Scope and arrangement
The records (1951-1976) reflect the origin and development of the homophile movement in America, particularly in New York, and of the struggle to achieve through education and other peaceful means the social integration of the homosexual and the removal of legal sanctions discriminating against gays in housing, employment and assembly. The records also document the efforts made to come to the aid of the individual gay who sought information, guidance and advice on matters pertaining to his homosexuality.
The Mattachine Society, Inc. of New York Records are arranged in seven series:
This series consists of a name file (subseries "A") of correspondence of principal officers of MSNY arranged by name of the officer, followed by a chronological file (subseries "B") of correspondence of various officers. Included is in-coming and outgoing correspondence of Dick Leitsch as president and executive director, of Elver Barker, Robert Burdick, Curtis Dewees, Julian Hodges, and Michael Kotis, and other officers. The correspondence which is complemented by the Topical File (Series II) is with friends and colleagues in the gay rights movement and with persons seeking information about the work of the society and of the social and legal status of gays.
This series contains correspondence and collateral papers (memoranda, reports, minutes, ephemera and other papers) arranged alphabetically by topic. Included are records of various committees of MSNY including Communications/Media, Community Affairs, Fund-raising, Library, Membership, Political Affairs, Program, Publications, and Religious Matters. Other files relating to internal organizational matters include board of advisors/directors; constitution and by-laws; daily staff reports (1965) and phone logs (1975) which tabulate telephone and in-person queries by type of query; election of officers (including campaign statements of candidates for the presidency of MSNY); publicity and advertising; and extensive correspondence and scripts of articles relative to the publication of the New York Mattachine Newsletter. Included also are papers relating to conferences of gay organizations, including the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations, the National American Homophile Conference, the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations, and the North American Homophile Conference. Other topical files relating to specific issues or events affecting the gay community include Civilian Complaint Review Board (of N. Y. C.), demonstrations, (military) draft, entrapment, New York City civil rights bill, and selective service.
This series contains extensive correspondence of officers of MSNY with officers of sister organizations throughout the United States reflecting in-depth the development of the homophile movement and its struggle for gay rights. Included is correspondence with the Boston, Chicago, and Denver Area Councils of Mattachine, Midwest Mattachine, the Mattachine Society of Philadelphia, the Mattachine Society, Inc. (San Francisco), the Mattachine Society of Washington, D. C., the Atheneum Society of America (Miami), and the Janus Society (Philadelphia). There are also extensive collateral papers including newsletters and near-printed ephemera including ephemera of the Boston Demophile Association, Dignity, the Homophile Action League, Homophile Union of Boston, and the Le-Hi-Ho Newsletter. Principal correspondents for MSNY include Albert J. de Dion, Curtis Dewees, Julian Hodges, Dick Leitsch, and Arthur W. Maule. Other correspondents include Warren D. Atkins [pseudonym of Jack Nichols] (Wash., D. C.), Harold L. Call (San Francisco), Ralph Gilles (Boston), Ossian Warren Goodwin (Boston), Carl B. Harding (Denver), Roy F. Hooper (San Francisco), Barbara Horowitz (Janus Society), Franklin E. Kameny (Wash., D. C.), Donald Stewart Lucas (San Francisco), and Clark P. Polak (Janus Society).
The financial records (1958-74) include bank and financial statements, records of receipts and disbursements, daily receipts, bills paid, tax returns, check stubs and other miscellany.
The photographs consist of 8x10 glossy prints of groups of persons attending the East Coast Homophile Organizations convention (1965) including Dick Leitsch and Franklin Kameny; and photographs of a Gay Pride march in New York City in the early 1970s.
The ephemera consists of a small file sorted by subject and a larger mass of unsorted ephemera relating to the homophile movement.
The restricted records consist of correspondence and other papers which have been removed from the files and sealed until the year 2043 in order to protect the privacy of persons involved.