This collection contains a variety of periodicals, photographs, correspondence, business and advertising ephemera (corporate and non-profit, personal), organizational records and ephemera, created by, for, and in reaction to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.
Scope and Contents:
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection contains periodicals, ephemera, posters, postcards, advertisements, photographs, organizational records, publications, correspondence, and other materials related to all aspects of the LGBT community and the civil rights issues pertaining thereto. The collection was created by the Archives Center to bring together materials specifically pertaining to the LGBT community. This collection contains material from communities and individuals throughout the United States. The collection is currently strongest in periodicals, newspapers and ephemera and very strong in material from California and New York. The collection continues to add new items and the researcher would be wise to take a broad view in targeting their research topics in the collection.
The collection is divided into twenty-four series.
Series 1: Periodicals, 1937-2018
Series 2: Agencies, Associations, and Organizations, 1984-2018, undated
Series 3: Community Life and Subject Files, 1915-2018, undated
Subseries 3.1: Photographs and Slides, 1915-1980, undated
Subseries 3.2: Ephemera and Buttons, 1969-2018, undated
Subseries 3.3: Posters and Prints, 1972-2018, undated
Subseries 3.4: Subject Files, 1958-2018, undated
Subseries 3.5: Pride, 1976-2018, undated
Subseries 3.6: HIV and AIDS, 1987-2017, undated
Series 4: Advertising, Business, and Publications, 1970-2018, undated
Subseries 4.1: Advertising, 1970-2018, undated
Subseries 4.2: Business, 1998-2017, undated
Subseries 4.3: Television, Theater, and Motion Pictures, 1978-2018, undated
Subseries 4.4: Bar ephemera and advertisement, 1979-2018, undated
Subseries 4.5: Publications, 1976-2018, undated
Series 5: Biren, Joan E. (JEB), 195-2018, undated
Subseries 5.1: Xerographic Copies of Photoprints, 1971-1995, undated.
Subseries 5.2: Posters and Oversize Advertisement, 1973-2018, undated
Series 6: Dietrich, Joseph A., 1992-2010
Series 7: Mattachine Society Records, 1942-1996, undated
Subseries 7.1: Correspondence, 1952-1991, undated
Subseries 7.2: Board of Directors Minutes, 1954-1974, undated
Subseries 7.4: Councils, Chapters, and Committees, 1953-1965, undated
Subseries 7.5: Conventions, 1953-1960, undated
Subseries 7.6: Publications, 1944-1996, undated
Series 8: Rainbow History Community Pioneers, 2003-2012, undated
Series 9: Strub, Sean O., addendum, 1987-2011, undated
Series 10: Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB, 1990-2014, undated
Series 11: Ros, Silvia, 2009-2011
Series 12: Huebner, David, 2009-2014
Series 13: St. George, Philip, 1945-1955, undated
Series 14: Will & Grace, 1995-2006
Series 15: Barna, Joseph T. and Heritage of Pride (HOP), New York, New York, 1910-2014, undated
Subseries 15.1: Photographs, Photographic Negatives, and Slides, 1985-2010, undated
Subseries 15.2: Heritage of Pride (HOP), 1984-2014, undated
Subseries 15.3: Barna, Joseph T., 1910-2013, undated,
Series 16: Becker, John M., 1999-2014, undated
Series 17: Rohrbaugh, Richard, 1972-1986, undated
Series 18: Guest, Michael E., 2001-2009
Series 19: The Fosters, 2013
Series 20: Pride at Work, 1990-2015
Series 21: Sabatino, Michael and Voorheis, Robert, 1980-2016, undated
Subseries 21.1: Archilla, Gustavo A. and Lokkins, Elmer T., 1916-2014, undated
Series 22: Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), 1982-2016, undated
Series 23: Brown, Adele "Del" and Herizon's Bar, 1985-1991, undated
Subseries 1: Changing Herizons, and Herizons Newsletter, 1983-1991
Series 24: Universal Felloship Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), 1957-2019, undated
While the quest for equal rights has been pursued by generations, it is generally acknowledged that the modern day Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement began in New York City in June 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. Prior to this time a number of activists, individuals, and organizations such as The Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis and others, fought to bring recognition of LGBT civil rights to the forefront of American society. While the movement was primarily, and most visually, centered in New York City and San Francisco, periodicals, guide books, and ephemeral material interconnected the larger LGBT community throughout the United States. The increased visibility of the LGBT movement inspired groups at odds with that new found visibility and call to action. The challenge to what was termed "traditional" values encouraged counter-LGBT groups to define and solidfy their constituency as well. This collection comprises material that is generated by individuals and organizations that have been on both sides of the question.
Materials in the Archives Center
Michio and Aveline Kushi Macro-Biotics Collection (AC0619)
The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews (AC0857)
Archives Center Wedding Documentation Collection (AC1131 )
Division of Science, Medicine, and Society HIV/AIDS Reference Collection (AC1134)
John-Manuel Andriote Hot Stuff: A Brief History of Disco Collection (AC1184)
Joan E. Biren (JEB) Queer Film Museum Collection (AC1216)
World AIDS Institute (WAI) Collection (AC1266)
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Records (AC1282)
Helping Persons with AIDS (HPA) Records (AC1283)
DC Cowboys Dance Company Records (AC1312)
Bil Browning and Jerame Davis Papers (AC1334)
David Hadley Rockwell New York Disco Ephemera Collection (AC1342)
Leonard P. Hirsch Federal Globe Records (AC1357)
Corbett Reynolds Papers (AC1390)
Mark Segal Papers (AC1422)
The Mattachine Society of Washington "Love in Action" Collection (AC1428)
Academy of Washington Records (AC1458)
Matthew Shepard Papers (AC1463)
The Division of Political History holds artifacts related to gay activist Franklin Kameny and a variety of political buttons. They also hold LGBT related artifacts from Joan E. Biren (JEB).
The Division of Medical and Science holds objects donated from Dr. Renee Richards, Sean O. Strub, and Leonard Hirsch.
The Division of Entertainment and the Arts holds objects donated by The Fosters and Will & Grace.
This collection was assembled by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, beginning in 2004.
The collection is open for research use.
Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
This collection documents Kauffer's work as a theater designer, and graphic designer from 1915-1954.The collection includes allusions to correspondences between Kauffer in America to T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) in London, between 1930 and 1955. (There are no letters between the two men in the collection.) Although Kauffer and Eliot were to become friends after 24 July 1930, they were professionally related before that time. Kauffer illustrated the Ariel edition of Eliot's "Marina." Kauffer and Eliot met in London. In the collection are also posters of Kauffer's works, biographical pieces, and obituaries as well as photographs of the artist.
Unprocessed; The archive material consists of sketches, posters, manuscript leaves, photographs, clippings, and other related items that document Mr. Kauffer's career from 1915-1954.
Edward McKnight Kauffer (1891-1954) was born at Great Falls, Montana. He grew up in the small town of Evansville on the Ohio River in Indiana, where the Kauffer grandparents had settled. After the divorce of his parents, he spent two years in an orphanage. By the age of four or five he had begun to draw. His mother remarried in 1899. Kauffer left school at the age of 12 or 13 to be helper to the scene painter in the City Directory.
In the Elder Bookshop and Art Rooms in San Francisco Kauffer acquired not only a speaking voice of marked attractiveness and distinction but also a life-long passion for books. He continued his studies as a painter by receiving his first formal training at evening sessions at the Mark Hopkins Institute. He met Professor McKnight, who became his patron; in homage to him Kauffer adopted the name of McKnight. A small exhibition of Kauffer's paintings was held at the Elder Art Rooms. He also studied at the Chicago Art Institute, and in Munich and Paris, and started his career as a theatrical scene painter. He was returning from Germany to this country in 1914 and was in London when World War I broke out.
In 1914 Kauffer would marry American Pianist, Grace Ehrlich and they would have a daughter. In 1921 Kauffer would move to New York City leaving his wife and daughter. In the spring of 1922 Kauffer returned to London with Marion Dorn, American textile designer. They would stay in London just prior to the beginning of World War II when they would return once again to New York. They would eventually marry in 1950.
In the Twenties in London, he went to work in a soldiers' canteen and began designing posters for the London Underground Railway in his spare time. His posters were so strikingly successful that he soon got further orders, and built up a reputation in his field. The posters would indicate to the war-weary British the normal resumption of public transportation. The posters made history in art circles and have been regarded ever since as revolutionary concepts of art-cum industry. A 1926 exhibition given at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford furthered Kauffers notoriety.
His recognition in America began in 1937, when the Museum of Modern Art presented his work in its first one-man show ever given to an American poster designer. He returned to this country to live in 1940. While Kauffer was widely recognized abroad and the MOMA show brought attention, very few Americans knew of him and fewer advertisers were willing to accept the poster as an art form. His clients, since his return to America have included the National Red Cross, American Airlines, the New York Subways, Ringling Brothers Circus, the Container Corporation of America, the American Silk Mills and many others.
Kauffer was among the first in the early Twenties to respond to the impact of modern art, particularly the work of the cubist painters Picasso and Braque. The influence of cubism can be seen in his posters and was the basis of his dynamic geometrical style. The emphatic angular forms of Kauffer's posters shocked the public into attention. His artistry, and in particular his color sense, held that attention and, in a few short years just after the First World War, laid the foundations of his reputation as a designer, not only among the leading business men of the time, but particularly among critics and art students. T.S. Eliot, a friend of Kauffer's, describes his marriage of the public and modern art, "He did something for modern art with the public as well as doing something for the public with modern art."
In addition to his involvement in advertising, Kauffer was a book illustrator as well illustrating editions of many classics, including Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy," Cervantes' "Don Quixote," Carl Van Vechten's "Nigger Heaven," and works by Herman Melville, T.S. Eliot, Arnold Bennett, Lord Birkenhead and others.
His work is represented in the South Kensington Museum in London and in the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, and there are examples of it also in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and in Milan. He edited a survey, The Art of the Poster, in 1934. He was a Fellow of the British Institute of Industrial Art and a member of the Council for Art and Industry. When the Royal Society of Arts established its high diploma of R.D.I. (Designer for Industry) in 1937 he was ineligible as a foreigner, but was granted honorary status. He was asked to be Honorary Advisor to the Department of Public Information for the United Nations. He was Advisory Council for the Victoria and Albert Museum. His biography appears in the English "Who's Who" and in the American "Who's Who", as well as in the Columbia Encyclopedia.
Kauffer began to lose interest in the New York advertising scene. A friend of his said that he chose to kill himself with drink. He continued to work to the end, almost obsessively. Kauffer died on 22 October 1954.
All materials were donated to the museum by Grace Schulman in 1997.
Unprocessed; access is limited; Permission of Library Director required; Policy.
Series Three, Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..
Series Four, Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.
Subseries A contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).
Subseries B contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (circa 1946-1972).
Subseries C contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included.
Series 5, Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Series 1: Personal Papers, is divided into three subseries.
Subseries 1.1 contains Caples' diaries in original, unedited manuscript form. The diaries are arranged chronologically. They constitute a notable resource for the study of the advertising industry from an insider's perspective during a period of tremendous expansion of advertising as a force in American business and culture. They document Caple's participation in and reflections on the business of advertising, and detail his acquaintance with noted business and advertising professionals. The diaries record his responses to the major events of his lifetime, such as presidential elections, the stock market crash of 1929, American entry into World War II, the Kennedy assassinations, and the moon landing. Caples recorded conversations and contacts with some of the key advertising and communications people of his time, including Rosser Reeves, David Ogilvy, George Gallup and Harry Reasoner. Also found in the diaries are reflections of a more mundane or personal nature: weather conditions, the best restaurants, whether to quit drinking or go on a diet, and Caples= ambivalence about retiring from BBDO. Caples wrote precisely one page each day from 1928 through 1981. Missing from the series are the years 1935-1940, 1946-1950; 1952-1955; 1957-1962.
Subseries 1.2 contains edited, rewritten portions of the diaries, presumably intended for publication as short-stories or reminiscences. Of particular interest are humorous short stories relating to Caples' years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD during the early 1920s.
Subseries 1.3 contains photographs of Caples and his family, ca. 1900-1960.
Subseries 1.4 contains personal and family papers, including material documenting Caple's service as a recruitment and enlistment officer for the U.S. Navy during World War II, and a copy of a dissertation about Caples by Gordon White, entitled John Caples, Adman.
Series 2: Publications, contains Caple's published and unpublished manuscripts about advertising techniques, direct marketing, and the advertising industry. Arrangement is according to publication and thereunder by date of publication. This series is arranged into two subseries.
Subseries 2.1 contains articles published in advertising industry publications such as Advertising Agency, Advertising and Selling, Direct Marketing, and Printer's Ink, and for business publications like Saturday Review. The articles typically are of a how-to nature, but also include Caples observations about the business of advertising, including a series for Advertising Agency in the 1950s, titled "Diary of an Ad Man," which drew heavily from his diaries.
Subseries 2.2 contains book manuscripts. Caples was a prolific and respected author in his field, publishing four widely acclaimed books on advertising and direct marketing techniques. Material in this series includes rough and final drafts, illustrative material, and correspondence with editors and publishers. There are also letters of congratulation from friends and letters of praise from readers.
Series 3: Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..Series 4: Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.
Subseries 4.1 contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).
Subseries 4.2 contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (ca. 1946-1972).
Subseries 4.3 contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included.
Series 5: Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Personal Papers
Series 2: Publications
Series 3: Speeches and Lectures
Series 4: Client Files
Series 5: Business Files
Biographical / Historical:
John Caples (1900-1990) was one of advertising's most influential copywriters. He grew up in New York City, the eldest of two sons of Byron Caples, a doctor, and Edith Richards Caples, a grandniece of W.W. Cole, P.T. Barnum's partner.
After graduation from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Caples began his advertising career at Ruthrauff & Ryan in 1925, during the decade in which advertising began to assume its modern form, both in style and organizational structure. His first year there, he wrote a legendary mail-order advertisement for the U.S. School of Music. This advertisement, more than a thousand words long, embodied many of the techniques which Caples was later to develop, and is still regarded within the industry as one of the most effective pieces of advertising copy ever written. It began with the straightforward but emotionally insightful headline: "They laughed when I sat down at the piano." The headline became a part of American popular culture, appearing in ads, comics, cartoons, and greeting cards into the 1990s.
In 1927, Caples moved to Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne (BBDO), where he had the opportunity to work alongside Bruce Barton, an advertising legend and pioneer of direct mail. Caples remained at BBDO for 55 years, during which time he reshaped the field of direct response advertising. At BBDO he supervised direct response advertising for DuPont, U..S. Steel, General Electric, United Fruit, Hormel, the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Phoenix Mutual, Liberty Mutual, Western Airlines, U.S. Navy Recruiting, and many other clients. In his honor, the Direct Marketing Creative Guild established the John Caples Award to recognize creative excellence in direct marketing.
Caples was also respected for the development of innovative copy-testing techniques. He was the author of countless articles and several well-respected books, including Tested Advertising Methods (1932), Advertising for Immediate Sales (1936), Making Ads Pay (1957) and How To Make Your Advertising Make Money (1983). He also served as a recruitment and enlistment officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. John Caples retired from BBDO in 1981. He died after a long convalescence in 1990.
As part of the collection, the Archives Center accepted 22 books on advertising, including copies of Caples' books, some in foreign languages. These books are housed in the Archives Center.
The collection was donated in December 1990 by Caples' widow, Mrs. Dorothy Dickes Caples, of New York City.
The collection is open for research.
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.