Scope and arrangement
Clippings, handbills, correspondence, photographs, artifacts, and other items documenting Rodwell's work as an activist and the proprietor of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.
Craig Rodwell's papers consist primarily of newspaper and magazine clippings, political handbills, correspondence, photographs, and such artifacts as political buttons and T-shirts. The majority of material dates from the 1960s and 1970s, and documents Rodwell's activism for gay rights before and after the Stonewall demonstrations of 1969. Aside from scattered letters from friends, there is little of a personal nature.
The Craig Rodwell papers are arranged in five series:
Series 1 consists mostly of incoming letters from friends, boyfriends, and Rodwell's activist colleagues. Aside from the individuals mentioned in the Container List on page 8, correspondents include Barbara Gittings, Kay Lahusen (Kay Tobin), and Randy Wicker. The two folders of professional and political correspondence concern Rodwell's work in homophile organizations and with the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop; among the latter are a letter from Rita Mae Brown (1972) and a note from John Rechy (1980).
Other correspondence is scattered throughout the Rodwell Papers, particularly in Series 2 and 3.
The writings in this series are contained in one folder, and consist of half-a-dozen typescripts, circa the early 1970s, on gay-related topics.
These files contain clippings, flyers, correspondence, and other materials, all pertaining to aspects of gay and lesbian politics and culture, such as reviews of plays and films with gay-related themes, news stories about demonstrations, newsletters from various gay/lesbian organizations, and correspondence about the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop. Items are filed by year; coverage is especially extensive for the middle and late 1970s.
Like the chronological files, the items in this series pertain entirely to gay/lesbian topics, with files on organizations such as the Daughters of Bilitis and Mattachine Society; AIDS; the assassination of Harvey Milk; and the "Annual Reminder" demonstrations of the middle and late 1960s.
The materials are arranged alphabetically, except for the files on Christian Science, which are at the end of the series in Boxes 8 and 9. The bulk of those files, subarranged chronologically, concern Rodwell's work with Gay People in Christian Science (GPICS).
The items in Series 4 fall into three categories: printed matter (Boxes 10-11), Martin Duberman's interview with Rodwell for Stonewall (Box 12), and materials from Rodwell's childhood and youth (Box 13). The printed matter consists mostly of clippings, flyers, pamphlets, and ephemera such as bumper stickers; topics include the Stonewall Inn demonstrations of 1969, and literature from various regional gay and lesbian organizations.
Among the contents of Box 13 is a letter written to Rodwell by his father in 1954, when Rodwell was thirteen, and items from his grammar school.
Box 14 contains a family album, with pictures of Rodwell from infancy to young adulthood, as well as pictures of his parents. There are also loose snapshots, mostly of gay rights demonstrations and the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore; and a postcard album compiled by a relative. Box 15 contains slides from Rodwell's childhood and of the bookstore.
The artifacts consist of political buttons (Box 16); the banner carried at demonstrations, "Gays in Christian Science" (Box 17); about two dozen T-shirts from gay pride marches and related events (Boxes 18-19); and a "Gay Pride! " jigsaw puzzle (Box 20).
There are only two sound recordings: a reel-to-reel tape of the 1975 memorial service for Howard Brown, New York City's Commissioner of Health; and a cassette recording of a performance of the New York Gay Community Marching Band, 1980.
Sixteen commercial sound recordings were transferred to the International Gay Information Center Archives. A list of these transferred items is on pages 11-12.