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Finding aid to the Jesse Jacobs papers, 1942-1998

Finding aid prepared by Kyle Morgan, © 2012

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

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Jacobs, Jesse, 1922-1998
Title
Jesse Jacobs papers
Collection no.
Coll2012.136
Date [inclusive]
1942-1998
Extent
1.0 linear feet., 1 archives box
Language
English
Abstract
The collection consists of personal papers and correspondence; organizational records from the League of Voters for Equal Rights (LOVER), ONE Institute, and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR); and acting-related materials created and/or collected by Jesse Jacobs, 1942-1998. Jacobs was a longtime character actor in theater and television, influential early member of Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), a president of LOVER and ONE Incorporated, and a board member for ONE Institute and ISHR.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Jesse Jacobs Papers, Coll2012-136, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Biography

Jesse Jacobs was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1922 and grew up in Brooklyn. He studied speech therapy at Brooklyn College, when during his senior year in 1943, he was drafted in the army. After the war's end, Jacobs pursued an acting career, working as Oscar Brand's assistant, teaching drama at the New Jersey College for Women, and joining the Men's Acting Company at Vassar. In 1952 with funding from the GI Bill, Jacobs earned a master's degree in drama at Columbia University. Across the 1950s Jacobs had minor roles in numerous New York theater productions, before moving to California in 1960 where he worked as a character actor in television.

In July 1972, Jacobs joined the recently formed Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), the world’s first synagogue for gay and lesbian Jews. Jacobs helped write some the congregation's first services and served for several years as the ritual chair, leading the majority of the services. In the late 1970s at a time when most temples still used male language for God, Jacobs helped created the first prayer book with gender-neutral language.

In 1975 Jacobs took his first job as a bookkeeper, an occupation that would become his primary profession for the next 20 plus years. In 1978 he became president of the League of Voters for Equal Rights (LOVER), a group dedicated to registering LGBT people to combat Proposition 6, also known as the Brigg's Initiative. Jacobs joined the board of directors at ONE Incorporated in 1981 where he served as president for six of the next fourteen years. When ONE joined with the International Gay & Lesbian Archives in 1994, Jacobs remained on the board and also became treasurer at the affiliated organization, the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR). Jacobs remained active in both organizations until his death in 1998.

Edited from Tracy Moore's article "Jesse Jacobs: An Original BCC Member." G''vanim, v.45, no.5 (January 1997).

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of personal papers and correspondence; organizational records; theater scripts, programs, and playbills; clippings; school records; photographs; and World War II materials created and/or collected by Jesse Jacobs, 1942-1998. The organizational records document Jacobs' involvement with the League of Voters for Equal Rights (LOVER), ONE Institute, and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2012
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.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Date of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Formerly housed in boxes 103-151 and 103-231. Collection processed by Kyle Morgan, 2012.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

Coll2012-133, Beth Chayim Chadashim Records, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.

Separated Materials

Guides:

Chicago's Gay Directory 1973. The Advocates of Gay Action Publishing Co-op.

Pocket Legal Guide for Gay People. Gay People's Legal Committee.

Periodicals:

Dignity, v.4, no.4-6, June-August 1973.

Prime Timers (Los Angeles), October/December 1997.

Theater Arts, October 1946 - February 1947.

Playbills:

The Royal Ballet from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, c. 1957.

Captain Brassbound's Conversion. Center Theater Group, Ahmanson Theater, 1968-1969.

Programs and catalogs:

Dignity First National Convention, 1973.

Wintersun Ah Men catalog.

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Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

  • Gay activists--California--Los Angeles
  • Gay men
  • Theater

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Jesse Jacobs papers 1942-1998 

Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 Art and photographs undated   Includes sheet music, poetry, 9 photographic prints, 43 negative strips, and 1 watercolor portrait.

Scope and Contents note

The photographs comprise professional headshots as well as stills from an acting performance in television or theater.

1 1

 Bills and receipts 1954-1955   [2 folders]

1 2-3

 The Barrier company 1950-1951 

Scope and Contents note

A theater company Jacobs performed with.

1 4

 Clippings 1950-1997   [2 folders]

1 5-6

 Correspondence, incoming 1946, 1955   [3 folders]

1 7-9

 League of Voters for Equal Rights (LOVER) 1977-1978   [3 folders]

1 10-12

 ONE Institute and the Institute for the Study of Human Resources (ISHR) 1996-1998 

1 13

 Personal notes and papers 1953-1997   [2 folders]

1 14-15

 Playbills and programs 1942-1958   [2 folders]

Scope and Contents note

Includes issues of The Playbill, the Columbia Theater Associates of Columbia University theater programs, and the Columbia University music class catalog.

1 16-17

 Scripts and school papers 1945-1955, undated   [5 folders]

Scope and Contents note

Includes scripts for Boy Meets Girl and  Utter Submission as well as an untitled script written by Jacobs. School records include those for drama classes he taught and attended.

1 18-22

 World War II materials 1944-1945   [2 folders]

Scope and Contents note

Includes a cigarette filter tip and a Nazi soldier's swastika armband.

1 23-24

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