Scope and arrangement
The Other Countries records date from 1982 to 2002 and document the group's writing, performance, and publishing activities, while providing insight into the reception of their publications by readers and contributors. The majority of the files were compiled by two members of the board of directors, B. Michael Hunter and Colin Robinson, and show the intersections of their activities as Other Countries members, their participation in other advocacy groups, and their personal lives. The devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on the black gay community is evident in the focus of the group's writings, especially for their 1993 publication, Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS, their poetry readings, and performances.
Administrative files contain correspondence, internal memoranda, membership information, financial and fundraising records, and organizational files such as reports and board election documents. These trace the development and formalization of the Other Countries' structure, mission, and functioning. B. Michael Hunter's files include correspondence, minutes, and printed matter from both Other Countries, and organizations in which Hunter was active. These also contain teaching, study, and employment–related records, some literary compositions, research material, and personal and financial records
The Organizational records encompass discussion on the structure of the group; and planning and reporting of the organization from its genesis as a development of the Other Countries writing workshop. Also present are newsletters produced by the group, board and committee election information, and some internal communications.
The Financial Records concern journal printing and sales; mailing and events; and workshop costs. They also contain activity reports and statements; balance sheets; and other documents generated for Other Countries by the Cultural Council Foundation.
The Performances, Workshops and Events files include publicity, planning documents, and scripts from the poetry readings and presentations made by Other Countries members and in collaboration with other artists. These include materials for presentations at the Schomburg Center.
Subject Files include research on HIV/AIDS, and a large amount of printed matter generated by numerous social justice, advocacy, and special interest groups. They include handbills, newsletters, magazines, posters, party invitations, and other publicity materials.
A major function of the collective was publishing anthologies of literary works. This is evidenced in the Writings files which include journal committee minutes and agendas; planning documents; reports; published and unpublished manuscript submissions; and iterations of the final works in varying stages, including galleys and mockups with annotations. These files also contain letters from people across the country expressing support and requesting information on Other Countries, and copies of the journal.
The collection is arranged into the following categories: Administrative Files; Performances, Workshops and Events; Subject Files; and Writings.