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Ralph G. Moritz Papers

Finding aid prepared by Michael P. Palmer, © 2008

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator
Moritz, Ralph G., 1912-1998
Title
Ralph G. Moritz papers
Collection no.
Coll2008.040
Date [inclusive]
1967-1985
Extent
0.4 linear foot.
Language
English
Abstract
Travel diaries of librarian and classical music enthusiast Ralph G. Moritz (1912-1998), listing the sights he saw, the concerts he attended, and his sexual encounters on his travels from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The bulk of the collection consists of letters Moritz received from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s from Samuel Potter, aka "Octavian", Brown (1916-1995), an expatriate American living in Rome, who in the 1970s and early 1980s ran a small bed and breakfast and male bordello, that Moritz frequented, out of his apartment. The letters detail the trials, tribulations, and pleasures of life in Rome, and are filled with gossip about the lives of his "boys" and his clients, from the unnamed to the famous.

Preferred Citation

Ralph G. Moritz Papers, Coll2008-040, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Biography

Ralph G. Moritz was born in Waterloo, Iowa, on November 16, 1912. He attended the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Rapids, in the 1930s. He became a librarian; his last known position was Chief Catalog Librarian at California State University, Los Angeles. His special interests were travel and music, and from at least the 1960s onwards he made several trips a year to music festivals and performances both in the United States and Europe. He died in Los Angeles on June 19, 1998.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of Moritz's travel diaries and the letters he received from Octavian Brown. Moritz traveled extensively to Europe, where he attended music festivals and performances. The diaries consist largely of typewritten outlines of Moritz's daily activities-including, from the late 1970s, his sexual encounters-on his travels. The letters from Brown form the bulk of the collection. Samuel Potter, aka "Octavian", Brown (1916-1995) was an expatriate American living in Rome, who in the 1970s and early 1980s ran a small bed and breakfast and male bordello, that Moritz frequented, out of his apartment. The letters, written in an engaging, breezy style, detail the trials, tribulations, and pleasures of life in Rome, and are filled with gossip about the lives of his "boys" and his clients, from the unnamed to the famous. In 1982, Brown moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he died in 1995. The miscellaneous materials include a letter on family matters from C. E. Moritz, of Denver, Colorado, a 1985 letter to Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith, concerning one of the latter's columns, several typed pages of notes for a "philosophy essay" and an autobiography, and two maps of Rome from a late 19th/early 20th century Baedeker.

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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
askone@usc.edu

Access

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

Date and method of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael P. Palmer, June 24, 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

Personal Name(s)

  • Brown, Octavian (Samuel P.), 1916-1995
  • Moritz, Ralph G., 1912-1998

Subject(s)

  • Europe--Voyages and travels
  • Italy--Voyages and travels
  • Male prostitution--Italy
  • Voyages and travels

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Collection Inventory

 Travel Diaries 1967-1984   2.0 folders.

Box Folder

  1967-1979 

1 1

  1980-1984 

1 2

 Octavian Brown Correspondence 1972-1983 

Box Folder

  1972-1979 

1 3

  1980 

1 4

  1981 

1 5

  1982-1983 

1 6
Box Folder

 Miscellaneous circa 1978-1984 

1 7

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