbara Price papers

Contains personal and professional materials, including correspondence, legal research materials, concert and events production materials, artists press kits, ephemera, photographs, and audio-visual media. The collection includes the individual archives for Women in Production, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, and Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club.

Born in 1943 in Lafayette, Indiana, Barbara ("Boo") Kay Price is a feminist activist, attorney, and producer. In 1975 she established her own production company, Women in Production, producing events at the national level such as the concerts for the 1977 National Women's Conference, and a series of concerts in support of the ratification of the Equal Amendment Rights featuring Margie Adam.

Price co-produced the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival alongside Lisa Vogel from 1984 to 1994. From 1996-2015 she owned and operated the Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club, a venue for private parties, receptions, workshops, and cultural events.

Bill Beachler papers

Includes photos, correspondence, news clippings, concert programs from LGBTQ choruses, and records of Beachler's activity with numerous organizations.

Bill Beachler (1945-2016) was a Lansing-area activist for LGBTQ rights, and a long-time employee of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Beachler was a founding member of the Lansing Association for Human Rights. He also served 14 years as an East Lansing City Commissioner. Beachler created the Pride Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ students at MSU.

Bonnie J. Morris Michigan Womyn's Music Festival collection

Contains personal items collected by Bonnie J. Morris from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival dating approximately from 1995 to 2015. The collection includes journals, stage notes, and ephemera.

Charlie Nash collection

Contains fliers and collage designed by Charlie Nash, a couple of zines and other items collected by Nash, a recorded performance, and some born digital material.

Charlie Nash (1944-2020) was a Lansing-based anarchist and experimental artist known for creating zines and collage fliers. Nash was the author of the zine Queer Magnolia, an anti-war activist, and a member of the Peace Education Center.

Colt Studio photographs and other male erotica

Contains homoerotic photographs and illustrations primarily produced by Colt Studio from the 1970s-1980s. Topics include hypermasculine poses involving leather, chains, police, firefighter, cowboy, sports, motorcycles, guns, and nature. The collection also contains a small selection of photographs from the Bruce of Los Angeles studio, illustrations by Target Studios, and a 1980's illustration of African American men by "The Hun" (Bill Schmeling).

Dignity Archive

Includes conference papers, newsletters, leaflets and other publications from Dignity chapters throughout the United States, covering the years 1969 to 1985. The archive comprises of five boxes containing about 100 file folders of material collected and donated by Steven L. Berg.

The Dignity organization began in 1969 as a ministry for gay and lesbian Roman Catholics.

Emily Dievendorf papers

Contains letters, resources, and ephemera relating to her activism as the Executive Director of Equality Michigan, advocating for the inclusion of transgender women at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, and for the rights of trans-, pan-, and other sexual minorities.

Emily Dievendorf is a Lansing activist and non-profit consultant who has served in various Michigan organizations and local committees, such as Equality Michigan, LAHR, the Lansing Area AIDS Network, Ingham County Womens Commission, and the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Episcopal Church reports and clippings on homosexuality

Consists of material in relation to the 1976 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the two resolutions concerning the support of same-sex relationships and the ordination of homosexuals, including committee reports, memos, notes, and clippings.

Felice Picano letter to Winston Leyland

Contains a letter by Felice Picano, of Sea Horse Press, British-American author and editor Winston Leyland commenting on the formation of the Gay Press Association. The context of the letter is a reviewed copy of the book 'A True likeness: lesbian and gay writing today,' edited by Picano. 

Also contains reference materials about the Gay Press Association and Felice Picano.

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Rights Press Photographs collection

Comprised of images from protests and demonstrations in various United States cities approximately from the 1970s-1990s. Many photographs have typewritten or handwritten captions on the back and some have press stamps.

Gay Magazine collection

Includes gay magazines, gay couples magazines, swinger magazines, porn video magazines, a segment of leather lifestyle magazines, special issues of Playgirl and Playboy magazines. The majority of the magazines date from the 1960s and 1970s.

George H. Conger Photograph collection

Includes primarily male nude photography from the 1950s-1960s, from several dozen different studios.

Goldenrod Music records

Contains sales catalogs, posters, artists' press kits, photographs, administrative records, and approximately 700 recordings in vinyl, cassette, and CD formats by lesbian and feminist women musicians.

Goldenrod Music LLC is a women's music distributor, based in Lansing, Michigan and founded by Terry Grant. Born out of the second wave feminist movement and women's music movement, Goldenrod was originally one of more than 60 independent women's music distributors, and is the last still in operation.

Isabel Clare Paul Come Out! In Detroit Artwork collection

Consists of materials used to plan and model the comic "Come Out! In Detroit: The Story of Christopher Street Detroit ’72." The comic was produced in collaboration with historian Dr. Tim Retzloff, using personal accounts and archival materials as sources from various Michigan institutions to tell the story of the first Pride March in Michigan. The collection includes a sketchbook with notes, sketches, and story drafts, as well as several illustration boards.

James Tiptree, Jr. Award records

Contains lists of recognized science fiction authors and their work, photographs, programs, brochures, and fiction, including a prepublication proof of "Cannon's Orb" by L. Warren Douglas.

The James Tiptree, Jr. Award was founded in 1991 to honor Alice Sheldon (1915-1987), a pioneering science fiction writer who broke preconceptions of writing being inherently "male" or "female." (James Tiptree, Jr. was a pseudonym used by Sheldon). It is an annual award given to a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores or expands gender roles.

Jamie Anderson papers

Consists of personal and business correspondence, ephemera, published articles and reviews, concert and album material, research, photographs, interviews, and recorded performances.

Jamie Anderson is an out lesbian singer, songwriter, and musician who has been a constant presence in women’s music since the 1980s. Anderson is also a published author, you can find a copy of her book An Army of Lovers: Women's Music of the Seventies and Eighties in our library.

Janis Walworth Camp Trans collection

Consists of material compiled by Janis Walworth from 1991 to 1994 in connection to Camp Trans. Including literature and surveys distributed at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, photographs, publications and a banner used in 1994.

Camp Trans was born of a response against the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival policy of "womyn born womyn." In 1994, Camp Trans attracted a large group of people, including Leslie Feinberg, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Riki Wilchins. Walworth did not help lead any of the subsequent Camp Trans iterations, but the Camp became an annual protest that shone a light on anti-trans policies and trans rights issues.

Jennifer A. Shoub Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival collection

Contains ephemera and personal items collected by Jennifer A. Shoub from the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival dating approximately from 1981 to 1987.

Lansing Area Lesbian/Gay Hotline records

Consists of internal communications, brochures, and correspondence produced by volunteers of the hotline, as well as reference materials used by volunteers of the hotline, such as local and regional lesbian and gay support group newsletters, flyers for events, announcements, and newspaper clippings.

The Lansing Association for Human Rights started the Lansing Area Lesbian/Gay Hotline in 1981 as an information and crisis line for central and lower Michigan.

Lansing Association for Human Rights

Includes newsletters, budgets, meeting minutes, internal correspondence and external correspondence, news clippings, completed questionnaires by political candidates, and ephemera.

The Lansing Association for Human Rights was founded in 1979 to provide a safe social space for the GLBT community.

Larry Tate papers

Contains clippings on MSU student activism, The Paper, Tate family photographs, published writings, personal journals from Tate's time in San Francisco, and eulogies by Tate's friends.

Larry Tate (1945-2008) earned a B.A. in English from Michigan State University, where he was co-founder and assistant editor for the weekly student publication, The Paper, a publication critical of MSU President John A. Hannah and University Secretary Jack Breslin's administration in the late 1960s-70s. He was also involved in the Gay Men's Collective of the Berkeley Free Clinic and San Francisco's HIV/AIDs hotline service, Project Inform, from 1989-1993.

Lesbian Connection Collection of Lesbian Publications

Contains publications that were sent to the Lesbian Connection. With the Lesbian Connection acting as a clearinghouse for information on Lesbian resources, social issues, political activism, and local and national events. Most of the original donation was sorted and integrated into Special Collections' cataloged serials. This collection holds many of the remaining miscellaneous publications.

Lesbian Connection was founded in 1974 by Ambitious Amazons, a lesbian-feminist collective which included Margy Lesher. Lesbian Connection is an ongoing bi-monthly publication for and by lesbians based in Lansing, Michigan.

Lev Raphael papers

Includes manuscripts, research materials, book reviews, childhood and early life writings, articles, academic papers, awards, personal and professional correspondence, as well as recordings of interviews.

Lev Raphael received a Ph.D. in American Studies from MSU. A prolific author in several genres, Raphael on a Lambda Literary Award in 1991 for Dancing on Tisha B'av. 

LGBT Activists and Their Lives oral history project

Includes video interviews and transcripts conducted by students from Eastern Michigan University under the supervision of Dr. Margot I. Duley.

The LGBT Activists and Their Lives oral history project was conducted for a course in the Women Studies department at Eastern Michigan University during the Spring semester of 2004.

Maida Tilchen papers

Consists of correspondence, unpublished essays, journal entries, published articles, concert ephemera, interviews with musicians, as well as recordings of women’s music and other performances.

Maida Tilchen helped produce women's music concerts in Bloomington Indiana from 1975-1980. During the 1970s-1980s, Tilchen published articles and reviews in a variety of feminist and LGBT books and publications, including Body Politic and Gay Community News.

Marilyn Frye Collection of Feminist, Gay, and Lesbian Material

Consists of newsletters and other material relating to women's issues.

Marilyn Frye is an American philosopher and radical feminist theorist. Frye joined the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State in 1974, where she remained until her retirement.

Marilyn Frye papers

Contains personal and professional correspondence, administrative records, drafts and manuscripts for publication, reprinted materials, reference materials, teaching files, catalogs and other printed ephemera.

Born in 1941 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Marilyn Frye received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Philosophy from Stanford University in 1963, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University in 1969. In 1974 she joined Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, where she retired in 2010 as a University Distinguished Professor. In 1983 Dr. Frye published her first book of essays on feminist theory, 'The Politics of Reality' (The Crossing Press), and a second book in 1991 titled 'Willful Virgin' (The Crossing Press). 

Dr. Frye was a co-founder of the Lansing collective Let's Be An Apple Pie, the independent publishing company Tea Rose Press, and more recently of Purple, a non-profit supporting various feminist and lesbian events across Michigan.

Mark Ritzenhein Gay Picture collection

Includes five boxes of postcards, greeting cards, calendars, advertising catalogs etc. featuring images of men, many in erotic poses or situations.

Mark Rizenhein and his spouse Stephen Wilensky were longtime Lansing residents. In 2012, they donated a major part of their library along with some art work to the MSU Libraries.

Michigan Womyn's Music Festival records

Contains crew guides, handbooks, maps, banners, memorabilia, programs, posters, brochures, meeting minutes, correspondence, press clippings, and inventories.

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival began in 1976 as a women-only event in the spirit of the second wave feminist movement. The festival evolved into an annual international music festival promoted as a space for womyn by womyn. The collection was donated in 2015 by festival producer Lisa Vogel.

Michigan Writers Symposium Archive

Contains sound recordings, publicity material, photographs and correspondence of the annual literary event held by the MSU Libraries.

Sponsored by the Michigan State University Libraries, the symposia were held at Michigan State University from 1992-1995, and 1997-1998. 

The event was also recorded for MSU's Vincent Voice Library and can be heard online:  Part 1 & Part 2

Penny Gardner papers

Contains correspondence, photographs, clippings, pamphlets, t-shirts, and other ephemera relating to Penny Gardner's activism on behalf of the Lesbian/LGBTQ+ community, including records documenting her participation in the 1991 Ride for Reproductive Freedom, her leadership within the Council on Aging, and other organizations.

Penny Gardner earned a graduate degree in Women's Studies and doctorate in American Studies from Michigan State University, and worked as an instructor at MSU's department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. Gardner served as President of Lesbian Connection, Elsie Publishing, the Lansing Association for Human Rights, Michigan Equality, and held leadership positions in the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Women’s Political Caucus.

Queer Politics collection

Consists mostly of ephemera from the 1970s-early 2000s, and as such represents the grassroots movement against lesbian and gay oppression, specifically in the job market and political realms. The AIDS epidemic, Stonewall Rebellion, and the feminist movement within the larger movements were other important issues of the day, along with the Coors Beer Boycott and the Briggs Initiative.

San Francisco Pride 2015 Ephemera collection

Includes more than 225 items of ephemera, including brochures, stickers, postcards, pinback buttons, business cards, and realia such as a condom and a luggage tags. They represent a wide range of businesses, medical practices, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, religious organizations, and other entities with connections to the LGBTQ community in San Francisco.

Stephen O. Murray papers

Includes personal and professional material, correspondence, scrapbooks, published and unpublished manuscripts, drafts of published reviews and articles, research materials, materials by other authors, personal photographs, and ephemera.

Stephen O. Murray graduated from the James Madison College at the Michigan State University in 1972, with a double major in Social Psychology and Justice, Morality, and Constitutional Democracy. He earned an M.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona (1975), and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto (1980). Dr. Murray's research interests included linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and comparative studies in a variety of topics, such as sexual and gender diversity. He was a founding member of the Sociologists' Gay Caucus (now Sociologists' LGBTQ Caucus), and was involved in the formation of the Anthropological Research Group on Homosexuality of the American Anthropological Association (renamed Society of Lesbian & Gay Anthropologists; and later Association for Queer Anthropology).

Stephen P. Wilensky Pride Slides collection

Contains approximately 5000 photographic slides from pride parades and other LGBTQ+ events.

Born in 1938 in East Lansing, Michigan, Stephen P. Wilensky (1938-2018) worked as a diagnostic radiologist specializing in nuclear medicine. Dr. Wilensky began attending Pride events in the 1970s. A photography enthusiast, Dr. Wilensky chronicled events integral to his and his spouse's, Mark S. Ritzenhein, experiences as individuals and as a committed gay couple. Encompassing several decades, the photographs in this collection also chronicle changes as well as the growing LGBTQ+ presence in the United States.

Steve Huyser Collection on LGBT Choirs and Other Materials

Contains materials relating to Huyser's extensive work with LGBT Choruses. Formats include programs, brochures, fliers, newspaper clippings, magazines, CDs, Blue Ray DVDs, and posters relating to the Heartland Gay Men’s Chorus, The Greater Lansing Gay Men’s Chorus, and other LGBT choruses from throughout the United States.

The Huyser collection also contains ephemera and artifacts relating to gay motorcyclist clubs, the East Lansing crisis hotline, and the VaxGen study for vaccinations of people infected with HIV/AIDS.

Terri L. Jewell papers

Consist of manuscripts of poetry, manuscripts of anthology projects, notebooks, reviews, interviews, research material, photographs, correspondence, obituary, and memorial program.

Terri L. Jewell (1954-1995) was a Black lesbian, feminist author and activist. She was born in Louisville and lived in Lansing as an adult. Jewell was the editor of The Black Woman's Gumbo Ya-Ya: Quotations by Black Women (Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1993), she also published poetry and essays in dozens of publications.

Waynesart Sculpture collection

Includes four pieces by Wayne Hampton, believed to be the first and only sculptor in the U.S. who created art for the gay community. The pieces are table-top size.

Wearing Gay History collection

Consist of T-shirts used for events dating approximately from 1972 to 2019, and research conducted by students in relation to the T-shirts, correspondence and interviews with activists who donated T-shirts, as well as publications related to the project.

The project was meant to provide an introduction into Michigan's LGBTQ history by tracing the stories behind the apparel people once wore. Students were expected to contact activists and other members of the Michigan LGBTQ community, solicit shirts related to their activism or social life, and trace the stories behind the garments.

The collection was donated by Dr. Tim Retzloff in 2018.