- Mattachine Society of New York
- Call number
- MssCol 1911
- Preferred Citation
- Mattachine Society, Inc. of New York Records, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
- Manuscripts and Archives Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
The records include correspondence of the principal officers including Elver Barker, Robert Burdick, Curtis Dewees, Julian Hodges, Michael Kotis, and Richard Leitsch and collateral papers including minutes, memoranda, reports, scripts, photographs, and printed ephemera. The records reflect the origin and development of the homophile movement in America especially in New York and of the struggle to achive through peaceful means the the social integration of gays and the removal of legal sanctions discriminating against gays in housing, employment and assembly.
The Mattachine Society, Inc. of New York was founded in New York City in 1955 for the purpose of educating the public in all aspects of homosexuality, for assisting individual gays in coping with problems related to their homosexuality, and for obtaining full civil and social rights for homosexuals.
The MSNY was one of several offshoots of the Mattachine Society founded in Los Angeles in 1951. During the 1960s, its most active period, it was a leader in the struggle to promote the cause of gay rights through education and other peaceful means, eschewing the more aggressive tactics adopted by the gay liberation movement during the 1970s. The MSNY maintained a referral and counselling service for gays, sponsored discussion groups, canvassed candidates for public office and employers on their attitudes towards gays, and published the EASTERN MATTACHINE MAGAZINE, and the NEW YORK MATTACHINE NEWSLETTER. It lobbied for the repeal of laws discriminating against gays in housing, employment and assembly, and the suppression of police harassment and entrapment. With other civic action groups it agitated successfully for a civilian complaint review board to monitor allegations of police misconduct. Faced with the loss of support for its reformist philosophy during the 1970s and increasing financial difficulties the MSNY was disbanded in 1987.
Source of acquisition15 cartons: Gift, International Gay Information Center, Inc, 04/30/1988
- Barker, Elver
- Burdick, Robert
- Dewees, Curtis
- Hodges, Julian
- Kotis, Michael
- Leitsch, Dick
- Mattachine Society of New York
- Associations, institutions, etc -- New York (State) -- New York
- Gay activists
- Gay liberation movement
- Gay liberation movement -- New York (State) -- New York
- Gay men
- Publishers and publishing -- New York (State) -- New York
Using the collection
LocationManuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788
Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Microfilm reproductions must be ordered from Primary Source Microfilm, 12 Lunar Drive, Woodbridge, CT 06525-2398
Series 7 closed until 2043.
Alternative form available
Collection available on microfilm. New York Public Library, *ZL-209