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Finding Aid to the Ralph W. Judd Collection on Cross-Dressing in the Performing Arts
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Materials collected by Ralph Judd relating to the history of cross-dressing in the performing arts. The collection is focused on popular music and vaudeville from the 1890s through the 1930s, and on film and television: it contains few materials on musical theater, non-musical theater, ballet, opera, or contemporary popular music. The materials consist primarily of sheet music, 1848-1988 (bulk circa 1895-1940), and studio publicity stills of motion pictures, 1900-1996, and of television productions, circa 1950-2000, that depict men and women dressed in attire considered appropriate to the opposite gender. The collection also contains a series of Research Files, arranged in a number of sub-series and consisting largely of studio stills, supplemented by press kits and other publicity materials, programs, reviews, photocopies, and clippings from newspapers and the popular press. The collection includes Judd’s writings, both published and unpublished, including his columns published in the cross-dressing press, as well as over 100 posters of motion pictures and theatrical performances that contain cross-dressing, and the remainder of Judd’s collection of VHS videos of motion pictures that depict cross-dressing.
Ralph Waverly Judd was born in Zillah, Washington, on April 22, 1930. He entered Harvard as a Harvard National Scholar in 1947. The following year he enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard and was elected Chairman of the Harvard Smoker Committee. He enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1949, being appointed cadet in 1950. While at the Coast Guard Academy he served as editor-in-chief of the cadet magazine, Surf 'n' Storm. Upon graduation in 1954 he was commissioned ensign. In 1955, while serving on the Northwind, he helped build the DEWline (Distant Early Warning). He served as Airborne Ice observer during the International Geophysical Year, and delivered motor fuel to Sir Edmund Hillary of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole. After duty in 1958 as executive officer of the Ivy, the world's largest buoy tender, he returned to the Coast Guard Academy as cross country coach, and advisor to the cadet magazine; he became Chief of the Physics Section in 1962. In 1964, he obtained an MBA from George Washington University and was assigned commanding officer of the Comanche. In 1966, he was Executive Officer for Precommissioning Detail, Tight Reign, in Bangkok, Thailand, then Construction Expediter and first Commanding Officer of the only US Coast Guard station in Vietnam. In 1968, he was appointed first Chief of Coast Guard Exchanges, Commissaries, Clubs and Messes. In 1971, he served as commanding officer of the Rockaway out of New York. He retired with the rank of Commander in 1972, and entered on a career as writer. He published his first book, The Coast Guard in Film, in the 1970s. He began collecting materials for what became the world's largest collection on cross-dressing in the performing arts in the late 1970s, and in 1988 earned a PhD in Communications from Clayton University with his thesis, Origins of Crossdressing: A History of performance en travesty. He continued to publish widely, including the pictorial books Drag Gags; Fun with Female Impersonation from the Movies (1991), and Drag Gags Return; Tongue-in-Cheek Fun with Female Impersonation from the Movies (1992), and articles in such mainstream periodicals as Readers Digest, US Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Bulletin, National Lampoon, Christopher Street, and Veterans Voices, and in a large number of specialty publications addressing the cross-dressing community. He died in Seattle, Washington, on December 20, 2007.
11 archive cartons + 2 archive half-cartons + 1 records box + 8 oversize boxes + 19 clamshell albums + 14 albums. (20 linear feet).
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.