Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Beverly Hickok papers
Date (inclusive): 1840-2010 (bulk 1941-2009)
Collection number: 1852
65 document boxes (32 linear feet)
Abstract: Beverly Hickok is an author, retired librarian, and native Californian who came out as a lesbian during the 1940s. The papers
includes a variety of personal and professional documents, photo albums, journals, travel notes, newspaper and magazine clippings,
correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts, ephemera, lesbian pulp and popular fiction, and lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender organization materials. The collection reflects the life of a white, upper middle-class, college educated
lesbian who came out during the decade of the forties and has since experienced a rich life in her senior years.
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library,
Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of
the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC
Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Beverly Hickok, 2010.
Processed by Stacy Macias in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli,
[Identification of item], Beverly Hickok papers (Collection Number 1852). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young
Research Library, UCLA.
Beverly Hickok is an author, retired librarian, and native Californian who came out as a lesbian during the 1940s. Born in
1919, Hickok was a single child raised by her mother, Adelaide Hickok, a housewife who enjoyed painting, and Clifton Ewing
Hickok, a former City Manager of Alameda. In 1937, Hickok and her family moved to Berkeley, after which she enrolled at the
University of California, Berkeley. Before she graduated in 1941, Hickok began to explore her sexual attraction towards women,
which eventually prompted her to leave the San Francisco Bay area. She enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles,
where she earned a teaching credential. Hickok taught for one year at a local Los Angeles high school before deciding that
she no longer wanted to pursue a career in teaching. Following the advice of the renowned therapist, Evelyn Hooker, in combination
with a desire to support the effort of World War II, Hickok became a riveter in the Douglas Aircraft defense plant and began
to self-identify as a lesbian. In 1944, she enlisted as a member of the U.S Navy W.A.V.E.S., (Women Accepted for Volunteer
Emergency Service) and served until 1946 while stationed in Washington, D.C. After her discharge, she used the G.I. Bill to
return to the University of California, Berkeley and earned a degree in Library Science in 1947. That same year, Hickok met
Cecil Davis, the partner with whom she maintained a romantic relationship for forty-one years.
By 1948, Hickok joined the staff at the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering and became the head librarian
of the Transportation Library at The Institute of Transportation Studies. During her thirty-two year tenure as head librarian,
Hickok was a member of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and once served as the chair person of the Transportation Division
as well as the president of the San Francisco Chapter. Hickok was essential to growing the library's holdings and making it
one of the premiere transportation libraries in the U.S. She retired from her position as head librarian in 1980 and spent
the first few years of her retirement taking writing and painting classes and traveling with friends.
Hickok's long time partner, Davis, passed away in 1988 at the age of seventy-five. Through her involvement in Older Lesbians
Organizing for Change and Golden Threads, Hickok in 1990 met her current partner, Doreen Brand. Hickok and Brand became active
in a variety of lesbian social and cultural organizations, traveled the world, and took fourteen cruises sponsored by the
lesbian lifestyle cruise line, Olivia Cruises. In 2003, Hickok published "Against the Current: Coming Out in the 40s" a novel
based on her life, which describes the difficult journey of a young woman coming into one's sexual identity at a time when
LGBT identities were largely frowned upon socially and culturally. Later, Hickok published the photo memoir "The Life and
Loves of Beverly Hickok" as a non-fictional accompaniment to her novel. In 2005, Hickok sold her Berkeley home and moved
with Brand to her current home at the El Cerrito Royal Retirement residence. Hickok and Brand wed in 2008 and became plaintiffs
in the lawsuit challenge to overturn the passage of California Proposition 8, which banned legal marriages between same-sex
Scope and Content
The Beverly Hickok papers includes a variety of personal and professional documents, photo albums, journals, travel notes,
newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts, ephemera, lesbian pulp and popular
fiction, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization materials. The collection reflects the life of a white, upper
middle-class, college educated lesbian who came out during the 1940s and has since experienced a rich life in her senior years.
The photographs, journals, and correspondence provide insight into the socio-historical pressures of pre-Stonewall era lesbian
life, as well offering glimpses into the quotidian travails of a lesbian who frequented historic lesbian bars such as Mona's
in San Francisco and Tessie's in Hollywood. Based on her own life experiences, Hickok published a novel, "Against the Current:
Coming Out in the 40s" and subsequently a photo memoir, "The Life and Loves of Beverly Hickok."
The chronological arrangement of materials predates Hickok's birth and includes an array of family photographs from the mid-nineteenth
century. Hickok's early life in photographs, photographs and manuscripts of her father during his tenure as Alameda City Manager,
and the correspondence during her W.A.V.E.S service, indicating the close relationship she maintained with her mother, represent
some additional highlights of the collection. Hickok also was a riveter, as in "Rosie the Riveter," at the Douglas Aircraft
defense plant, and the collection contains some World War II memorabilia. As the former head librarian for the University
of California, Berkeley's Institute of Transportation Studies, there is substantial photo and paper documentation of the library's
The collection houses a large quantity of photo albums, which documents two significant romantic relationships---one with
a partner of forty-one years, Cecil Davis, and the woman to which she is now legally married, Doreen Brand. Davis was a photographer,
and her files contain some famous celebrities that she photographed for the annual Bing Crosby Golf Tournament. In her senior
years after meeting Brand, Hickok became active in local and national lesbian organizations and elder lesbian community collectives,
to which a series is dedicated. The collection also contains numerous photo albums of Hickok and Brand traveling extensively
throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the fourteen Olivia Cruises they took.
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Early Hickok Years
- Hickok Teaching, Riveter, and US Navy W.A.V.E.S. Years
- Career as Head of University of California, Berkeley Transportation Library
- Published and Unpublished Manuscripts, Poetry, Journals, and Art
- Hickok Social and Romantic Life with partner, Cecil Davis
- Hickok Photo Albums of Travels with Friends
- Hickok Social and Romantic Life with partner and wife, Doreen Brand
- Olivia Cruises History and Photo Albums
- Hickok Involvement in Social, Cultural, and Political Organizations
- Lesbian Pulp Fiction
- Hickok Library
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.