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Guide to the Virginia Prince Papers, 1930-1980
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Virginia Prince Papers
    Dates: 1930-1980
    Identification: SC/VP
    Creator: Prince, Virginia, 1912-2009
    Physical Description: 1.67 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Special Collections
    Abstract: Virginia Prince established, edited, and wrote for the magazine Transvestia. As editor and writer for Transvestia, Prince collected newspaper clippings, magazine articles, cartoons, and photographs on cross dressing that appeared in other print media outlets. The clippings date from the 1930s to 1970s. She subscribed to a news service which scanned a number of publications across the country, and sent clippings to her. The clippings file served as a resource for the magazine.

    Biographical Information:

    Virginia Prince was born a male on November 23, 1912, in Los Angeles. She began cross-dressing at about the age of twelve, at first using her mother's clothes. In 1939, she received a PhD in pharmacology from the University of California, San Francisco. As a research assistant and lecturer in pharmacology, Prince used the opportunity of access to the medical library to become acquainted with medical literature on transvestism.
    By 1956, Prince began to develop her philosophy of transvestism and began her mission to educate the medical profession, transvestites themselves, and the rest of the world. This involved the development of the idea of 'femmiphilia', or, love of the feminine. Prince preferred to call herself a femmiphile (FP) rather than a transvestite. At the time little information was available in print, even in the medical literature, and most people's knowledge of transvestism was gleaned from newspapers such as the British People and News of the World.
    In 1960, Prince established Transvestia, a magazine she also edited and wrote for. The magazine was published by Prince's Chevalier Publications, and was sold by subscription and through adult bookshops. Over the years Chevalier Publications also published transvestite fiction, some of it written by Prince herself. Prince continued her efforts on behalf of the transvesite and transgender communities until shortly before her death in 2009.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Paper records

    Personal Name:

    Ashley, April, 1935
    Coccinelle, 1935
    Cowell, Roberta, 1918
    Jorgensen, Christine, 1926-1989
    Rees, Tamara

    Topical Term:

    Transsexuals -- Press coverage
    Transvestites -- Press coverage

    Administrative Information

    Processing Information:

    Tony Gardner

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Related Materials:

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: People
    Series II: Advertisements, Cartoons, and Newspaper Photographs
    Series III: Dated News Clippings, 1930-1972
    Series IV: Topical News Clippings
    Series V: News Clippings A-Z, 1937-1972

    Scope and Contents

    As editor and writer for Transvestia, Virginia Prince collected newspaper clippings, magazine articles, cartoons, and photographs on cross dressing that appeared in various print media outlets. The clippings date from the 1930s to 1970s, and served as a resource for the magazine.
    The Virginia Prince Papers are arranged into five series. Series I, People, contains clippings about specific individuals, and is arranged alphabetically. Series II, Advertisements, Cartoons, and Newspaper Photographs, is arranged alphabetically by format or title. Series III, Dated News Clippings (1930-1972), is arranged chronologically. Series IV, Topical News Clippings, is arranged alphabetically by subject. Series V, News Clippings A-Z (1937-1972), is arranged alphabetically by publication title.