June 20, 2016

During the past couple of months ONE Archives have received a number of items and collections from unexpected sources. The wife of an active service member of the United States Army purchased the contents of a storage locker in Oklahoma. A journal from the 1970s was found in the abandon locker. Rather than throw it away she sought a place to donate the journal. The journal contains a brief look into the struggle of a person coming to terms with their sexuality and faith. And through her research she contacted ONE Archives where the journal is available today.

 

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Page from Jim Langley’s journal, c. 1970s. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

 

A second collection of more than 1,000 photographs documenting the lives of George Ellsworthe and Bud Vinci of Burbank, California came to ONE Archives by way of a more circuitous route. The collection was donated to Pepperdine University and later transferred to Bingham Young University (BYU). The archivist at BYU kept most of the materials related to the George Ellsworthe’s professional life as a dancer. The remaining materials documenting the Ellsworth’s and Vinci’s life together of more than 60 years came to ONE Archives along with photographs documenting their careers in dance, motion pictures, and television.

 

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George Ellsworthe, James Mason, and Bud Vinci on the set of A Star is Born. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

 

A third collection of Lesbian News was transferred to ONE Archives from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. ONE placed better quality copies in its collection and forwarded copies to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto to help complete their collection.

 

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Lesbian News, June 2004. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

 

And a fourth collection arrived at the beginning of the month, more than 5,000 physique photographs from Tallahassee, Florida. A fantastic collection primarily documenting the Bruce of Los Angeles, Kensington Road, and Colt studios.

 

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Physique photograph of Colt model Chris Dickerson. Dickerson was the first African-American AAU Mr. America, the oldest and first openly gay winner of the IFBB Mr. Olympia contest at age 43, and one of only two bodybuilders (along with Dexter Jackson) to win titles in both the Mr. Olympia and Masters Olympia competitions. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

 

The donations arrived while attacks continued on Trans peoples and Trans people’s rights and a domestic terrorist murdered LGBTQ people of color during a Latinx night. The donations remind me that we still have allies north and south, east and west, in this diverse country and together we have to work smarter and together to more fully document the lives of all LGBTQ people.