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Finding aid of the Tom Young Papers

Finding aid prepared by Michael C. Oliveira, © 2006

Summary Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Young, Tom, 1947-1989
Tom Young papers
Collection no.
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1985-1989
Date [inclusive]
1947-1989 (bulk 1985-1989)
0.4 linear feet.
Photographs, photographic negatives, slides, graphic works, published and draft writings, and other materials relating to the life and literary and artistic career of Tom Young (1947-1989), author, artist, and assistant editor of The James White Review.

Preferred Citation

Box #, folder #, Tom Young papers, Coll2006-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Thomas LaMar Young was born in Wood River, Illinois, on May 14, 1947, and received his undergraduate degree from Illinois Normal Teacher's College. In 1975, he came to Minneapolis to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and became an activist in the gay community. He joined COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts and Sciences) as an Artist in the City in 1978, and founded the Howling Wolf Puppet Troupe. Young contributed poetry to the first issue of The James White Review (October 1983), named after his friend and mentor, and subsequently become an associate editor of the periodical. From time to time he also contributed pen and ink drawings for the Review's cover. He later explored drawing in chalk and construction of complex collages. In the late 1980s, the corporate offices of Radisson Hotels purchased a number of his works for their collection. Young's poetry was also published in  The Evergreen Chronicles,  No Apologies,  Seattle Gay News, and  PWAlive, a journal by, for, and about persons affected with AIDS. He was creator of the comic strip  Perky's Dad, and a founder of  PWAlive. He moved between Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Seattle, and while in the latter city he collaborated on a screenplay concerning Stonewall. Thomas Young died on February 20, 1989.


Tom Young Papers, Coll2006-005, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Lindahl, David. "Remembering Tom Young," PWAlive 2, no. 3 (April/May 1989), 4-5.

Ritter, John. "Young remembered for his contribution," Equal Time, March 23, 1989, 12.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The bulk of Young's papers consists of personal photographs, black and white negatives, and slides. While the photographs date from Young's infancy, they primarily document his later adult life; the negatives date from the late 1980's. The slides primarily depict Young's collages. The papers also contain a small sample of his published poetry, draft poetry and prose, and his comic strip, Perky's Dad. Additional materials include financial papers relating to the sale of his works, other personal papers, and documents concerning the disposition of his estate.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2006
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771


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 & 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 & 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).

Custodial History

In accordance with his will, Tom Young's papers passed on his death in 1989 to David M. Lindahl. Upon the latter's death in 1994, they passed, together with Lindahl's own papers, to Phil Willkie.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Phil Willkie, March 21, 2004.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, November 10, 2006.

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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Related Materials

Related Material

James L. White Papers, Coll2006-003, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

James White Review Association Records, Coll2006-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

David M. Lindahl Papers, Coll2006-006, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Young, Tom, 1947-1989


  • Comic books, strips, etc.
  • Gay artists
  • Gay men's writings, American
  • Gays' writings
  • Poetry
  • Poets, American--20th century

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 Published poetry and graphics 1985-1989 

1 1

 Perky's Dad 1988-1989 

1 2

 Photographs 1947-1988 

1 3

 Negatives circa 1985 

1 4

 Slides circa 1987 

1 5

 Poetry drafts 1969-1987 

1 6

 Prose drafts 1986-1988 

1 7

 Graphic works circa 1985 

1 8

 Correspondence 1985-1988 

1 9

 Clippings 1985,1989 

1 10

 Personal 1983-1989 

1 11

 Journal 1988 

1 12

 Estate documents 1988-1989 

1 13

 Memorial service condolence book 1989 

2 1

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