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Finding aid of the Stephan D. Michael Papers

Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama, © 2008

Summary Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Michael, Stephan D., 1960-1994
Stephan D. Michael papers
Collection no.
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1990-1994
Date [inclusive]
3.6 linear feet.
General Physical Description note
3 archive cartons + 2 oversize flat archive cartons.
Diaries, correspondence, legal papers, medical records, financial records, textiles, memorabilia, audiotapes, scrapbooks, photographs, notes and miscellaneous typescripts of Stephan D. Michael, who documented the last years of his life before dying of AIDS in 1994, at the age of 34. The materials document Michael's childhood in Japan; his relationship with his estranged family as well as past lovers; his financial troubles relating to his medical bills; and his final years attending the University of Washington while dealing with the circumstances of his HIV-positive status.

Preferred Citation

Box #, folder #, Stephan D. Michael Papers, Coll2008-045, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Stephen Michael Emily was born in Missouri on June 25, 1960; the son of Donald, a Lutheran missionary, and Jean Emily. In the early 1960s, the family moved to Japan, where Stephen was raised until the age of 14. The family returned to the United States and lived in San Francisco, where Stephen eventually attended San Francisco State University and the Academy of Art College. By the 1980s, Stephen's relationship with his family was strained, and he legally changed his name to Stephan Michael in 1981. He continued to live in San Francisco where he worked in various retail jobs.

By the 1990s, Stephan Michael contracted the HIV virus. Having never earned a college degree, he moved to Seattle, Washington, where he attended the University of Washington and lived with his partner, Eric Phillips. Throughout the rest of his life--with the support of Phillips and a woman named Jane May (whom he refers to as "Aunt")--he attended college classes while living with the circumstances of his HIV-positive status. In December 1993, he received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington. Less than a year later, Stephan Michael died of AIDS on November 2, 1994 in Seattle.

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Scope and Content of Collection

This collection contains diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, legal papers, financial records, medical records, textiles, memorabilia, audiotapes and miscellaneous material from Stephan D. Michael. The bulk of the material documents the final five years of his life (1989 - 1994), during which he attended the University of Washington while living with the effects of his HIV-positive status. The collection is divided into two series: (1) Personal Papers and (2) Memorabilia, Textiles and Miscellaneous Material.

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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

Gift of Jane May, April 7, 1994.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, June 27, 2008.

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

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Related Materials

Separated Material

The following book has been transferred to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archive library collection: Tony Kushner, Angels in America, 1993.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Michael, Stephan D., 1960-1994


  • AIDS (Disease)
  • Diaries
  • Gay men

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Personal Papers 1970-1994   2.3 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series comprises correspondence, date books, diaries, scrapbooks, legal papers, medical records, financial records, photographic negatives and miscellaneous material. Each of the scrapbooks contains notes, correspondence, clippings, drawings, typescripts and photographs, with some photographs dating back to Michael's childhood. Notably, this series includes diaries documenting Michael's daily battle with AIDS; correspondence with Jane May and with his lover, Eric Phillips; Michael's petition to file for bankruptcy (1990), which includes medical bills for his AIDS treatment; and Michael's Last Will and Testament.

 Correspondence 1991 - 1993 

Box Folder

 General 1991 - 1992 

1 1

 May, Jane 1992 - 1993 

1 2

 Phillips, Eric 1992 

1 3

 Postcards 1993 - 1994 

1 4

 Date Books 1992 - 1993 

Box Folder


2 1


2 2

 Diaries 1990 - 1994 

Box Folder

 "Bauhaus" 1992 - 1993 

2 3

 "The Dream Journal" 1990 

2 4

 "Melody of Life" 1993 - 1994 

2 5
Box Folder

 German 341: Franz Kafka, University of Washington Fall Quarter 1992 

1 5

 Income Tax Return Material 1986 - 1992 

1 6

 Information About AIDS Undated 

1 7

 Last Will and Testament for Stephan Michael 1992 - 1994 

1 8

 Medical Examiner / Coroner's Register Forms 1991 

1 9

 Petition for Bankruptcy and Related Material 1990 

1 10

 Scrapbooks circa 1970 - 1994 

Box Folder

 "Alaska Airlines / Vienna Noise Choir" 1991 - 1993 

3 1

 "Born-Again Pagan" circa 1970 - 1994 

4 1

 "Queerify America" 1993 - 1994 

4 2

 "Vienna Noise Choir" 1989 - 1993 

3 2
Box Folder

 Stephan Michael v. Mark Cross, Inc. Charge of Discrimination and Related Material 1990 - 1991 

1 11

 Photographic Negatives Undated 

1 12

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Series 2:  Series 2. Memorabilia, Textiles and Miscellaneous Material circa 1960 - 1993   1.3 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

This series comprises books, an amulet, audiotapes, a keychain, a handkerchief, a baptismal suit and a stuffed animal bear with sewn patches and other memorabilia. Some of these items are memorabilia from Japan, where Michael grew up, or from Korea, where Jane May resided in the 1990s.

Box Folder

 Amulet Undated 

5 1

 Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner 1993 

5 1-2?

 Baptismal Suit and Blanket, Lutheran Church Clergy Family circa 1960 

5 2

 Handkerchief (Japan) Undated 

5 3

 [Japanese language book] Undated 

2 6

 Keychain (Korea) Undated 

5 4

 Michael Channeling Audiotapes 1991 - 1993   3.0 audiocassettes.

3 3-5

 Stuffed Animal (Bear) with Patches 1971 

5 5

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