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Finding aid of the Fred Boydell Papers

Finding aid prepared by Michael P. Palmer, © 2008

Summary Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Boydell, Fred, 1906-1987
Fred Boydell papers
Collection no.
Date [inclusive]
0.25 linear foot.
Recollections and other autobiographical materials by Fred Boydell (1906-1987), recounting his experiences growing up gay in Scotland, his emigration to California in 1969, and his life as an older gay man in Hollywood.

Preferred Citation

Fred Boydell papers, Coll2008-047, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

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Fred Boydell was born in Scotland on September 9, 1906, the son of a dairy farmer. His father died when Boydell was thirteen, and he was apprenticed to a manufacturer. He eventually settled near Glasgow. Although he realized he was gay before his teens, he married in his 30s; his wife, who was aware of his sexual orientation, died after approximately ten years, leaving a young daughter. In 1969, facing mandatory retirement, Boydell accepted the invitation of a friend, an antiques dealer in Los Angeles, to move to California and help him run the business. In Los Angeles, he became involved with the Society of Pat Rocco Enlightened Enthusiasts (SPREE). He later volunteered his services with ONE, Inc. He died in Los Angeles in February 1987.

Source: Fred Boydell Papers, Coll2008-047, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of computer printouts of materials written by Boydell between 1984 and 1986. The bulk of these materials consists of Boydell's reminiscences, covering his life in Scotland from 1906 to 1969, his sexual awakening and experiences, his marriage and daughter, and his first years in Los Angeles. Sex and I, extracted from his autiobiography, recounts his sexual experiences to the age of six;  Sex and Sammy is a fictionalized version of this account.  Joly's bar contains Boydell's recollections of one of the oldest gay bars in Los Angeles. The correspondence file contains printouts of two letters from 1984, to friends or family members, relating to music synthesizers. The ONE, Inc., folder contains Boydell's proposal to catalog the organization's audio-visual materials.

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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

Date and method of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael P. Palmer, June 30, 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


  • Autobiography

Personal Name(s)

  • Boydell, Fred, 1906-1987


  • Gays--California--Los Angeles
  • Gays--Scotland

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Collection Inventory

 Historical reminiscences circa 1984-1986   4.0 folders.

Box Folder

 Autobiography circa 1984-1986 

1 1

 Autobiographical notes circa 1984-1986 

1 2

 Sex and I 1985 

1 3

 Joly's bar circa 1984-1986 

1 4
Box Folder

 Correspondence 1984 

1 5

 ONE, Inc 1986 

1 6

 Sex and Sammy circa 1984-1986 

1 7

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