Finding aid of the Beowulf Thorne Papers

Josué Hurtado
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
657 Mission Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, California 94105
Phone: (415) 777-5455
Fax: (415) 777-5576
Email: info@glbthistory.org
URL: http://www.glbthistory.org/
© 2006
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Finding aid of the Beowulf Thorne Papers

Collection number: 2003-10

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

San Francisco, California
Processed by:
Josué Hurtado
Date Completed:
April 2005
Encoded by:
Rebekah Kim
© 2006 The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Beowulf Thorne Papers
Dates: 1964-1999
Collection number: 2003-10
Creator: Thorne, Beowulf
Collection Size: 4.0 linear feet 2 manuscript boxes, 2 cartons, 1 oversized box
Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94105
Abstract: Beowulf Thorne (Jack Henry Foster) was a political activist on issues affecting PWAs (people with AIDS). He was one of the founders, with Tom Shearer, of the humor magazine, Diseased Pariah News (DPN). He used his skills as a writer, editor, and graphic artist on the magazine. The collection documents the operations, both commercial and artistic of DPN, as well as the work of Oakland's Condom Resource Center.
Physical location: Stored at the Archives of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, California.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Beowulf Thorne Papers, 2003-10, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Library by Daniel Bao on April 3, 2003.

Biography

Beowulf Thorne (born Jack Henry Foster) was born in San Diego on November 6, 1964. He attended Stanford University. A political activist regarding issues affecting PWAs (People with AIDS), he was one of the founders, along with Daniel Bao and Tom Shearer, of the PWA humor magazine Diseased Pariah News (DPN). He used both his skills as a writer-editor and as a graphic artist in creating and publishing DPN. A total of eleven issues of Diseased Pariah News were published from 1990 to 1999.
Beowulf Thorne passed away from complications relating to AIDS on May 8, 1999, the second co-founder to pass away from AIDS (Tom Shearer and passed away after the second issue of DPN was published). Thorne was memorialized in the final issue of DPN in an irreverently titled piece of which he would have approved: "Dang! Our Founder and Guiding Light Died."

Scope and Content of Collection

Few personal papers are included in this collection. It's primarily focus is on Thorne's experience as a person with AIDS (PWA). This collection mostly consists of the textual and graphic records of Diseased Pariah News. An additional series relates to Oakland's Condom Resource Center, headed by director Daniel Bao, who worked closely with DPN.
The series is organized into 5 series:
  • Series 1. Personal, 1964-1998
  • Series 2. Diseased Pariah News, 1990-1999
  • Series 3. Zines, 1990-1997
  • Series 4. Condom Resource Center, 1990-1998
  • Series 5. Photos/Artwork, 1989-1992
  • Series 5. Photos/Artwork, 1989-1992
  • Series 6. Objects, undated, 1990
Series 1. Personal, 1964-1998
This series consists of personal documents and other effects of Beowulf Thorne such as his passports, birth certificate, personal notes on his estate, and articles he wrote for POZ Magazine, a magazine for and about people living with HIV. There are also personal photographs in this series.
Series 2. Diseased Pariah News, 1990-1999
This series contains materials relating to the Thorne's magazine Diseased Pariah News. All eleven issues of the magazine are included as well as background materials and other items related to publishing the magazine such as drafts of articles, artwork and photographs. Also found in this series are reviews of the magazine and articles in other publications about DPN. Finally there are correspondence files containing letter to the editors requesting back issues, subscriptions, or expressing opinions about the magazine.
Series 3. Zines, 1990-1997
This series consists of other zines collected by Thorne. These publications had a similar irreverent approach to the AIDS crisis
Series 4. Condom Resource Center, 1990-1998
This series contains materials produced by the Condom Resource Center (CRC) in Oakland. Thorne worked very closely with this organization, helping create artwork and other content for their safe sex campaigns. Included in this series are examples of some of Thorne's artwork as well as photographs. There are also several publications put out by the CRC such as several versions of the Condom Educator's Guide.
Series 5. Photos/Artwork, 1989-1992
This series consists of the photographs and other artwork created by Beowulf Thorne. His skills as a photographer and an artist are illustrated by these items.
Series 6. Objects, undated, 1990
This series contains ephemera from Diseased Pariah News and other organizations.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
AIDS
San Francisco (Calif.)
Persons With AIDS
AIDS Activists
Graphic Artists

Related Material

Diseased Pariah News(Periodical)

Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Personal 1964-1998

Physical Description: 11 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of personal documents and other effects of Beowulf Thorne such as his passports, birth certificate, personal notes on his estate, and articles he wrote for POZ Magazine, a magazine for and about people living with HIV. There are also personal photographs in this series.
Box: Folder 1: 1

Birth Certificate, passport, vaccination record 1964-1988

Box: Folder 1: 2

Notes on his estate

Box: Folder 1: 3

Life insurance 1996

Box: Folder 1: 4

Article submitted to POZ on living with Lymphoma 1988

Box: Folder 1: 5

Notes for POZ article on Collateral Damage 1998

Box: Folder 1: 6

Notes for POZ article on Depression 1996

Box: Folder 1: 7

Notes for POZ article on Suicide 1997

Box: Folder 1: 8

Tienanmen week at Stanford 1991

Box: Folder 1: 9-11

Photos

Box: Folder 1: 9

"Steam"

Box: Folder 1: 10

Personal

Box: Folder 1: 11

"A Certain Undisclosed Location in Long Beach"

 

Series 2. Diseased Pariah News 1990-1999

Physical Description: 45 folders

Series Description

This series contains materials relating to the Thorne's magazine Diseased Pariah News. All eleven issues of the magazine are included as well as background materials and other items related to publishing the magazine such as drafts of articles, artwork and photographs. Also found in this series are reviews of the magazine and articles in other publications about DPN. Finally there are correspondence files containing letter to the editors requesting back issues, subscriptions, or expressing opinions about the magazine.
Box: Folder 1: 12-22

Magazine

Box: Folder 1: 12

#1 1990

Box: Folder 1: 13

#2 1991

Box: Folder 1: 14

#3 1991

Box: Folder 1: 15

#4 1991

Box: Folder 1: 16

#5 1992

Box: Folder 1: 17

#6 1992

Box: Folder 1: 18

#7 1992

Box: Folder 1: 19

#8 1993

Box: Folder 1: 20

#9 1994

Box: Folder 1: 21

#10 1995

Box: Folder 1: 22

#11 1999

Box: Folder 1: 23-30

Articles

Box: Folder 1: 23

Notes for a story: "A Brief History of Malaysia"

Box: Folder 1: 24

The Art of Ralphing 1998

Box: Folder 1: 25

Submitted by Edward Zold 1997

Box: Folder 1: 26

Annotated draft of articles for issue #11 1989

Box: Folder 1: 27

"Nutrition and PWAs from AIDS Patient Care" 1988

Box: Folder 1: 28

Nutrition and Recipes 1987-1994

Box: Folder 1: 29

"Pseudo Intellectual Stuff from the Halls of Academe" 1996

Box: Folder 1: 30

"Vague Ideas for DPN" 1992

Box: Folder 1: 31 - 2: 15

DPN Artwork

Box: Folder 1: 31

DPN # 1 1990

Box: Folder 1: 32

DPN # 2 1991

Box: Folder 1: 33

DPN # 3 1991

Box: Folder 1: 34

DPN # 4 1991

Box: Folder 1: 35

DPN # 10 1995

Box: Folder 2: 1

Artwork by Kira

Box: Folder 2: 2

"Jesus Came to My House"

Box: Folder 2: 3

"History of Malaysia"

Box: Folder 2: 4

Paper Merit Badges for DPN Buttons

Box: Folder 2: 5-14

DPN Photographs

Box: Folder 2: 5

DPN # 1 1990

Box: Folder 2: 6

DPN # 2 1991

Box: Folder 2: 7

DPN # 3 1991

Box: Folder 2: 8

DPN # 4 1991

Box: Folder 2: 9

DPN # 5 1992

Box: Folder 2: 10

DPN # 6 1992

Box: Folder 2: 11

DPN # 7 1992

Box: Folder 2: 12

DPN # 8 1993

Box: Folder 2: 13

DPN # 9 1994

Box: Folder 2: 14

DPN # 10 1995

Box: Folder 2: 15-19

Press

Box: Folder 2: 15

Promotional Material

Box: Folder 2: 16

Press Kit 1991

Box: Folder 2: 17

Articles 1991-1994

Box: Folder 2: 18

Reviews 1991-1995

Box: Folder 2: 19

Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay Award to DPN 1996

Box: Folder 2: 20-24

Correspondence

Box: Folder 2: 20

Forms

Box: Folder 2: 21

Postcards and Christmas Card Printed by DPN 1991

Box: Folder 2: 22

Letters from Fans 1991-1999

Box: Folder 2: 23

Letters from Prisoners Requesting Free Subscriptions 1997-1998

Box: Folder 2: 24

Letters Requesting Back Issues 1997-1999

 

Series 3. Zines 1990-1997

Physical Description: 4 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of other zines collected by Thorne. These publications had a similar irreverent approach to the AIDS crisis.
Box: Folder 2: 26

The Daily Plague #6

Box: Folder 2: 27

Factsheet Five: Zine Reader 1997

Box: Folder 2: 28

GAWK Newsletter (Gay Artists and Writers Kollective), #4-6 1990

Box: Folder 3: 1

HardWear: The Art of Prevention, Hugh Rigby and Susan Leibtag 1994

 

Series 4. Condom Resource Center 1990-1998

Physical Description: 14 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series contains materials produced by the Condom Resource Center (CRC) in Oakland. Thorne worked very closely with this organization, helping create artwork and other content for their safe sex campaigns. Included in this series are examples of some of Thorne's artwork as well as photographs. There are also several publications put out by the CRC such as several versions of the Condom Educator's Guide.
Box: Folder 3: 2

Condom Updates 1990-1994

Box: Folder 3: 3

Corrected Draft and Layout of Condom Educator's Guide ca. 1991

Box: Folder 3: 4

Condom Educator's Guide ca. 1991

Box: Folder 3: 5

Condom Educator's Guide, Version Two ca. 1994

Box: Folder 3: 6

Artwork Related to Condom Educator's Guide, Version Two ca. 1994

Box: Folder 3: 7

Photos for Condom Educator's Guide, Version 2

Box: Folder 3: 8

Official Condom Tester Catalog 1990

Box: Folder 3: 9

National Condom Week Booklet 1997-1998

Box: Folder 3: 10

ondom Primer. # 1 and 2 1988-1990

Box: Folder 3: 11

Party Packs 1988-1991

Box: Folder 3: 12

Captain Condom's Original Party Pack Booklet 1991

Box: Folder 3: 13

Ephemera 1990

Box: Folder 3: 14

Artwork Related to CRC Poster and Handbook 1997-1998

Box: Folder 3: 15

Artwork Related to CRC Organizer 1991

 

Series 5. Photos/Artwork 1989-1992

Physical Description: 24 folders

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of the photographs and other artwork created by Beowulf Thorne. His skills as a photographer and an artist are illustrate by these items.
Box: Folder 3: 16-30

Photos

Box: Folder 3: 16

My Vapid Youth

Box: Folder 3: 17

Nerd Pictures

Box: Folder 3: 18

Use Your Head

Box: Folder 3: 19

Socks for Cocks

Box: Folder 3: 20

Biffy with Lube Bottles 1991

Box: Folder 3: 21

Cranky and Dusty Fellating Unseen Spirits 1989

Box: Folder 3: 22

Voyage of Dysfunctionality; Tommy Jo's Last Trip Home 1990

Box: Folder 3: 23

Biffy Doing Rain Dance with Proper Prophylaxis

Box: Folder 3: 24

Biffy's Publicity Pix: Nezz. Fezz,and Lezz 1990

Box: Folder 3: 25

Greetings from Greater Slobovia (for GAWK #5) 1989

Box: Folder 3: 26

Cranky, Humpy and Sleazy for DPN Xmas Card 1991

Box: Folder 3: 27

Use Your Head

Box: Folder 3: 28

Strange but True; Odd Bits of Tom Shearer

Box: Folder 3: 29

What's Wrong with This Picture? (unsolicited snapshots from fans)

Box: Folder 3: 30

Model Releases 1992

Box: Folder 4: 1-9

Artwork (oversized box, 20" x 16" x 3.5")

Box: Folder 4: 1

Drawings of People

Box: Folder 4: 2

Drawings of Dinosaurs / Monsters

Box: Folder 4: 3

Drawings of Various Subjects

Box: Folder 4: 4

Typeset Pages

Box: Folder 4: 5

Source Artwork Related to Conceptual Ideas

Box: Folder 4: 6

Un-mounted Posters, Covers, Photo, and Miscellaneous

Box: Folder 4: 7

Mounted DPN Covers (#4, 6, 7, 8,9)

Box: Folder 4: 8

Mounted Drawings: Panels of Captain Condom, Other Mounted Art

Box: Folder 4: 9

Mounted Drawings: Modes of Transportation

 

Series 6 Objects undated, 1990

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Description

This series contains ephemera from Diseased Pariah News and other organizations.
Box: Folder 6

9 "T Cell 100 (One Hundred) or Less" buttons, undated

Box: Folder 6

6 "Kiss Me! I'm a Diseased Pariah" buttons, undated

Box: Folder 6

2 "Porn Potato likes that!" buttons designed by Beowulf Thorne, 1990

Box: Folder 6

21 miscellaneous buttons, undated

Box: Folder 6

1 Stanford AIDS Education Project's Fourth Annual Great Condom Rating Contest pamphlet with condoms, 1990

Box: Folder 6

1 "Kiss Me! I'm a Diseased Pariah" t-shirt, undated

Box: Folder 6

1 Diseased Pariah News t-shirt, 1990

Box: Folder 6

1 Captain Condom Fan Club t-shirt, undated