Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Crawford Barton Papers
Collection number: 1993-11
Barton, Crawford Wayne
17 manuscript boxes, 4 record carton boxes, 35 medium boxes, and 1 oversize box
38.85 linear feet
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94105
Abstract: This collection contains professional and personal records created and collected by Crawford Wayne Barton. Inclusive dates
are 1945-1995; the bulk of the collection is from 1961-1990. The collection has a particular emphasis on the photography
of Barton as well as his creative writing. The collection includes photographs, negatives, slides, 8 and 16mm movies, correspondence,
journals, manuscripts and clippings.
Physical location: Stored at the Archives of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, California.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection open for research.
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
[Identification of item], [Name of Series], Crawford Barton Papers,
1993-11, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
Donated to the Library.
Collection processed by Sara Chabino-Lott with the aid of Rebekah Kim. Photographs processed by Marjorie Bryer. Processing
completed in August 2007. Guide written by Sara Chabino-Lott in August 2007. Processing funded by a grant from the National
Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Crawford Wayne Barton was born on June 2, 1943 in rural Georgia. As a child and teenager Bartontook piano lessons and enjoyed
drawing and studying nature. After graduating from Calhoun High School in 1961, Barton attended the University of Georgia
on an art scholarship. Barton studied drawing painting and sculpture at three different colleges in Georgia as an art major,
but never graduated. Late in 1968 Barton decided to move to Los Angeles, CA to study filmmaking at UCLA. However, Barton
never enrolled and instead moved to San Francisco. It was in San Francisco that Barton became a leading photographer of gay
life. Barton took photographs for the Advocate, the Bay Area Reporter, the San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, and the Los Angeles
In 1974, the M.H. de Young Memorial museum featured Barton's prints in an exhibit called New Photography, San Francisco and
the Bay Area. Barton started his own photography business with a resale license in 1973, under the name Arts Unlimited.
The business operated through 1978, but was never a profitable endeavor. However, a book of Barton's prints titled Beautiful
Men was published in 1976 with a 2nd edition published in 1978. Barton's prints were also used to illustrate Look Back in
Joy (1990) by Malcom Boyd. Crawford Barton, Days of Hope, a book of Barton's prints covering the years between the Stonewall
riots and the onset of the AIDS epidemic, was published posthumously in 1994. Barton moved away from photography in the early
1980s and devoted his artistic energies to writing. He continued to show his photographs, but did not produce new work at
the pace he did in the 1970s. During the 1980s Barton completed his epic novel, Castro Street, and a book of poetry, One
More Sweet Smile, but neither was published.
Barton passed away from AIDS on June 12, 1993. He was fifty years old.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection contains the professional and personal papers of Crawford Barton. This collection includes records from 1945-1995,
although the bulk of the collection is from 1961-1990. Barton is best known as a photographer of San Francisco's gay culture
in the 1970s. This collection contains numerous photographs, slides and journals from the 1970s. The rest of the collection
is primarily from the 1960s and 1980s with some material from the 1970s. It contains correspondence, financial and medical
records, clippings, and critical reviews. There is also a significant amount of material related to Castro Street, a novel
that Barton wrote and tried to get published through most of the 1980s.
This collection is organized in 7 series:
- Series 1. Correspondence
- Series 2. Journals
- Series 3. Writings
- Series 4. Personal Papers
- Series 5. Professional Papers
- Series 6. Objects
- Series 7. Photographs and Audiovisual Material
This collection has been maintained in its original order. Unless otherwise noted, dates are inclusive.
William J. Hancock Papers, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society, San Francisco, California