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Guide to the William E. Houston Correspondence and Collection of Erotic Stories
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William E. Houston correspondence and collection of erotic stories
    Dates: Circa 1940-1995
    Collection number: 1994-22
    Creator: Houston, William E.
    Creator: Dougherty, Joseph R., 1929-1994
    Collection Size: 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
    Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
    San Francisco, California 94105
    Abstract: William Houston was a gay man from Santa Fe, New Mexico, with an interest in collecting erotic stories about men. Collection includes, in addition to typescripts of 47 erotic stories, correspondence regarding Houston's life with his lover Duke (Joseph R. Dougherty), and responses to a 1973 sex advertisement placed in The Advocate by Dougherty.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials created by the donor has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Preferred Citation

    William E. Houston correspondence and collection of erotic stories, 1994-22, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by William E. Houston.


    William E. Houston, a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was raised in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, but little else is known about his life. He lived for many years with his lover, Duke (a pseudonym for Joseph R. Dougherty), who was born in 1929 and died of cancer in 1994.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection comprises primarily 47 erotic stories by anonymous authors (with two exceptions) about gay male sexual experiences collected by Bill Houston. The majority of the stories are photocopied or mimeographed, and date from the 1940s and 1950s. Before commercial pornography was readily available, men used to write stories, and type or mimeograph them in order to trade them; the stories in this collection are of that genre.
    In addition to the stories, the collection includes two files of correspondence. The first, dated 1973, contains responses to a sex ad placed in The Advocate by Ed Granger, a pseudonym for Joe Dougherty. Dougherty, later in life, was Bill Houson's lover, and was known at that time as Duke Houston. In addition to correspondence from the men answering the ad, the second file includes some photographs and note cards documenting Granger's (Dougherty's) interactions with several of them, either by telephone or in-person. The second correspondence file, dated 1994-1995, consists of correspondence between James Duggins of the GLBT Historical Society, and Bill Houston, and provides biographical details about Houston's life and interests, and his relationship with his lover, Duke (Joe Dougherty).


    Collection is arranged by type of material; stories are arranged alphabetically by title.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Houston, William E.
    Dougherty, Joseph R., 1929-1994
    Erotic stories
    Gay men--Sexual behavior
    New Mexico--Santa Fe (county)--Santa Fe

    Other Finding Aids

    A list of the titles of stories in the collection is available at the GLBT Historical Society.