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Finding aid to the Robert F. Craig papers and photographs, 1934-2000

Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama and Monica Ramsy, (c) 2013

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
Craig, Robert F., 1934-2000
Title
Robert F. Craig Papers and Photographs
Collection no.
Coll2012.177
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1980-2000
Date [inclusive]
1934-2000
Extent
7.8 linear feet., 1 archive box + 1 archive binder + 6 archive shoeboxes + 2 flat archive boxes.
Language
English
Abstract
Personal and professional papers, photographs, negatives, slides, film, audiocassettes, a videocassette, and other material from businessman, publisher, and gay activist, Robert F. Craig, 1934-2000. Perhaps best known as owner of the Los Angeles-based gay newsmagazine, Frontiers, Craig was also instrumental in organizations such as Christopher Street West, Valley Business Alliance, Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality (LIFE AIDS Lobby), and the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee. Materials document his activism in the gay community, personal life, military service, personal relationships, travels, and businesses he operated.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Robert F. Craig Papers and Photographs, Coll2012-177, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

Robert F. Craig was a longtime gay political activist, businessman, and owner of the Los Angeles-based weekly newsmagazine, Frontiers.

Born on May 22, 1934, Craig is a Los Angeles native who attended North Hollywood High School. He served four years in the US Air Force and was assigned to the military police, before entering the University of Southern California where he majored in accounting. He ran businesses, including a flower shop and a messenger service. By the 1970s, Craig became owner of the Hayloft, a Studio City gay bar.

In 1978, Craig co-founded the Valley Business Alliance, which serves as a chamber of commerce for gay and lesbian business owners. By the 1980s, he served as president of Christopher Street West, which organizes the Los Angeles gay pride parade and festival. In 1982, Craig helped found Frontiers with Greg Carmack and Jerry Hyde. Craig eventually became the sole owner, expanding the publication from a 16-page tabloid to a 168-page magazine that had as of 2000 a circulation of more than 86,000 in Southern California, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Shortly after starting Frontiers, Craig joined the drive to incorporate the West Hollywood neighborhood into a city, and in 1984, he was elected chairman of the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee. In 1986, Craig helped establish the Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality (also known as LIFE AIDS Lobby) to fight in Sacramento for gay civil rights. The group successfully battled for increased AIDS funding and extension of protections under the state hate crime law to gays and lesbians.

A long time resident of the San Fernando Valley, Craig died of complications from AIDS on April 28, 2000.

Sources:

Woo, Elaine. "Robert F. Craig: Published Gay Magazine." Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2000, http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/03/local/me-26127 (last accessed March 20, 2013).

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Scope and Content

The collection comprises personal papers, photographs, negatives, slides, film, audiocassettes, a videocassette, and other material from businessman, publisher, and gay activist, Robert F. Craig, 1934-2000. The papers include Craig's administrative records from Frontiers, LIFE AIDS Lobby, Californians Against Prop 22, and Christopher Street West. The papers also document Craig's personal life, including his education, military service, personal relationships, travels, businesses he operated, and other interests. The photographs and audiovisual material includes hundreds of photographs and negatives documenting events such as gay pride parades, LIFE AIDS Lobby fundraisers, drag queen pageants, parties; as well as his military experience and international travel. The realia includes items such as Craig's military uniform service ribbons and insignias, name badges, a Masonic Lodge apron, and Craig's leather vest from the gay bar he owned, Hayloft.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Personal and professional papers

Series 2. Photographs and audiovisual materials

Series 3. Realia

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing 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

Donor and date of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Formerly boxes 103-191A, 103-191B, 103-191C, 103-191D, 103-191E, 103-364, and 103-365. Collection processed by Monica Ramsy and Loni Shibuyama, March 2013.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

The following publications have been separated from the collection and cataloged into ONE Archives' periodicals collection or monograph library:

Advocate Collector's Edition, 20 Year Anniversary, 1987.

Being Alive, Celebrating Our Community, 1997 Spirit of Hope Awards program.

Christopher Street West, A New Gay Dawning, The Gay Pride Festival program, June 26-27, 1982.

Christopher Street West Gay Pride Celebration, Bicentennial issue July 4, 1976.

Frontiers: The Nation's Gay Newsmagazine, "A special Guide to the March on Washington," Santa Monica, CA: Mercury Capital Inc., 1993.

Nightlife Magazine, West Hollywood, CA: Data-Boy, Issue 580, February 8, 1993.

Sinatra 80 Years My Way [benefitting AIDS Project Los Angeles and Barbara Sinatra's Children's Center] program, 1995.

Stoney Awards 1997 program.

Stoney Awards 1999 program.

Super-men 80, Hollywood, California, August 24, 1980 program.

Task Force on Family Diversity, City of Los Angeles, Final Report, "Strengthening Families: a Model for Community Action," 1988.

Task Force on Family Diversity, City of Los Angeles, Transcript of Public Hearings, January 28, 1987, February 19, 1987, March 16, 1987, April 8, 1987.

The following items have been separated from the collection and added to ONE Archives' t-shirt and garments collection:

Ask Me About Life AIDS Day [white t-shirt]

Christopher Street West Los Angeles 1982; A New Gay Dawning; Bob, CSW Official [pink t-shirt]

Christopher Street West; Pride=Power '92 [hat]

Come and Celebrate; See You in 1992; Long Beach; IAL/GPC [white t-shirt]

Community Yellow Pages [yellow t-shirt]

Dive!; The Incredible Skydive For Youth Services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center; Saturday, August 19th, 1995 [white t-shirt]

Hayloft [leather vest]

I do; Freedom to Marry [gray t-shirt]

Pioneer Days; Valley Business Alliance [blue t-shirt]

Series 16; LA 92; NAGAAA Softball World Series [gray t-shirt]

Southern California Gay & Lesbian Exposition; Expo 94 [white t-shirt]

Together in Pride [white t-shirt]

In addition, 1 bumper sticker, 5 matchbook covers and 115 buttons have been separated from the collection and placed in ONE Archives' ephemera collection.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Christopher Street West Association.
  • Frontiers Publishing.
  • Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs

Subject(s)

  • AIDS activists--California--Los Angeles
  • Drag shows
  • Gay activists--California--Los Angeles
  • Gay pride parades
  • Gays in the military--United States

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1.  Personal and professional papers 1934-2000 

Series Description

The personal and professional papers series, 1934-2000, comprises correspondence, manuscripts, administrative records, family-related material, notes, financial records, clippings, calendar and other materials. This series includes Craig's administrative records from organizations such as Frontiers, LIFE AIDS Lobby, Californians Against Prop 22, and Christopher Street West. The papers also document Craig's personal life, including his education, experience in the military, personal relationships, travels, businesses he operated, and other interests.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 All-American Gigolo screenplay drafts 1981 

1 1

 (2nd Annual) American Cinema Awards program 1984 

1 2

 Astrological profiles 1993 

1 3

 Birth certificates 1934 

1 4

 Business cards and contact information Undated 

1 5

 Californians Against Prop 102 1988 

1 6

 Christopher Street West 1992-1993 

1 7

 Clippings 1963,1984 

1 8

 Correspondence and greeting cards 1995-1998 

1 9-12

 Family-related flyers Undated 

1 13

 Financial records 1970-1997 

1 14

 Frontiers administrative records 1990-1999 

1 15

 Greater LA AIDS Hospice Foundation proposal 1984 

1 16

 Handwritten notes Undated 

1 17

 In Memorium Ron Stone 1988 

1 18

 Lease agreement 1991 

1 19

 LIFE AIDS Lobby 1994 

1 20-21

 The Lightfoot Lad storyboard 1983 

1 22

 Messenger, delivery service and flower shop 1969-1973 

1 23

 Military 1951-1960 

1 24

 Name tags and identification cards Undated 

1 34

 Other LGBT organizations 1981-1997 

1 25

 Parks Air Force Base 1955 

1 26

 Pet dog records 1993-1999 

1 27

 School report cards and certificates 1941-1950 

1 28

 Soul Survivor, script by Anthony Bruno 1986 

1 30

 Travel records 1992-1993 

1 31

 Weekly calendar 2000 

1 32

 Miscellaneous 1970-1999 

1 33

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Series 2:  Series 2. Photographs and audiovisual material 1955-2000 

Series Description

The photographs and audiovisual material series, 1955-2000, comprises photographs, negatives, slides, audiocassettes, 16mm film reels and a videocassette. This series includes hundreds of photographs and negatives documenting events such as parties, drag queen pageants, gay pride parades, LIFE AIDS Lobby fundraisers; as well as his military experience, home life, and international travel. Many of these photographs appear to have been taken by Craig's partner, Joel. This series also includes audiocassettes from a Gay Press Association conference, as well as amateur home movies.

Arrangement

Material in this series are grouped by format. Photographs, negatives and slides are at the beginning of this series, followed by audiocassettes, film and a videocassette.

Box

 Photographs, negatives and slides 1955-2000 

Scope and Contents note

Many of the photographs appear to have been taken by Craig's partner, Joel, and many of the descriptions written on the photograph envelopes are written in French.

2-6
Box

 Birthday parties circa 1990-2000 

3

 Christmas 1996, undated 

3

 Robert Craig circa 1970-2000 

9

 Dentist circa 1990-2000 

3

 Drag pageants, coronations circa 1990-2000 

3

 Drag performances and events, unidentified 1996, undated 

3

 Frontiers office and unidentified social event circa 1990-2000 

3

 Gay and lesbian pride parades 

4
Box

 Christopher Street West Los Angeles pride parade 1996 

4

 Christopher Street West Los Angeles pride parade, Trilogy photos 1996 

4

 Christopher Street West Los Angeles pride parade, gay and lesbian marriage circa 1990-2000 

4

 Long Beach Gay Pride 1996, undated 

4

 Paris, France pride parade 2000 

4

 Robert Craig at gay pride parades circa 1970-2000 

2

 Unidentified pride event circa 1990-2000 

4

 Halloween Night circa 1990-2000 

3

 Leather party circa 1990-2000 

3

 Life AIDS Lobby circa 1990-2000 

3
Box

 General, events 1996, undated 

3

 Bonaventure Hotel circa 1990-2000 

3

 People of [Life AIDS Lobby] circa 1990-2000 

3

 San Francisco circa 1990-2000 

3

 Military March 1955 

2

 Pearson-Moffatt wedding 1970 

2

 Stonewall Democratic Club event 1996 

3

 Barbra Streisand impersonator 1988 

5

 Travel and vacation circa 1990-2000 

5

 Miscellaneous circa 1980-2000 

2, 6

 Audiocassettes 1983, undated 

Item

 Gay Press Association Convention 1983 

AC1820-AC1823
Box

 [Untitled audio recording of answering machine message] Undated 

7
Box

 Film (16mm) 1959-1961 

7
Box

 Barbeque 1960 

7

 Connection De Malay 1959 

7

 De Molay Day at Disneyland 1959 

7

 My gout day 

7

 Shrine dance 1960 

7

 Swim party at Howard Faddis's 1959 

7

 [Untitled] August 1960 

7

 [Untitled] November 1960 

7

 [Untitled] June 1961 

7

 Untitled videocassette (VHS-C) circa 1982-2000 

7

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Series 3:  Series 3. Realia circa 1950-1993 

Series Description

The realia series, circa 1950-1993, includes items such as Craig's military uniform service ribbons and insignias, name badges, a Masonic Lodge apron, and Craig's leather vest from the gay bar he owned, Hayloft.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically.

Box

 Christopher Street West Festival Games medal 1983 

8

 Christopher Street West name tag: Bob Craig Undated 

8

 Christopher Street West pens 1983, 1988 

8

 Christopher Street West wristwatch Undated 

8

 Hayloft leather vest Undated 

10

 March on Washington media badge 1993 

8

 Military and ROTC ribbons, insignias and dog tag circa 1950-1960 

8

 North Hollywood Lodge No. 542, [Free & Accepted Masons] apron 1958 

9

 Pioneer Days Country Fair ribbon 1982 

8

 Pioneer Days staff ribbon circa 1982 

8

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