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Guide to the Willie Walker Erotica Collection, 1924-2003
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Separated Material
  • Related Material at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Willie Walker Erotica Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1924-2003
    Accession number: 2002-01
    Creator: Willie Walker (1949 - )
    Extent: 30 Boxes
    Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
    San Francisco, California.
    Abstract: The collection contains a wide variety of erotic photographs, drawings, photographic reproductions, stories, catalogs, and pamphlets collected by GLBTHS founder, Willie Walker.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to materials in the collection are either held by the creator or his/her heirs or, in most cases, are in the public domain.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Walker Erotica Collection, 2002-01, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    Items acquired by the GLBT Historical Society from 1990 through 2003. The collection is open and additional materials will be added over time. Consult the GLBT Historical Society archivist for more detailed information on individual items.


    Willie Walker was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on 2 February 1949; members of his family were long time residents of Texas. Walker was raised in Fort Worth. His parents divorced in 1964 and shortly thereafter he moved with his mother to St. Louis, Missouri. He joined his sister, Barb, and her family in Montana in 1967. He graduated from high school in Three Forks, Montana, in 1968. Walker lived on-and-off in Montana until 1981; during this period, Walker attended the University of Montana and Montana State University at Bozeman, where he earned a BS in nursing in 1979. While living in Montana, Walker also became interested in local history and public history. In 1979 he was instrumental in founding the Butte/Silver Bow (Montana) Archives, the designated repository for the non-current local government public records and a selection of records of private organizations.
    In 1981, Walker moved to San Francisco where he worked as a nurse at R. K. Davies Medical Center and then, beginning in 1987, at the AIDS Ward at San Francisco General Hospital. Walker also continued to pursue his interest in community history when he was invited to join the Lesbian and Gay History Project in 1982. Through his contacts with the local community of historians, Walker began to conceptualize and share his idea about establishing an archive for gay and lesbian materials in San Francisco. In 1985, Walker, along with Greg Pennington and Eric Garber, founded what eventually became the GLBT Historical Society. In an effort to develop his skills as an archivist and to help the Historical Society develop its collections, Walker enrolled as a graduate student at UC Berkeley's Library School in 1987. In 1988 he received an MLIS with a focus on archival administration. Walker served as volunteer archivist between 1985 and 1998 and then between 1998 and 2000 Walker was employed as the Historical Society's archivist. He now serves as "Archivist Emeritus" and continues to volunteer for the Historical Society on a regular basis.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Walker Erotica Collection is a deliberately created and arranged collection of erotic photographs, reproductions of drawings, serials, catalogs, stories, and other materials. The collection was begun by Walker when he worked and volunteered as an archivist for the GLBT Historical Society between 1990 and 2003. The collection originally was called the GLHS Erotica Collection but was renamed the Willie Walker Erotica Collection in 2000 by the GLBT Historical Society Board of Directors in tribute to Walker's work. Walker created the collection with the following goal in mind: "To represent the range of erotic materials created for, or appropriated by, homosexuals in North America during the twentieth century."
    The main strength of the collection is male homoerotica and pornography, but it also contains important materials representing lesbian sexuality, bisexuality, and non-normative sexual behaviors. The collection is particularly strong in photographs of male models from the classic age of male physique photography (roughly 1945 to 1967) and photographic reproductions of erotic art drawn by artists whose works were published in physique magazines and distributed through underground networks during the same era. The collection also documents the more commercial sex industry and includes hundreds of catalogs (both brochures and longer pamphlets) produced by producers and distributors of pornographic films from the 1960s through the beginning of the twenty-first century. Walker also strove to collect materials documenting sexual practices that are rarely or irregularly represented in published erotica, including fisting, bestiality, and "water sports" (urine fetish and play). Moreover, he actively collected material that expressed racial and gender diversity; it must be acknowledged, however, that such depictions are relatively rare, and the extent of such materials in this collection is limited.


    The collection is divided into six series:
    1. Photographs
    2. Printed or Copied Art
    3. Serials
    4. Catalogs
    5. Stories
    6. Miscellaneous Material

    Separated Material

    Books: About 250 books were removed from the Walker Erotica Collection. These books include fiction and nonfiction "pulp" paperbacks; scholarly nonfiction studies; and large format art and photography books. See Appendix A for a list of books removed from the Walker Erotica Collection and placed in the GLBTHS Rare Book Collection.
    Magazines: About 100 magazines were removed from the Walker Erotica Collection and placed in the GLBTHS Periodicals Collection.

    Related Material at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

    Title: Patrick Butler Collection of Gay Male Erotica
    Identifier/Call Number: 1987-5
    Title: Buzz Bense Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1991-26
    Title: Glenn M. Turner/Guild Press - Records
    Identifier/Call Number: 1991-33
    Title: Anon Scrapbooks, 1960s
    Identifier/Call Number: 1992-15
    Title: Gene Weber Papers and Photographs
    Identifier/Call Number: 1993-22
    Title: Bill Biglow Collection of Black Male Erotica
    Identifier/Call Number: 1995-11
    Title: Orvis Bryant Erotica Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 1995-12
    Title: Fred K. Erotica Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 1996-4
    Title: Tim Wood Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1996-18
    Title: Sylvester Magill Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1996-54
    Title: Darrell D. Erotica Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 1996-48
    Title: Mark I. Chester Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1997-26
    Title: On Our Backs Graphic Materials
    Identifier/Call Number: 1998-32
    Title: Michael Burnside Photo Negatives
    Identifier/Call Number: 1999-85
    Title: Jack Lasner Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 2000-06
    Title: Reed Massengill Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 2000-55
    Title: Jiro Onuma Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 2000-27
    Title: Roméo L'Heureux Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 2000-33
    Title: Ambrose DuBek Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 2002-22
    Title: Claude Schwob Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 2003-12