Finding aid of the Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality Work Papers Coll2008-007

Michael P. Palmer
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2008
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality work papers
creator: Legg, W. Dorr (William Dorr Legg)
creator: Dynes, Wayne R.
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2008-007
Physical Description: 4.6 Linear Feet 1 archive box + 9 archive shoeboxes
Date (inclusive): circa 1980-1983
Abstract: Photocopy typescript, bibliographic cards, and research material for the Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality, projected but never completed by W. Dorr Legg (1904-1994) and Wayne R. Dynes (1934-), and intended to supersede Vern L. Bullough, Barrett W. Elcano, W. Dorr Legg, and James Kepner, ed., An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality (1976).
Physical Description: 1 box + 8 archival 3 x 5-inch boxes


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

Publication Rights

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).

Preferred Citation

Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality Work Papers, Coll2008-007, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Acquisition Information

Retained by W. Dorr Legg after the project fell through in the 1980s.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael P. Palmer, March 28, 2008.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Accrual processed by Kyle Morgan, 2015.


The Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality was a project of W. Dorr Legg and Wayne R. Dynes, and was intended to supersede Vern L. Bullough, Barrett W. Elcano, W. Dorr Legg, and James Kepner, ed., An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality (1976). The project was not completed due to a controversy between the authors as to whose name was to appear first in the credits. Dynes subsequently used much of the material he had collected in his Homosexuality; A Research Guide (1987) and Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (1990).
Pioneer gay activist William Dorr Legg was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 15, 1904. He graduated A.B. in 1926 from the University of Michigan, where he also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music and a Master's Degree in Landscape Design in 1928. He originally practiced landscape design in Florida and New York City, before taking an appointment as Assistant Professor of Landscape Design at Oregon State College (now University), in Corvallis, in 1935. In the mid-1940's Legg returned to Michigan to care for his elderly parents. While there he fell in love with Merton Bird, an accountant of African American ancestry. In search of a social environment more accepting of their interracial relationship, the couple moved in 1949 to Los Angeles, where Legg became increasingly active in the post-World War II gay community. Shortly after their arrival, the couple founded an interracial social organization for gay men, the Knights of the Clocks, which flourished for several years in the early 1950s. In 1951, Legg joined the Mattachine Society, founded the previous year by Harry Hay, and in 1952, Legg became one of the founders of ONE, Inc., giving up his professional career to become the business manager of the organization's monthly publication, also called ONE, the first issue of which appeared in 1953. With a distribution of 5,000 copies by the end of the 1950s, it was the first widely distributed gay publication in the United States. Although the United States Post Office confiscated the October 1954 issue as "lewd, obscene, lascivious and filthy" and therefore unfit to be sent through the mails, in 1958 the United States Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, ruled in favor of ONE, thereby establishing the right to send gay and lesbian material through the mail.
Legg considered educating the public as key to gaining acceptance for gays and lesbians. To this end he was instrumental in establishing ONE's Institute of Homophile Studies, which opened in 1956, offering college- and graduate-level courses, special programs, and public lectures, and supporting a library of research materials. In the same year, Legg, under the pseudonym Marvin Cutler, published the first American survey of the gay rights movement, Homosexuals Today: A Handbook of Organizations and Publications. Legg also founded ONE Institute's Quarterly of Homophile Studies and co-edited the Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality (1976), a pioneering interdisciplinary survey of gay and lesbian studies.
Legg remained a vigorous activist and scholar until the very end of his life. In 1994, in collaboration with David G. Cameron and Walter L. Williams, he published Homophile Studies in Theory and Practice, an exhaustive history of ONE and its educational endeavors. Legg died shortly after the book's publication, on July 26, 1994, in Los Angeles.
Wayne R. Dynes was born in 1934, and was raised in Los Angeles. He earned a B.A. from UCLA, and in 1969 a Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He is retired as Professor of Art History at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is the author of Homolexis: A Historical and Cultural Lexicon of homosexuality (1985) and omosexuality: A Research GuideH (1987). Dynes also edited the two-volume Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (1990) and is former editor of Cabirion: Gay Books Bulletin. He was a co-founder of New York's Gay Academic Union in 1973.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of a photocopy of a typescript of the proposed Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality, 3 x 5-inch cards with bibliographic entries, and research materials. The photocopy typescript covers the letters A through L, arranged in binders, and includes loose interleaved slips and cards. The bibliographic cards were found in drawers, arranged as follows: Cos-Dil, Dim-E, Mas-Mi, Mo-Ni, No-Pa, Pe-Po, Pr-Rh, Sa-Sch, Sco-Sn, M-Z, and Porn.

Other Finding Aids

Box 45, Folders 7-30, ONE Incorporated records, Coll2011.001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Homosexuality -- Bibliography
Dynes, Wayne R.
Legg, W. Dorr (William Dorr Legg)
Dynes, Wayne R.


Binders circa 1980

Physical Description: 15 folders.
Box 1, Folder 1-3

A-B circa 1980

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 1, Folder 4-7

C-E circa 1980

Physical Description: 4 folders.
Box 1, Folder 8-10

F-G circa 1980

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 1, Folder 11-13

H-J circa 1980

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 1, Folder 14

K circa 1980

Box 1, Folder 15

L circa 1980


Bibliographic cards circa 1980

Physical Description: 9 boxes.
Box 2

ACossery - Dryer circa 1980

Box 3

Duane - Eyster ; Martin - Mezieres circa 1980

Box 4

Miami - Mitzel ; Moan - Nizam circa 1980

Box 5

Noack - Pitts circa 1980

Box 6

Place - Rizzo circa 1980

Box 7

Ro - Schjeldahl circa 1980

Box 8

Schlaf - Snyder circa 1980

Box 9

M de F ; Porn circa 1980

Box 10

A-L, minority-related publications circa 1980

Scope and Contents

Includes 6 miscellaneous bibliogrpahic cards.

Editorial drafts and research circa 1981-1983

Box 1, Folder 16

Editorial draft, letter "L" circa 1981

Box 1, Folder 17-37

Research files, B-W circa 1983

Scope and Contents

Includes bibliographic files on Joseph Wambaugh and Carlos Castaneda.