Series I. Journals and Personal Memorabilia
Boxes 2-3, 15-16, 37-49
This series contains documents from Wright's childhood through the time of the first donation in 2000. A school records book contains yearly photos of him and information about his teachers and classes from elementary through high school. There are additional mementos from high school, his senior year of high school spent in Germany, his years at the State University of New York at Albany, and his graduate work in comparative literature at the University of California- Berkeley, followed by files on his student loan payments. A draft of his dissertation, "The Chiasmic War: AIDS, Writing, and Gay Community in the US" is found here, as well as his dossier submitted for tenure review at Mount Ida College. The series includes his personal journals from 1970 to 1989, medical files from 1958 to 1995, files about receiving government assistance (welfare and Supplemental Security
Income), mementos from places he lived and visited, and some family genealogy.
This series also contains a brown vinyl scrapbook in which he kept newspaper clipping and keepsakes from his youth through adulthood, 1966-1984. The scrapbook shows his early academic successes, Rotary award, and high school achievements and his later political affiliations and involvements. For instance, his membership cards for the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are included. This scrapbook posed a preservation challenge due to its adhesives and plastics. To preserve a record of the way everything was originally laid out, we photocopied the contents onto acid-free paper. This copy is available in Box 2, folder 32. We removed items that were intact enough and not fused to the pages and are storing them in separate acid-free envelopes.
Series II. Publications and Academic Work
Boxes 3-4, 17-21, 26, 31, 36, 50-52
Publications contains Wright's files from his various writing projects on German literature, German gay history, US gay politics, gay literature, and the bear gay subculture. Included are numerous articles, his dissertation prospectus, and comments by Jim Jones and Billie Aul on the dissertation drafts. As part of his dissertation research, he also collected some files on gay communities in the Netherlands and other European countries. There are manuscripts from
The Bear Book I and II, reviews, and correspondence with contributors. Additionally, there are research notes on the history of the Castro as a gay ghetto, utopia, and neighborhood, along with notes/correspondence regarding research into the lives of long-term HIV/AIDS survivors for the "Surviving Soul Murder" project (book?). Non-bear related conference materials where Wright led workshops are also included. There are also a large number of movie and book reviews written by Wright.
Castro History Project
Surviving Soul Murder
Published and Unpublished Articles
Series III. Correspondence
Boxes 4-8, 21, 23-26, 36, 53
This series spans from 1968-2000 and is arranged alphabetically within the groups in which the material was received. Correspondents are many and include the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California (GLHSNC), and a file of "Letters to Editors". The series also includes files of Wright's letters to Billie Aul and Ken Ratcliffe.
Series IV. Bear History Project
Boxes 3-4, 9-14, 21-22, 28-35, 54, 56-61
Newsletters and files on Bear clubs around the world (US, UK, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Switzerland), their events and publications, and printouts of an electronic mailing list for Bears from 1993 to 2000. There are also 2 scrapbooks compiled by Wright on the Monty Bear group in Fitchburg, MA, including photographs of events, flyers advertising events, and other miscellany. Also here are issues 1 to 17 of Bearskin Bend Lodge and issues 1 to 8 of the Bear History Project Newsletter.
Series V. Nashoba Institute
Boxes 22, 27, 55
Les Wright founded the Nashoba Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on non-hegemonic masculinities. Board documents and correspondence reflect the activities and ideas of the Institute.
Series VI. Audiovisual and Computer Media
Boxes 14, 31,
This series contains interviews and programs on Bear themes on audio and video cassettes and computer disks with Wright's writing, correspondence, mailing lists and other files