Scope and arrangement
The Butterworth Farm collection contains photographs documenting the daily activities of life on the farm and a small amount of personal papers of two of the farm's original founders, Allen Young and Carl Miller. The collection includes photographs, both snapshots of farm life and Miller's photography; Allen Young's correspondence with friends and family and with Karla Jay, his co-editor; and ephemera. Notable items include an AIDS journal kept by Carl Miller's caretakers and photographs of a 1975 New York University gay rights protest.
The Butterworth Farm collection is arranged in three series:
Dating from 1975 through 2009, the photographs of Butterworth Farm depict life on the commune as well as outside activities in which the residents participated. Both in albums and loose photographs, there are scenes of building the buildings at Butterworth, cookouts, swimming parties, drag parties, trips to Provincetown and Gay Pride events and other examples of day to day life on the farm.
Carl Miller (1940-1999) was an award-winning textile designer and amateur photographer. Miller attended the Rhode Island School of Fine Arts and was a chief designer for Mastercraft Fabrics. Miller was a member of the Gay Liberation Front in New York City, a founder of Butterworth Farm, and was on the board of directors of AIDS Project Worcester. He maintained homes in both Provincetown, Massachusetts and at the farm, where he designed his own home. Miller passed away due to AIDS-related complications in 1999.
The Carl Miller papers contain personal papers, art, and photography created by Miller between 1974 and 1996. Correspondence mostly contains cards and notes, most with pictures attached. Personal papers contain materials relating to Miller's education, his plans for his Butterworth Farm house and a map of the property, and most notably an AIDS journal, kept by Miller's caretakers from 1998 through 1999. His art and photography includes shots of a 1969 Central Park Be-In, a 1975 New York University protest for gay rights, as well as many shots of people and places, including some erotic photographs.
Allen Young is a New Left journalist and prominent gay liberation writer and activist. Born in Liberty, N.Y. in 1941, he received his history and journalism degrees from Columbia University and Stanford University. After graduation he spent time as a freelance journalist in South America. Upon his return to the United States in 1967, he became a writer and editor for Liberation News Services, and then joined the New York Gay Liberation Front. In 1973 he moved to Butterworth Farm, where he co-edited three gay-themed anthologies with Karla Jay. While living at the farm, Young took a job writing for the Athol Daily News, contributed to RFD and also joined local conservation groups. Young still resides at the Farm.