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Finding aid of the Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality Work Papers

Finding aid prepared by Michael P. Palmer, © 2008

Summary Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Dynes, Wayne R., 1934-
Creator - Creator
Legg, W. Dorr, (William Dorr Legg), 1904-1994
Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality work papers
Collection no.
circa 1980
2.5 linear feet.
General Physical Description note
1 box + 8 archival 3 x 5-inch boxes
Photocopy typescript and bibliographic cards 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).

Preferred Citation

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

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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.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of a photocopy of a typescript of the proposed Comprehensive Bibliography of Homosexuality, together with 3 x 5-inch cards with bibliographic entries. 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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2008
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 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).

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.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Dynes, Wayne R., 1934-


  • Homosexuality--Bibliography

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Collection Inventory

 Binders circa 1980   15.0 folders.

Box Folder

 A-B circa 1980   3.0 folders.

1 1-3

 C-E circa 1980   4.0 folders.

1 4-7

 F-G circa 1980   3.0 folders.

1 8-10

 H-J circa 1980   3.0 folders.

1 11-13

 K circa 1980 

1 14

 L circa 1980 

1 15

 Bibliographic cards circa 1980   8.0 boxes.


 ACossery - Dryer circa 1980 


 Duane - Eyster ; Martin - Mezieres circa 1980 


 Miami - Mitzel ; Moan - Nizam circa 1980 


 Noack - Pitts circa 1980 


 Place - Rizzo circa 1980 


 Ro - Schjeldahl circa 1980 


 Schlaf - Snyder circa 1980 


 M de F ; Porn circa 1980 


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