Eric E. Rofes 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

Descriptive Summary

Title: Eric E. Rofes Papers
Dates: 1979-2005 (bulk 1985-2003)
Collection Number: GLC 60
Creator/Collector: Rofes, Eric E., 1954-2006
Extent: 71 boxes
Repository: San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center
San Francisco, California 94102
Abstract: The Rofes Papers contains drafts of his writings, clippings, subject and research files, teaching notes, and correspondence. Rofes was involved with the Gay Men's Health Collective, and Shanti Project, among others. His research interests included gay teachers, education, charter schools, gay men's health, AIDS/HIV education, social life of gay men in the 1970s, and media coverage of gay issues. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Bowdoin College.
Language of Material: English


The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours. The collection is stored offsite and should be requested 48 hours in advance. Some restrictions apply for the interviews in Series 11; consult LGBTQIA archivist for more information.

Publication Rights

Copyright retained by the Eric E. Rofes estate, 2007.

Preferred Citation

Eric E. Rofes Papers. San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Acquisition Information

Donated by Dan Derdula for the Eric E. Rofes estate, 2007, and 2019.

Biography/Administrative History

Eric Rofes (August 31, 1954–June 26, 2006) was a gay activist, educator, and author who wrote or edited 12 books. He grew up in Commack, New York. He graduated from Harvard University and went on to receive a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995 as well as a doctorate in social and cultural studies in 1998. He was appointed to the White House Conference on the Family in 1980. He became director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in the 1980s. In 1989, he became executive director of the Shanti Project, a nonprofit AIDS service organization in San Francisco. He resigned in 1993. In 1998, Rofes wrote "Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures," in which he argued that the AIDS crisis had passed and gay men needed to free themselves from the sense of emergency and victimhood. He was a professor of Education at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and served on the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and White Crane Institute. One of the last projects he worked on was the creation, with Chris Bartlett, of a series of "Gay Men's Health Leadership Academies" to combat what he saw as a "pathology-focused understanding of gay men" in safe-sex education.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is organized into 11 series: Series 1. Teaching Files, University of California, Berkeley, and Bowdoin College. Series 2: Charter School Research Files. Series 3: Selected Readings. Series 4: Speaking Engagements "Gigs." Series 5: Articles, Writings and Books. Series 6: Education and Media Files. Series 7: Gay Men's Health Files, includes Gay Men's Health Summits. Series 8: Organizational Records: Shanti Project and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center. Series 9: Queer Media Files. Series 10: Correspondence. Series 11: "Gay Men’s Social Networks and Sexual Cultures in the United States, 1973-1982" project files.

Indexing Terms

Homosexuality and education--United States.
Homophobia in education.
Gay students--United States.
Lesbian students--United States.
Gay teachers--United States.
Lesbian teachers--United States.
Queer theory.
Gay men--United States--Attitudes.
Gays--United States--Identity.
Gay community--United States.
AIDS (Disease)--United States.
Gay men--Sexual behavior--United States.
Rofes, Eric E., 1954-2006--Archives
Shanti Project (San Francisco, Calif.).
Gay/Lesbian Community Services Center.

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