Scope and Contents
The collection documents the career of Larry Kramer as a playwright and author, an advocate for gay rights, and an activist in the fight against AIDS. The collection consists of writings, including manuscripts and drafts of plays, books, screenplays, and articles; AIDS-related material; diaries; correspondence; photographs; printed material; audiovisual material; and other papers. There is also substantial material relating to the founding of Gay Men's Health Crisis and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in particular, and to the AIDS movement in general. Correspondents include Anthony Fauci, Ed Koch, Rodger McFarlane, Joe Mantello, and Ryan Murphy.
Conditions Governing Access
The papers are open for research.
Boxes 37, 58, 178-181, 202-205, 228, 260-261 (electronic materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Boxes 29-30, 151-152, 184-186, 189, 207, 229, 233, 262-263 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Larry Kramer Papers are 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
Gift of Larry Kramer, 2003-2016.
November 2016 Acquisition: purchased from Larry Kramer on the Donald Windham-Sandy Campbell Collection Endowment Fund, 2016.
July 2019 Acquisition: purchased from Larry Kramer on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2019.
The collection is organized into eight groupings: July 2003 Acquisition (Uncat MSS 520), July 2003 Acquisition (Uncat MSS 785), August 2007 Acquisition (Uncat MSS 975), and October 2008 Acquisition (Uncat MSS 1071), July 2011 Acquisition, February 2016 Acquisition, November 2016 Acquisition, and July 2019 Acquisition.
Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time.
Researchers should note that material within each acquisition overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other acquisitions. For instance, writings, correspondence, and material relating to AIDS activism can be found in most, if not all, of the groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.
Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each acquisition, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the library.
217.26 Linear Feet ((255 boxes) + 2 rolls, 5 broadsides, 2 record album storage.)
Language of Materials
The collection documents the career of Larry Kramer as a playwright and author, an advocate for gay rights, and an activist in the fight against AIDS. The collection consists of writings, including manuscripts and drafts of plays, books, screenplays, and articles; AIDS-related material; diaries; correspondence; photographs; printed material; audiovisual material; and other papers. There is also substantial material relating to the founding of Gay Men's Health Crisis and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in particular, and to the AIDS movement in general.
Larry Kramer (1935-2020)
Larry Kramer (1935-2020) was an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and gay rights activist. He graduated from Yale University in 1957 with a B.A. in English, and is the author of several novels, including Faggots (1978), and plays, including The Normal Heart (1985) and Destiny of Me (1992), which explore themes related to gay life and the AIDS crisis. He was an outspoken advocate for gay rights and the fight against AIDS. He was a co-founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis in the early 1980s, and later founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987. Kramer was also the author of several motion picture screenplays, including an adaptation of Women in Love, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1969.
Former call numbers: Uncat MSS 520, Uncat MSS 785, Uncat MSS 975, Uncat MSS 1071.
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, and competing priorities. 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 month and year of acquisition.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Box 153 is unused. Original videocassettes are now housed in box 233. Restricted fragile material.
- ACT UP (Organization)
- AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- Drama
- AIDS (Disease) -- Social aspects -- United States
- AIDS activists -- United States
- American drama -- 20th Century
- American literature -- 20th century
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Born digital
- Dramatists, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Fauci, Anthony S., 1940-
- Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc
- Gay activists -- United States
- Gay men -- United States -- Drama
- Gay men -- United States -- Fiction
- Koch, Ed, 1924-2013
- Kramer, Larry
- Kushner, Tony
- LGBTQ resource
- Mantello, Joe
- McFarlane, Rodger
- Murphy, Ryan, 1965-
- Phonograph records
- Guide to the Larry Kramer Papers
- by Beinecke Staff and Nora Soto
- 2007. Revised: June 2021
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
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New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.