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Guide to the Scott Bishop Papers, 1989-1990
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Scott Bishop Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1989-1990
    Accession number: 90-11
    Creator: Bishop, Scott
    Extent: .5 Liner feet in one half-box
    Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
    San Francisco, California.
    Shelf location: Housed at the GLBT Historical Society.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The papers of Scott Bishop (#90-11) were given to GLHS by the manager of the Ambassador Hotel when Bishop's room was being cleaned following his death in 1990. It was Bishop's intention that his research materials be donated to GLHS.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials is not held by the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

    Audio-Visual Materials

    Audio cassette-tapes of oral histories.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Scott Bishop Papers, 90-11, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society of Northern California.


    Scott T. Bishop was born in Rochester, NY, December 28th, 1945, and moved to the San Francisco area in the early 1970's. Bishop worked in the Oakland shipyards for many years and later as an office temporary worker until 1989, when he became disabled with AIDS. Bishop was also active in the Metropolitan Community Church and various 12 step recovery groups. Because of his illness, and because he "wanted to make a difference," Bishop returned to San Francisco State University (SFSU) and began graduate level studies focusing on the history of the San Francisco lesbian and gay communities. Scott Bishop died of AIDS related complications September 12th, 1990 at the age of 45. An obituary appeared in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) September 27th, 1990.

    Scope and Content

    The Scott Bishop papers (.5 linear feet) are the result of Bishop's school work at SFSU from the fall of 1989 through June of 1990. The records are composed of two series, oral history interviews and class papers.
    The interviews were part of an oral history project for a SFSU graduate history class (history 899), Spring 1990 semester. Conducted between February and May, 1990, they are arranged by interview date. Bishop was researching the emergence of the lesbian and gay rights movement as a political force in San Francisco from the late 1950's up to the early 1970's, focusing mostly on events in the early 1960's. Questions about the 1959 Wolden/Christopher mayoral race, the 1960 "Gayola" police bribery scandal, the 1960 Daughters of Bilitis National Convention and the 1965 California Hall incident appear in every interview. Bishop interviewed both straight political and civic leaders of that era as well as lesbian and gay activists involved in these incidents. The specific questions asked and the variety of answers received provide a unique look at the difference in people's memories. Cassette tapes and complete transcriptions exist for seven of the nine interviews conducted; for two of the interviews, Lyon and Martin and George Mendenhall, only a transcription, presumed to be complete, exists.
    Papers consist of Bishop's work for three history classes at SFSU, a paper delivered at a California State University (CSU) research conference, and a series of articles written by Bishop that were published in the BAR . Organizing the Lesbian in San Francisco to Obtain Political Power - A Case Study was written for History 300 at SFSU in the Fall of 1989. It traces the development of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) and efforts by DOB to effect social change. This paper became the bases for the CSU conference paper and for the series published in the BAR in 1990. The second paper is an untitled history of the lesbian and gay communities in San Francisco from 1950 to 1960, written for History 699, also in the fall of 1989. For this paper Bishop has integrated gay history and gay theory with local newspaper articles, U.S. government publications and various non-gay publications. The last paper in this series is a final for History 899, written in the Spring of 1990. Titled The Oppression of Gay Men and Women in San Francisco and Their Efforts to Empower Themselves, 1960-1964 this paper looks at the formation of gay organizations in S.F. and how these groups worked to fight political oppression.

    Related Collections

    Title: Bois Burke Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 89-7
    Title: Len Evens Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 93-8
    Title: Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 93-13
    Title: Jose Sarria Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 96-1
    Each of the above collections document aspects of the late 1950's and early 1960's in San Francisco.
    Seven cassette tapes are also cross-referenced under the Oral History project with the following accession numbers:
    Interviews with:
    Title: Thomas Cahill
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-96
    Title: George Christopher
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-97
    Title: Robert Cromey
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-98
    Title: Herb Donaldson
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-99
    Title: Richard Hongisto
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-100
    Title: Agar Jaicks
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-101
    Title: Larry Littlejohn
    Identifier/Call Number: O.H. Accession #: 95-102