Tim Wood Erotica collection

Finding aid created by GLBT Historical Society staff using RecordEXPRESS
GLBT Historical Society
989 Market Street, Lower Level
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 777-5455

Descriptive Summary

Title: Tim Wood Erotica collection
Dates: 1920-1991
Collection Number: 1996-18
Extent: 2.65 linear feet (4 boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 artifact)
Repository: GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94103
Abstract: The Tim Wood Erotica Collection contains a small number of personal documents, but is primarily focused on male/male erotica. The bulk of the collection is composed of black and white physique, nude, and sex photos from the late fifties and sixties, both professional and amateur. Of particular interest are a series of 5 photo scrapbooks compiled by Wood in the 1960s.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research. Researchers must be 18 years old or older to view sexually explicit materials. Restrictions to certain materials may apply. Please contact the archivist for more information. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Publication Rights

Copyright has been transferred to the GLBT Historical Society.

Preferred Citation

Tim Wood Erotica collection. GLBT Historical Society

Acquisition Information

Gift of Tim Wood in 1996 and 1997.

Biography/Administrative History

Tim Wood was born in 1924, growing up in a ranching and oil town in West Texas. After graduating High School in 1941, Wood attended the University of Texas (UT), obtaining a business degree while enrolled in the Naval ROTC program. Shortly following commencement in 1945, he was placed on active duty and was shipped to Honolulu in preparation for joining the war against Japan. The war ended shortly after he arrived in Hawaii, but Wood decided to stay and live on the island most American Servicemen couldn’t wait to leave. He secured a job in retail sales with Sears in Honolulu where he worked for nearly ten years. In 1953, after being passed over for an expected promotion, he approached the head of the local store to protest. When asked what he needed to do to get a promotion, the manager “...removed his glasses, looked me straight in the eye, and stated ‘Mr Wood, when you become married, we’ll talk about a promotion.” Stung at this none too subtle reference to his homosexuality, a frustrated Tim Wood returned to Texas where, in a strange twist, he was again hired by the Dallas, and later the Wichita Falls Sears stores. Fed up with the regressive political and cultural climate in Texas, a transfer was arranged to the Oakland Sears outlet and he moved to Oakland in 1958. He continued to work at that Sears store until his retirement in 1984. In 1962 he bought a home in the Berkeley Hills in the prosperous unincorporated town of Kensington, where he lived and participated in the leather community. Wood’s initial entry into gay life in the Bay Area was through going to Jack’s Baths on Post. He was a regular habitué of gay bathhouses until they closed in the early 1980s. When Dave, one of the more popular employees at Jack’s, opened his own bathhouse on Washington Street in 1959, Wood was one of many who moved his patronage to Dave’s. This bathhouse moved to the foot of Broadway in 1967, where it remained popular with many locals and, due to a European advertising campaign, a steady stream of European visitors. Dave’s closed in 1983.

Scope and Content of Collection

While a small number of personal documents is present, this collection is primarily focused on male/male erotica. This material was collected by Wood over his lifetime, and partially represents his personal sexual interests over this span of time. In addition, it documents the type and quality of erotica that was available to an urban-based gay man over this fifty year period. The collection contains both written and visual erotica, including promotional ads for erotica and sexual devices, both hand-typed and printed written erotica, erotic jokes and ephemera, black and white photographs, negatives, color slides, and erotic movies. The majority of photographs were produced in the 1960s. Photographers Bob Gianni and Gerry Coleman were well known by Wood. All photos whose source is identified are so attributed. Others marked in distinct ways are also grouped together. Those remaining are located in generic folders arranged by type or activity.

Indexing Terms

Gay erotica
Gay men --Sexual behavior.