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Lance Loud and Loud family papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1320

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and audiovisual materials documenting the lives of Lance Loud and the Loud family. Lance Loud papers consist of correspondence, personal papers, personal objects including Loud's professional and personal contact files, clippings, and other papers and include materials relating to his band The Mumps. Loud family papers document their involvement in the television documentary An American Family, its reception and subsequent followups, and the 2011 television movie Cinema Verite based on the series. Photographs consist of family pictures. Audiovisual materials include home videos, tributes to Lance Loud, audiorecordings of The Mumps, and videorecordings of television programs related to An American Family.


  • 1957-2013


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 26-28 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 29: Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 37 (digital media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Patricia L. Loud on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2014-2015. Purchased from William Loud on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2015.


Organized into five series: I. Lance Loud Papers, 1972-2012. II. Loud Family Papers, 1972-2011. III. Photographs, 1957-2000. IV. Printed Material, 1977-2013. V. Audiovisual Materials, 1989-2011.


13.31 Linear Feet (40 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Loud family

The Loud family was the subject of the documentary television series An American Family, which aired on PBS in 1973 and is often described as the first American reality television show. The show featured parents Pat and Bill Loud and their children Lance, Kevin, Grant, Delilah, and Michelle.

Lance Loud

Lance Loud (1951-2001) was the eldest son of the Loud family, which was the subject of the documentary television series An American Family. He was a focal point of the series in part because he announced his homosexuality during the filming of the show. Loud's band, The Mumps, were regular performers in the downtown New York City punk scene in the 1970s. He remained a fixture of the New York and Los Angeles social scenes and worked as a freelance journalist, often working with Details magazine.

Processing Information

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.

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.
Guide to the Lance Loud and Loud Family Papers
by Beinecke staff
March 2015
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

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Opening Hours

Access Information

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.