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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biography
  • Processing Information
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Separated Materials
  • Preferred Citation

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Title: J. J. Belanger papers
    creator: Belanger, J. J. (Joseph John Bertrund)
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2011-035
    Physical Description: 6 Linear Feet 4 archive boxes, 2 clamshell boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1994
    Abstract: The papers comprise the subject files; audiotapes and photography; and correspondence, notes and other personal records of Joseph John Bertrund Belanger, known as J. J. Belanger, 1937-1994. Belanger was a military serviceman in the 1940s and 1950s, member and officer in the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and 1960s, a volunteer in numerous causes in the 1970s and 1980s, and a collector of LGBT history, especially of AIDS-related materials of the mid-to-late 1980s.


    The files are arranged in the following series:
    Series 1. Personal papers, 1937-1992
    Series 2. Subject files, 1952-1994
    Series 3. Audiotapes and photographs, 1942-1990

    Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises the personal papers, subject files, audiotapes, and photography of J. J. Belanger, 1937-1994. The personal papers consists of correspondence, notes, military records, reference material, and other personal material covering Belanger's life from 1937-1990.
    The subject files contain clippings, promotional materials, research articles, pamphlets and flyers, legal records, meeting minutes, newsletters, and other like materials documenting non-AIDS-related institutions which Belanger was involved with as well as AIDS-related material collected by Belanger. Of special note in these files is the Mattachine Society address book maintained by Belanger in 1958 as the society's Director of Public Relations.
    The open-reel audiotapes and photographic prints were created and/or collected by J. J. Belanger, 1942-1990. Of special note are the military era photographs from 1942-1960, documenting Belanger, his friends, and fellow service men.


    Joseph John Bertrund Belanger was born February 19, 1925, in Edmonton, Canada. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942 to 1944 where he was awarded a Defense Medal, Canadian Voluntary Service Medal, and War Medal for his World War II service. He worked odd jobs in Vancouver and Calgary until 1954 when he joined the United States Air Force. He served for five years, earning the Aviation Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Outstanding Airman of the 26th Air Refueling Squadron, numerous other commendations, and a promotion.
    Belanger became a member of the Mattachine Society in the early 1950s, but resigned in 1953 after an incident with police threatened to bring negative publicity to the organization. However, Belanger maintained contact with Hal Call and in 1958 became the Mattachine Society's Director of Public Relations. In 1959 he was voted out of the post, but still remained a member of the society.
    Since the 1950s Belanger has lived in either San Francisco and Los Angeles, although the particulars of his life are documented only sporadically. He was the Los Angeles coordinator of the Eulenspiegel Society in the 1970s. In the 1980s he was politically involved with the San Francisco chapter of the Stonewall Gay Democratic Club, where he ran and lost a bid for treasurer in 1988. Also in the 1980s he volunteered for Project Inform and was a member of the Quarantine Fighter’s Group. Belanger was also a devoted collector of LGBT history, especially of AIDS-related materials of the mid-to-late 1980s.
    (The Mattachine years were referenced from James T. Sears' Behind the Mask of the Mattachine, Harrington Park Press, 2006.)

    Processing Information

    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    The collection has been culled from boxes A248, 103-12, 103-17, 103-59, 103-81, 103-119, 103-127, 103-135, 103-193, 103-254, 103-283, 103-293, 103-294, 103-334, 104-35, 104-96, 104-130.
    Because the subject file materials of this collection overlap the content of the ONE Subject Files collection, only a sample of these materials have been retained in this collection. Because the AIDS-related files comprised the largest volume of the single-topic material, these materials as well as materials from organizations in which Belanger was actively involved were retained. These materials will provide a consolidated resource of these topics as well as an example of the distinctive annotation style of J. J. Belanger. See the Separated Materials note for a list of the subject files that were separated for integration into the ONE Subject Files collection.
    Collection processed by Amanda Meyncke and Kyle Morgan, September 2011.


    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).

    Separated Materials

    The following records have been deaccessioned: 1) personal files unrelated to any LGBT activism or history; 2) personal files other than J. J. Belanger's; 3) non-LGBT-related subject files; 4) non-LGBT-related mass mailings; and 5) duplicate material. Most LGBT-related clippings, mass mailings, and promotional material have been integrated into the ONE Subject Files.
    Deaccessioned publications include:
    Ellis, Dr. Albert, and Dr. Albert Abarbanel. The Encyclopedia of Sexual Behavior. Jason Aronson, Inc.: New York, 1973.
    Wolman, Benjamin B. (ed.) . Handbook of General Psychology. Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1973.
    San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration program, June 26, 1988.
    Periodicals integrated into the ONE periodical collection include unannotated issues of:
    Dialogue, volume 1, number 1 (1964).
    Frontier Athletic Club Bulletin/Newsletter and the Frontier Athletic Club's The Mighty, c1959-1968 (assorted issues).
    Gay, volume 1, numbers 11, 12; volume 2, number 1.
    Horseshit: The Offensive Review, number 3 (1968).
    PRIDE, Personal Rights through Defense and Education, volume 1, number 1 (May 1956).
    San Francisco Bay Guardian, volume 21, number 26 (1987).
    Assorted unannotated AIDS-related newsletters, 1986-1989, including Minnesota AIDS Project, PWA Voice, Stonewall News, D.A.I.R. Update, ACT UP San Francisco, NAPWA News, Healing AIDS, PI Perspective, ATIN, BETA, and the Exchange.

    Preferred Citation

    Box #, folder #, J. J. Belanger papers, Coll2011.035, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gays in the military
    AIDS (Disease)
    Belanger, J. J. (Joseph John Bertrund)