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Collection Guide
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Finding aid of the Harry Hay papers, 1867-2002 Coll2011.003
Coll2011.003  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Manuscripts, notes, published research sources, correspondence, interviews, clippings, financial and employment records, legal papers, photographs, posters, original and reproduced graphic material, flyers, memorabilia and other material documenting the life of Harry Hay. Hay conceptualized and was a co-founder of the Mattachine Society (1950), the first organization to advocate defense of the civil rights of gays and lesbians on the grounds that they were an oppressed minority. He would remain active in the gay movement as a writer and speaker throughout his life.The collection documents Hay's writing and research related to gay history and identity, his engagement with left and progressive politics dating from the mid-1930s, his involvement in the 1970s and 1980s with researchers exploring the roots of the gay liberation movement, his personal finances and work history, and his personal relationships.
Background
Henry (Harry) Hay Jr. was born in 1912 in Worthing, England, to American parents; his father, Henry Hay Sr., managed mining interests in South Africa, then in Chile. When an accident in 1916 ended the elder Hay's career, the affuent family moved to Los Angeles, where Harry Hay spent his youth. Hay attended Stanford University for two years, then dropped out in 1932 and sought work as an actor and screenwriter in Depression-era Los Angeles. Hay was drawn to the cooperative ideals and political activism of the communist party at this time, but distanced by its prohibition of homosexuality among members. In 1938 he married friend and party member Anita Platky in an effort to adapt to the social conditions of party membership; the couple moved to New York a year later. When the United States entered the Second World War they returned to Los Angeles, where Hay found work as an industrial engineer (materials manager) in the war-time aircraft industry.
Extent
9.9 linear feet. 2 archive boxes, 10 flat boxes, 1 clamshell binder, 1 archive carton, 1 envelope, and 2 mapcase drawers
Restrictions
Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).
Availability
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.