John Gruber Papers

Finding aid created by James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center staff using RecordEXPRESS
San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 557-4567
info@sfpl.org
http://sfpl.org/gaylesbian
2019


Descriptive Summary

Title: John Gruber Papers
Dates: 1933-2000 (bulk 1948-1985)
Collection Number: GLC 66
Creator/Collector: Gruber, James "John" Finley, Jr., 1928-2011.
Extent: 5 cartons, 1 flat box (5.5 cubic feet)
Online items available
Repository: San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
San Francisco, California 94102
Abstract: Gruber was one of the founding members of the Mattachine Society, a homophile organization. The papers contain letters, clipped news items, draft writings and photographs.
Language of Material: English

Access

The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.

Publication Rights

Copyright owned by the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist.

Preferred Citation

John Gruber Papers. San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Acquisition Information

The John Gruber Papers were donated by John Gruber on July 23, 2006.

Biography/Administrative History

"John" Gruber was born James Finley Gruber Jr. in Des Moines, on Aug. 21, 1928, he moved to Los Angeles in 1936 with his family, which included three older sisters. He was an original member of the Mattachine Society, one of the earliest homophile organizations in the United States. He served in World War II and was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1949. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Occidental, he became a writer and taught high school and college in Northern California, where he moved in 1960. He was featured in a 2002 documentary, "Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay," directed by Eric Slade. Gruber enjoyed relations with both men and women, and considered himself bisexual. His unpublished manuscript, "The Deviant: an Illustrated Autobiography," chronicles his life across the twentieth century year by year, including references to movies, books, songs, newspaper clippings, and images of current events, movie stars, and family photographs.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers contain letters, clipped news items, draft writings and photographs. The collection is arranged into 4 series: Series 1. Letters. Etc.; Series 2. It's News to Me; Series 3. Personal Writings; and Series 4. Photograph Albums and Scrapbooks.

Indexing Terms

Gay men--Social life and customs--20th century.
Gay men--History--20th century.
Gruber, James "John" Finley, Jr., 1928-2011--Archives.
Mattachine Society.