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LGBT Archival Collections at UTSA
Images, left to right: Marilyn Monroe drag impersonator performing; photo from MS 117 Lollie Johnson Papers, Diary page documenting Elder's time on the steps of the Supreme Court and being arrested in Washington DC from MS 428 Gene Elder Papers, Photo of Sterling Houston singing with the Fleshtones MS 218 Sterling Houston Papers, Photo album page with wigs from MS 425 Pierre Duval Hair Studio Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.
UTSA Special Collections Department serves as the Library's repository for primary source materials. Materials and services are available to UTSA faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as to the local, national and international community.
If you are new to archival resources and primary source research, please review UTSA's other guides on Archival Resources at UTSA and Primary Source Research:
LGBT Archival Collections Available at UTSA Special Collections
Each archival collection listed is linked to a descriptive inventory of the materials in the collection (known as collection guides or finding aids). If items from the collections have been digitized and made available online, links to these items will be present in the inventory. The same items are searchable our online digital collections. Due to staff and time constraints, we are unable to completely digitize our collections. However, all collections are available for in-person research. Please visit our website to make an appointment to do in-person research using one of our collections.
- Activism Signs and Ephemera Collection, 2017Signs and related ephemera in the collections were created by a variety of members of the public and UTSA students who attended rallies and marches in the San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin areas. UTSA Special Collections made public requests for the donation of these materials. The collection consists mostly of handmade signs but also includes artist prints, a pink knitted hat, two buttons, a sticker, and a small amount of flyers.
- Alamo Business Council Records, 1995-2015The Alamo Business Council is established as a social organization. The purpose of ABC is to provide a social forum for fellowship, mutual support, and information and recreational opportunities. The Alamo Business Council Records document the activities, events, and meetings of the Board of Directors and general membership. The records are comprised of correspondence, event materials, financial records, meeting minutes, and newsletters.
- Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA), 1998, 2011-2015 [digital content available online]The Community Alliance for a United San Antonio (CAUSA) was formed in 2012 as a nonpartisan coalition of groups and individuals whose aim is to promote nondiscrimination laws and policies within the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. CAUSA strategically advocated with City Council and staff to pass a fully inclusive citywide Human Rights Ordinance, an effort that culminated in the passage of San Antonio's Non-Discrimination Ordinance on September 5, 2013. The collection includes meeting notes, agendas, and handouts, petitions, planning materials, photographs, surveys and time lines. Also included are videos of testimonials by individuals participating in CAUSA. The bulk of the collection is in the form of electronic records.Prior to the formation of CAUSA, the Alliance was originally called the Committee to Amend the Non-Discrimination Ordinances (CAN-DO) which was formed in July of 2011. In July 2012, in an effort to expand community participation from allied groups, CAN-DO changed its name to CAUSA.
- Lucy E. Duncan and Jill Zimmerman Lesbian and Feminist T-Shirt Collection, 1977-1998 [digitized content available online]Lucy E. Duncan and Jill Zimmerman met at Texas Woman's University around 1975. After leaving the university in 1979, they settled in San Antonio, Texas and began careers as professional librarians. Duncan and Zimmerman were very involved with the local women's community and were part of the WomanSpace Collective. The collection consists of 22 lesbian and feminist t-shirts and one cap.
- Gene Edler Papers, 1943-2015Gene Elder is an artist, writer, and activist who moved to San Antonio, Texas in the 1970s and became an integral part of the city's art community. The Gene Elder papers document Elder's work as an artist, writer, and activist through journals, original works of art, exhibit materials, articles written by Elder, and correspondence. Personal papers and photographs augment Elder's professional materials. Other records document Elder's professional ventures at Blue Star Art Complex and as Archivist at the Happy Foundation Archives.
- Entrapment Operations in San Antonio Parks Collection, 1993-2005 [digitized content available online]The Entrapment Operations in San Antonio Parks Collection was brought together by Michael McGowan while serving on the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center San Antonio. The collection is comprised of printed materials that chronicle entrapment operations of San Antonio police and park rangers in the city's parks. Also in the collection are records covering efforts by the Gay and Lesbian Community Center to stop entrapment actions and assist some of those arrested in park undercover operations. The collection has been arranged into the following series: correspondence, court records, Liberty Legal Defense Fund records, San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) records, newsclippings, and assorted materials.
- Elena Guajardo Papers, 2005-2012Elena Guajardo became the first openly gay candidate to secure a place on San Antonio's City Council in 2005. She advocated for environmental protections, improved public services, and serving the needs of working class families. The Elena Guajardo papers document her campaign to win the District 7 seat on San Antonio's City Council in 2005 and subsequent re-election campaigns. The collection contains materials from her time on City Council as well as items that document Guajardo's involvement in community projects.
- Sterling Houston Papers, 1926-2006 [digitized content available online]Sterling Houston had a thirty-year career in professional theater as an actor, musician and writer in San Antonio, New York and San Francisco. The Sterling Houston Papers primarily document Houston's involvement in San Antonio theater through scripts, screenplays, programs, and press materials. Also included are correspondence, research materials, project files, photographs, and audiovisual materials.
- Happy Foundation Archives Collection, 1955-2000 [digitized content available online]The Happy Foundation GLBT Archives are housed at the Bonham Exchange in San Antonio. The Happy Foundation Archives Collection consists of digital scans of San Antonio LGBTQ publications spanning the years of 1955-2000. Publications include entire runs of the Calendar (1980s) and Bartalk (1985-2000), and two years of the Marquise (1996-1997). Also included are publications that ran for brief periods of time. Additionally, the collection holds digital scans of One and Tangents, publications of One, Incorporated. Other items include digital copies of T.G.T.F. (Texas Gay Task Force) News and Rude Girl zines.
- Lollie Johnson Papers, 1940-2002 [digitized content available online]Lollie Johnson was a successful bartender and nightclub owner in San Antonio. The success of her nightclub businesses was credited to her total commitment to the San Antonio LGBT community, who made up the majority of her customer base. The Lollie Johnson Papers include newspaper clippings, correspondence, printed materials, photographs, negatives, a small notebook, a wooden plaque for the Hypothesis Club, menus, programs, t-shirts, shoes, caps, a stained glass window from the Noo Zoo Company, Teleservice Resources records, Lollie's resume and her obituary. Photographs comprise the largest portion of the collection, recording Lollie's family and friends, homes, clubs and vacations throughout her lifetime.Laura Lollie Johnson (1939-2001) was born in Beaumont, Texas, but moved to San Antonio in her youth and graduated from Brackenridge High School in 1956. A divorced mother of three, she worked for almost 10 years as a bartender before opening the Kali Club in 1971. Many other bars followed, to varying success, over the next 20 years. Clubs of note include the Hypothesis Club, the Zoo Club, Faces, and the Noo Zoo Company. Lollie was also active in the local community groups Alamo Human Rights Committee, Lavender Alcade, and 1st Gay Conference in San Antonio. She was included in the first edition of Notable Women of Texas (1982).
- Victor Lopez and Rudy Cardona Photograph Collection, 1990-1996 [digitized content available online]Rudy Cardona owned Texas Crown Productions which created and organized the Miss Corpus Christi America and related pageants in Corpus Chisti, Texas between the years of 1990 and 1996. Victor Lopez was the co-creator of and photographer for the pageant. The collection is comprised of prints and negatives of events organized and held by Texas Crown Productions between the years of 1990-1996. These included the Miss Corpus Christi America, Miss Corpus Christi Metroplex, Miss Nueces County, Miss Texas Riviera, and Mr. Corpus Christi pageants. Also in the collection are photographs from Houston Pride parades, 1992-1994 and the Houston Baile (formal dance) of 1994.
- Marquise Collection, 1992-1998 [digitized content available online]Randall Sherman and Ted Switzer were publishers of the Marquise. The collection consists of digital scans of the Marquise publication including published issues, pre-production proofs and related photographs.
- Linda and Cynthia Phillips Papers, 1964-2000 [digitized content available online]Linda and Cynthia Phillips were married in Dallas in 1958. Over the years, the couple became prominent within the transgender community of Central and South Texas. The Linda and Cynthia Phillips Papers document the couple's attempt to educate other transgender singles and couples based on experience gained in their own relationship. Additionally, the collection reflects the Phillips' active involvement in raising awareness of the transgender culture among the general population. Included are newsletters, articles, announcements, pamphlets, papers, magazines, and correspondence collected by the couple during the time of their association with the Boulton and Park Society.
- Pierre Duval Hair Studio Collection, 1958-1997 [digitized content available online]The Pierre Duval Hair Studio was opened by Jesse Duval Arrambide and Robert Pierre Teander in San Antonio, Texas in the early 1970s. For their collaboration with the Fiesta Dinner Playhouse in San Antonio owned by actor Earl Holliman, Jesse and Robert became known as the "hairdressers to the stars." In addition to visiting actors appearing at the Fiesta Dinner Playhouse, many Fiesta queens and their families relied on Pierre Duval Hair Studio. The bulk of the collection consists of albums containing photographs and playbills from the Fiesta Dinner Playhouse, autographed stills of actors, as well photographs taken at the home of Jesse and Robert.
- Martha Prentiss Papers, 1990-2017Martha Prentiss is an activist, artist, and actor in San Antonio, Texas. The collection consists of print materials, photographs, and ephemera documenting Prentiss' involvement with the LGBTQ community.
- Rainbow Garden Club Records, 1996-2007 [digitized content available online]The Rainbow Garden Club is an LGBT organization devoted to broadening member's knowledge about plants, gardening and landscape design. The club was founded in 1996 in San Antonio, Texas. The bulk of the collection is an incomplete run of the Rainbow Garden Club's newsletter, Rainbow Gazette. Also included in the collection are membership materials and select correspondence and meeting minutes.
- Katharine Riddle Papers, 1960-1999Katharine "Kittu" Riddle’s work has consisted of helping others, whether as a missionary, or serving on committees and boards, most of which were for women- and children-based programs or initiatives. The Katharine Riddle Papers consist of correspondence, printed materials, clippings, proposals, proofs, galley pages, programs, and newsletters. Of note are assorted publications and articles by Katharine Riddle.
- San Antonio Lesbian Gay Assembly (SALGA) Records, 1990-1998 [digitized content available online]The San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Assembly (SALGA), 1990-1998, was organized to bring together lesbian and gay organizations, businesses, and individuals to network for mutual support, share and disperse information, educate and serve the community as a whole and to promote the social welfare of, eliminate discrimination and prejudice against and defend the human and civil rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. The collection consists of board agendas and minutes, by-laws and membership information, correspondence, Conference documents, Gay Pride Picnic planning materials, magazines, news clippings and newsletters.
- John Shown Collection, 1955-1988John Shown was an artist known for his collages and stitchery wall hangings. Shown created Forum magazine, an Artists Forum of Texas publication. The John Shown Collection documents Shown's work as an artist while living in San Antonio through journals, inventories, photographs, and slides depicting Shown's artwork. Also in the collection are issues of Forum magazine as well as photographs and print materials related to the publication.
- Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio Records, 2002-2014The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio's mission is to participate in political activities that create a strong and effective voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in local and state policy decisions. The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio Records document the activities, events, and meetings of the Board of Directors and general membership. The records are comprised of correspondence, event materials, financial records, meeting minutes, planning documents, and assorted print materials.
- Texas Lesbian Conference Records, 1986-1994 [digitized content available online]The Texas Lesbian Conference was begun in 1988 as a way for lesbians to network, learn and share. The yearly conference was begun by a small group of women in Dallas, Texas. Over the years the conference featured speakers and workshops on coming out, dating, network building, maintaining relationships, health issues, political activism, spirituality, legal issues and financial matters. The bulk of the collection documents the yearly conferences and consists of correspondence, marketing materials, notes, questionnaires, programs, and research materials.
- WomanSpace Records, 1982-2007 [digitized content available online]WomanSpace was the longest continuously published women's community newsletter in San Antonio. The Women's Community Journal envisioned itself as an open forum for the women's community to discuss issues affecting women's lives, especially within the lesbian community. The records consist mainly of newsletters, but also contain submissions to the newsletter and event planning materials.
- Zine Collection, 2002-2019The Zine Collection is an artificial collection assembled by UTSA Libraries Special Collections. The collection consists of over 250 zines, most of which originate from San Antonio and other locations in Texas.
UTSA Special Collections maintains the Top Shelf blog, where LGBTQ collections and topics are periodically featured. Please visit the links below to read some of our LGBTQ-specific blog posts.