Jeanne C. Barney papers
Scope and Contents
The collection includes correspondence, writings, legal documents, photographs, ephemera, and artwork concerning Jeanne C. Barney, leather culture, and gay rights activism in California, circa 1968-1982. Present are original letters and typescript drafts for Barney’s advice columns, subscription forms and correspondence for the Leather Fraternity, and legal documents concerning Barney’s arrest and trial after the Mark IV raid. Also included are letters from Robert A. Sullivan, who was convicted of the 1973 murder of Donald Schmidt; John Wojtowicz, who was convicted of robbing a bank in 1972; and other gay prisoners, which Barney used for her “Prison Rap” column and to coordinate pen pal programs for gay prisoners. The collection also includes photographs, artwork, and paste-ups for Leather Fraternity publications and H.E.L.P. events, including drawings and prints by Sean, one of the pseudonyms of artist John Klamik.
- 1968 - 1982
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Jeanne C. Barney Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from William Reese Co. (Swann Galleries Pride sale, New York, 2019 June 20, lot 137-138) on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2019. Purchased from Langdon Manor Books, LLC on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2019. Purchased from Daniel Oliver LLC on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana and Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2021.
Organized into three groupings: May 2021 Acquisition; October 2019 Acquisition; July 2019 Acquisition.
4.17 Linear Feet (7 boxes)
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
Jeanne C. Barney was a writer and gay rights activist involved with leather culture, particularly in California. In 1975, Barney and John H. Embry founded Drummer magazine, and Barney served as editor-in-chief for the first eleven issues. Barney was also involved with the Leather Fraternity, which used personal ads in Drummer and a correspondence network to connect members of the leather community. She also wrote advice columns for The Advocate, Drummer, and NewsWest. Barney was arrested in 1976 when the Los Angeles Police Department raided a Leather Fraternity “slave auction” themed charity event at the Mark IV bathhouse. Barney, Embry, and two others pled guilty to felony charges and were sentenced to community service.
Printed material received with the collection was removed for separate cataloging and can be accessed by searching the library's online catalog.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, titled according to the month and year of acquisition.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Many folder titles have been transcribed directly from Jeanne C. Barney's original folders. Devised folder titles and additions to existing folder titles have been enclosed in brackets.
- Advice columnists -- United States
- Advice columns -- United States
- Advocate (Los Angeles, Calif.)
- Authors -- United States -- 20th century
- Authors, American -- 20th century
- California -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
- Collages (visual works)
- Drawings (visual works)
- Drummer (San Francisco, Calif.)
- Editors -- United States -- 20th Century
- Editors -- United States -- 20th century
- Embry, John H.
- Gay community -- California
- Gay community -- United States
- Gay erotica -- United States
- Gay liberation movement -- California
- Gay men -- Sexual behavior
- Gay prisoners -- United States
- H.E.L.P., Incorporated
- Klamik, John
- LGBTQ resource
- Leather Fraternity
- Leather lifestyle -- California
- Leather lifestyle -- United States
- Newswest (Los Angeles, Calif.)
- Prisoners -- United States
- Sullivan, Robert A., 1947-1983
- Wojtowicz, John, 1945-2006
- Women -- West (U.S.)
- Women authors, American -- 20th century
- Women editors -- United States
- Guide to the Jeanne C. Barney Papers
- Stephanie Bredbenner
- 2021 September
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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