Guide to the Robert Prager Papers, 1961-2003

Processed by Robert Prager and Martin Meeker
© 2003
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Robert Prager Papers, 1961-2003

Accession number: 1998-20

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society



San Francisco, California
Processed by:
Robert Prager and Martin Meeker
Date Completed:
April, 2003
© 2003 The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert Prager Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1961-2003
Accession number: 1998-20
Creator: Robert Prager
Extent: 9 Boxes
Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
San Francisco, California.
Abstract: This collection documents the intellectual pursuits of independent literary scholar Robert Prager. Included in the collection is correspondence and interviews with gay male writers. Also included is biographical research, including interviews and correspondence, into the life of artist Chuck Arnett.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright to selected material has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. Copyright of correspondence, unpublished writings, and oral history interviews are retained by the author/narrator unless otherwise noted.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Prager Papers, 1998-20, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the GLBT Historical Society by Robert Prager from 1998 through 2002.

Biography

Robert Prager was born on May 16, 1955. Although Prager claims that his "education has largely been a matter of self-education," he attended Cass Technical High School in downtown Detroit, Michigan from 1970 until 1973. He then attended nearby Wayne State University from 1973 until 1975 with a declared major in Journalism. After dropping out of Wayne State University, Prager worked in various surveying, construction, and road-building jobs. He returned to Wayne State University as a student in 1979 and graduated a year later Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 with a B.A. in English.
At the end of June 1990 Prager was hired to work as a bartender at Folsom Street leather bar The Powerhouse and then in July 1991 at My Place, also located on Folsom Street. He quit bartending a year later at the end of June 1992 to attend Syracuse University as a graduate student in its MA program in American literature. He withdrew from his formal studies in literature in February 1993 to resume bartending at My Place, a position he continued to hold until the end of October 1993 at which time he retired from the business.
Prager became very interested in "gay literature" beginning when he lived in Key West, Florida in 1981. He was fascinated by the overlap and interplay between the ideology of the gay movement and the aesthetics of literary production. He began corresponding with various published and unpublished gay writers as a way of documenting the literary history of the post-Stonewall gay literary movement.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Robert Prager Papers were donated to the GLBT Historical Society by Robert Prager beginning in 1998. The collection includes a significant collection of correspondence, the majority of which was exchanged between Prager and published gay male authors and others within the publishing industry. The most extensive and important exchanges were with Daniel Curzon (author of Something You Do in the Dark), Andrew Holleran (author of Dancer from the Dance), and Dirk Vanden (author of I Want It All); the content of these letters focuses on gay literature as well as the creative process. Also included in this collection are interviews with selected authors as well as copies of drafts and other unpublished writings by Prager and other writers. The second significant portion of this collection is composed of documents relating to the life and work of artist and pioneer leatherman Chuck Arnett; along with a small cache of correspondence Arnett wrote in the 1960s are tapes and transcripts of interviews Prager conducted with individuals who knew Arnett.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into 4 series: :
  1. Correspondence
  2. Gay Authors Research and Writings
  3. Chuck Arnett Project Research
  4. Audio-Visual

Related Material at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

Title: Chuck Arnett Paintings
Identifier/Call Number: 1997-42
Title: Chuck Arnett Artifacts and Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 1999-10
Title: David Barnard Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 1998-07
Title: Kerry Bowman Papers and Ambush Records
Identifier/Call Number: 1998-30
Title: William Ewing Photo Album
Identifier/Call Number: 1995-14

Container List

 

Series: 1:
Correspondence, 1964-2003

Physical Description: 4 Boxes, 3 Folders

Scope and Content Note

This series includes correspondence, the majority of which was exchanged between Prager and published gay male authors and others within the publishing industry. The most extensive and important exchanges were with Daniel Curzon (author of Something You Do in the Dark), Andrew Holleran (author of Dancer from the Dance), and Dirk Vanden (author of I Want It All). The content of these letters focuses on gay literature and the creative process as well as personal opinions and issues. A small number of letters are photocopies of correspondence from the personal collections of various authors including Daniel Curzon and Dirk Vanden. The authors are listed by pen names, real names follow in parantheses.
With the exception of Prager and Vanden, the authors of the letters have not been asked to provide the GLBTHS with copyrights to their correspondence; therefore, the correspondence may be read but may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the authors. Vanden has retained copyright of his correspondence until the time of his death, at which point it is to be transferred to the GLBTHS.
Box-folder 1/1

Prager, Robert, Biographical Information, 2001-2003

Box-folder 1/2

Abelove, Henry, 1990-1992

Box-folder 1/3

Barnard, Ian, 1990-2002

Box-folder 1/4

Bergman, David, 1993-1999

Box-folder 1/5

Booth, Glenn, 1982-1992

Box-folder 1/6

Cooper, Dennis, 1985, 1995

Box-folder 1/7-1/15

Curzon, Daniel (Daniel Brown)

Box-folder 1/7

1982-1983

Box-folder 1/8

1984

Box-folder 1/9

1985

Box-folder 1/10

1986

Box-folder 1/11

1987

Box-folder 1/12

1988

Box-folder 1/13

1989

Box-folder 1/14

1990

Box-folder 1/15

Daniel Curzon/Joyce Carol Oates Letters, 1974-1976

Box-folder 1/16

Dowell, Coleman, 1986-1990

Box-folder 1/17

Fertig, Jack, 1986-1990

Box-folder 1/18

Gershman, Elizabeth, 1985-1985

Box-folder 1/19

Greene, Harlan, 1984-1985

Box-folder 1/20-Oversize Box

Hachtman, Tom

Box-folder 1/20

1984-1986

Box-folder Oversize Box

Cartoon Envelope, 1985

Box-folder 2/1-3/15

Holleran, Andrew (C. Eric Garber)

Box-folder 2/1-3/7

Incoming

Box-folder 2/1

1983

Box-folder 2/2

1984

Box-folder 2/3

1985

Box-folder 2/4

1986

Box-folder 2/5

1987

Box-folder 2/6

1988

Box-folder 2/7

1989

Box-folder 2/8

1990

Box-folder 2/9

1991

Box-folder 2/10

1992

Box-folder 2/11

1993

Box-folder 2/12

1994

Box-folder 2/13

1995

Box-folder 3/1

1996

Box-folder 3/2

1997

Box-folder 3/3

1998

Box-folder 3/4

1999

Box-folder 3/5

2000

Box-folder 3/6

2001

Box-folder 3/7

2002

Box-folder 3/8-3/15

Outgoing

Box-folder 3/8

1985-1987

Box-folder 3/9

1988-1989

Box-folder 3/10

1990

Box-folder 3/11

1991

Box-folder 3/12

1992

Box-folder 3/13

1993-1994

Box-folder 3/14

1995

Box-folder 3/15

n.d.

Box-folder 4/1

Kopelson, Kevin, 1993

Box-folder 4/2

Kramer, Larry, from Robert Prager, 1987-1992

Box-folder 4/3

Labonte, Richard, 1990-1994

Box-folder 4/4

Lobdell, David, 1990

Box-folder 4/5

Mattos, Francisco, 1985-1991

Box-folder 4/6

Norse, Harold, 1984-1991, 1998

Box-folder 4/7

Parker, Robert Miles, 1985-1990

Box-folder 4/8-4/9

Patrick, Robert (O'Conner)

Box-folder 4/8

1991

Box-folder 4/9

1992

Box-folder 4/10

Picano, Felice, 1995-1996

Box-folder 4/11

Troxell, Jane, 1990-1992

Box-folder 4/12

Trubiani, Nicole, 1993

Box-folder 4/13-4/16

Vanden, Dirk (Richard Fullmer),

Box-folder 4/13

Letters from Vanden, 1996-2001

Box-folder 4/14

Dirk Vanden/Richard Amory Letters, 1970-1972

Box-folder 4/15

Dirk Vanden/Tim Ashley Letters, 1964-1972

Box-folder 4/16

Dirk Vanden/John Francis Hunter Letter, 1971

Box-folder 4/17-4/18

White, Edmund

Box-folder 4/17

From Edmund White, 1982-2002

Box-folder 4/18

From Robert Prager, 1988-1996

Box-folder 5/1

Whitehead, Jack, 1982-1989

Box-folder 5/2

Windham, Donald, 1987-1991

Box-folder 5/3

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1983-2001

 

Series: 2:
Gay Authors Research and Writings, 1961-2002

Physical Description: 1 Box, 16 Folders

Scope and Content Note

This series includes a small cache of critical writings by Prager; miscellaneous subject files; interviews with selected gay male authors; and copies of drafts and other unpublished writings by authors represented in the correspondence series.
With the exception of Prager and Vanden the authors have not been asked to provide the GLBTHS with copyrights to their published and unpublished writings; therefore, the drafts may be read but may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the authors. Vanden has retained copyright of his unpublished writings until the time of his death, at which point they will be transferred to the GLBTHS.
Box-folder 5/4-5/5

Writings by Robert Prager

Box-folder 5/4

"Dirk Vanden, A Retrospective", n.d.

Box-folder 5/5

Miscellaneous, 1991

Box-folder 5/6-5/9

Interview Transcripts

Box-folder 5/6

Libby, Russ, 1999

Box-folder 5/7

Vanden, Dirk, 2001

Box-folder 5/8

White, Edmund, 1997

Box-folder 5/9

Wright, Joseph Arthur, 1995

Box-folder 5/10-5/15

Subject Files

Box-folder 5/10

The Hun, 1988-1993

Box-folder 5/11

My Place Bar, 1991-1993

Box-folder 5/12

The Sling, 2000-2002

Box-folder 5/13

Syracuse University, 1991-1996

Box-folder 5/14

Tom of Finland, 1977

Box-folder 5/15

Miscellaneous Documents, n.d.

Box-folder 5/16-6/8

Writings by Author

Box-folder 5/16-5/18

Arnold, C. D.

Box-folder 5/16

"King of the Crystal Palace" - San Francisco Production, 1983

Box-folder 5/17

"King of the Crystal Palace" - Los Angeles Production, 1983

Box-folder 5/18

Miscellaneous Scripts, 1980-1981, 1993

Box-folder 5/19-5/20

Curzon, Daniel

Box-folder 5/19

"The Third Part of Henry the Fourth", n.d.

Box-folder 5/20

Miscellaneous Writings, n.d.

Box-folder 6/1-6/8

Vanden, Dirk

Box-folder 6/1

Life Chronology, 2001

Box-folder 6/2

Diary and Miscellaneous Documents, 1961, 1971

Box-folder 6/3-6/4

"Pissing in the Ocean"

Box-folder 6/3

Folder A, 2001

Box-folder 6/4

Folder B, 2001

Box-folder 6/5

"Hatters and Hares", 1969, 1996

Box-folder 6/6-6/8

"To Themselves Unknown"

Box-folder 6/6

Folder A, n.d.

Box-folder 6/7

Folder B, n.d.

Box-folder 6/8

Folder C, n.d.

 

Series: 3:
Chuck Arnett Project Research, 1964-2000

Physical Description: 1 Box

Scope and Content Note

This series includes documents relating to the life and work of artist and pioneer leatherman Chuck Arnett; along with a cache of correspondence Arnett wrote in the 1960s, this series includes transcripts of interviews Prager conducted with individuals who knew Arnett.
Releases were never obtained from the oral history interviewees, therefore the GLBTHS does not own the copyright to the contents of the interviews. Interviews, then, may be read but may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the interviewee.
Box-folder 7/1

Chronology and Biographical Notes, 1988, 1997

Box-folder 7/2

Arnett Artwork, Prager Collection, n.d.

Box-folder 7/3

Research Notes, 1997-2002

Box-folder 7/4-7/5

Correspondence

Box-folder 7/4

Arnett, Chuck, 1964-1970

Box-folder 7/5

Tellman, Bill, 1996-2002

Box-folder 7/6-7/23

Oral History Interview Transcripts

Box-folder 7/6

Arnett, Chuck and Mike Caffee by Gayle Rubin, 1984

Box-folder 7/7

Barnard, David, 1996

Box-folder 7/8

Bix, John, 1996

Box-folder 7/9

Caffee, Mike, 1996-1997

Box-folder 7/10

Carvajal, Carlos, 1997

Box-folder 7/11

Coates, Paul, 1996-1999

Box-folder 7/12

Cooper, Dave, 1997

Box-folder 7/13

Doody, Don, 1996

Box-folder 7/14

Feola, Paul, 1997

Box-folder 7/15

Gabet, Ed, 1995

Box-folder 7/16

Gunn, Thom, 1996, 2002

Box-folder 7/17

Helton, Eugene, 1997

Box-folder 7/18

Herman, Bert, 1998

Box-folder 7/19

Jann, Jim, 1999

Box-folder 7/20

Reque, Bill, 2000

Box-folder 7/21

Ritz, Kreemah, 1999

Box-folder 7/22

Spraker, Gus, 1997

Box-folder 7/23

Tellman, Bill, 1996-1997

 

Series: 4:
Audio-Visual, 1982-2000

Physical Description: 1 Box

Scope and Content Note

This series includes the audio-tapes of the interviews Prager conducted with gay male authors and with individuals who knew Chuck Arnett. Also included in this series are a small cache of photographs, including a number of photographs of Prager with the writer Edmund White.
Releases were never obtained from the oral history interviewees, therefore the GLBTHS does not own the copyright to the contents of the interviews. Interviews, then, may be read but may not be quoted or reproduced without the prior permission of the interviewee.
Box-folder Manuscript Photos Box 4

Miscellaneous Photos, 1982-1991

Box-folder Artifact Box 8

Greek Vase by Mike Caffee, n.d.

Box-folder 9/1-9/22

Interviews on Cassette

Box-folder 9/1

Barnard, David, 1996

Box-folder 9/2

Bix, John, 1996

Box-folder 9/3

Caffee, Mike - A, n.d.

Box-folder 9/4

Caffee, Mike - B, n.d.

Box-folder 9/5

Caffee, Mike - C, n.d.

Box-folder 9/6

Caffee, Mike - D, n.d.

Box-folder 9/7

Caffee, Mike - E, n.d.

Box-folder 9/8

Call, Hal, n.d.

Box-folder 9/9

Carvajal, Carlos, 1997

Box-folder 9/10

Coates, Paul with Bill Tellman - A, n.d.

Box-folder 9/11

Coates, Paul with Bill Tellman - B, n.d.

Box-folder 9/12

Feola, Paul, 1997

Box-folder 9/13

Helton, Gene, 1997

Box-folder 9/14

Kelley, Mike, n.d.

Box-folder 9/15

Kepner, Jim, n.d.

Box-folder 9/16

Kriegman, Dick/John Bix, 1996

Box-folder 9/17

Norse, Harold, n.d.

Box-folder 9/18

Tellman, Bill - A, n.d.

Box-folder 9/19

Tellman, Bill - B, n.d.

Box-folder 9/20

White, Edmund/Dave Cooper, 1997

Box-folder 9/21

Group Conversation (Tellman, Caffee, etc.), n.d.

Box-folder 9/22

Gus Spraker/Harlan Reese Dialogue, 1997

Box-folder 9/23-9/30

Interviews on Microcassette

Box-folder 9/23

Caffee, Mike, n.d.

Box-folder 9/24

Coates, Paul, n.d.

Box-folder 9/25

Doody, Don, 1996

Box-folder 9/26

Jann, Jim - A, 1999

Box-folder 9/27

Jann, Jim - B, 1999

Box-folder 9/28

Libby, Russ, 1999

Box-folder 9/29

Reque, Bill, 2000

Box-folder 9/30

Ritz, Kreemah, 1999