Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

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Collection Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Title:William J. Canfield papers
Dates: 1946–2012 (bulk 1970–1999)
Call Number:M69

Scope and Content Note

This collection was assembled and created by William J. Canfield II. It documents homophile groups (most notably the Homophile Union of Boston and Student Homophile League), services, and publications (such as Esplanade, Fag Rag, and Gay Community News) in Boston from the late 1960s through the mid–1980s (Series 1 and Series 3). There is also collected material relating to gay organizations from around the country (Series 2), including materials gathered by Canfield while he lived in Vermont (Series 6).

In addition, the collection includes planning documentation for the Gay Liberation Reunion of 1990 and the Boston Gay Reunion of 1999 (Series 4). Five rolls of microfilm (Series 5) preserve selections from the second Boston Gay Archives, including portions of this collection and the John C. Graves papers (M83), as well as articles on gay topics. Other contributors to the microfilm include John Mitzell, Craig Thiersch, Stan Tillotson, Rich Braun, Lois Johnson, and Jim McCassie.

Canfield extensively documented his own life, and his personal papers (Series 6) include correspondence, schoolwork mainly from his time at Suffolk University during the early years of gay liberation, and records pertaining to Falinge Farm, his home.