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Arthur Corbin papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Arthur Corbin papers
    Dates: 1963-1978 (bulk 1972-1978)
    Collection Number: 1995-20
    Creator/Collector: Corbin, Arthur
    Extent: 0.6 linear feet
    Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
    San Francisco, California 94105
    Abstract: The bulk of the collection consists of printed matter collected by gay activist Arthur Corbin that provides background information on gay issues and organizations he was involved with or interested in. This primarily includes newsletters, reports, flyers and other printed matter generated by gay organizations. The Gay People's Union at Stanford (GPU) is the most thoroughly documented organization in the collection.
    Language of Material: English


    Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

    Preferred Citation

    Arthur Corbin papers. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Arthur Corbin in 1997.

    Biography/Administrative History

    At the time these papers were donated, Arthur Corbin was a gay activist in Santa Cruz County. First involved in the Gay People's Union at Stanford University, he later was affiliated with the Lesbian and Gay Men's Union, centered at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. He also edited a newsletter, the Gay Yellow Star Sheet (1975), which was essentially a compilation of news clippings relating to gay events. Corbin's activism included public speaking and lobbying city and county governments in the South Bay to enact affirmative action policies. He also filed a sex discrimination charge with the San Francisco Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a Palo Alto restaurant that refused him employment (1976).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records consist primarily of printed matter collected by Corbin. They are arranged alphabetically by subject, and include some articles and clippings dated as early as 1963. They provide background information on gay issues and organizations with which Corbin was involved or was interested. Corbin's role in these organizations is only peripherally documented. In regard to Corbin's activism, there are copies of nondiscrimination ordinances and related materials, some of which mention Corbin by name. Two issues of Corbin's Gay Yellow Star Sheet from 1975 are also included. The files on gay organizations include a few notes made by Corbin at meetings he attended, and a few pieces of correspondence involving Corbin as a member of that organization. For example, the file on the Coalition to Defend Gays in the Military contains documents on its creation and organization, and a few meeting notes. However, the files on organizations consist primarily of newsletters, reports, flyers, and other printed matter generated by the organization. The Gay People's Union at Stanford (GPU) is the most thoroughly documented organization. The GPU was a student organization that accepted gay nonstudents as members. It ran a telephone referral service and drop-in center, sponsored peer counseling and speakers, organized social activities through its mens and womens collectives, and published newsletters. The flyers, memos, newsletters, and other documents relate to GPU's public events, its proposed human rights policy for the university, and other activities. In 1973 the GPU received a U.S. Office of Education grant under the “Help Communities Help Themselves” program of drug abuse education. Following the training, one member developed the Gay Community of Concern (GCC) project to provide mental health services to gays and bisexuals. Beginning as a pilot project for gays in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the GCC operated as a funded agency of the California Department of Health. The GPU/GCC hoped to duplicate its results in other communities through a network of student gay organizations. Records relating to the GPU/GCC include the U.S. Department of Education course training materials, drafts of GCC organization for discussion, and flyers. Also included are handouts and a few notes from a 1977 San Francisco State University course on Psychology of Sexual Preference, and a “Gay Info 1" binder. The latter contains articles, clippings, flyers, and catalogs of materials arranged in the following sections: Information, statements, mental health, employment, and legal.

    Indexing Terms

    Gay People's Union at Stanford
    San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)

    Additional collection guides