Archives and Special Collections
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Creator:Canfield, William J., 1946- .
Title:William J. Canfield papers
Dates:1965-1999 (bulk 1970-1990, 1998-1999)
Call Number:M69
Location: 65/4
Volume:3.50 cubic ft. (8 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:This collection was assembled by William J. Canfield II.  It documents homophile groups (the Homophile Union of Boston (HUB), Student Homophile League (SHL)), services, and publications (Esplanade, Fag Rag, Gay Community News) in Boston in the late 1960s through the mid-1980s.  In addition, the collection includes planning documentation for the Gay Liberation Reunion (GLR) of 1990 and the Boston Gay Reunion (BGR) of 1999. 
Historical Abstract: William J. Canfield II was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1946.  He was a gay activist in Boston and was involved in the Boston gay liberation movement between 1970 and 1975. In 1971-1972, Canfield was president of Homophile Union of Boston (HUB). The Homophile Union of Boston was founded in 1969 by Frank Morgan in order to broaden awareness of gay lifestyles and seek civil rights for gays and lesbians.  Along with John C. Graves (MIT professor, psychologist, and psychotherapist at the Homophile Community Health Services (HCHS), an organization that served Boston's gay population, providing psychological counseling, medical services, draft counseling, and referrals for homeless teens.), Canfield was a primary force behind the second attempt at collecting materials for a Boston Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Arrangement:Organized into 5 series: 1. Boston and Vicinity Gay Movement; 2. National Gay Organizations; 3. Gay Publications; 4. Boston Gay Reunions; and 5. Boston Gay Archives Microfilmed Selections.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Canfield, William J., 1946-
  • Braun, Rich
  • Graves, John C.
  • Johnson, Lois
  • McCassie, James
  • Mitzell, John
  • Thiersch, Craig
  • Tillotson, Stanley

  • Homophile Union of Boston
  • Student Homophile League (Cambridge, Mass.)

  • Gay activists -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Gay liberation movement -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Gay men -- Identity
  • Gay newspapers -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Gay rights -- Massachusetts -- Boston

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Michael Blech, January 2002