James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Archives July 2011

Barbara Cameron Papers

Here's a late "July" archives post. Just recently I was re-examining some smaller archival collections to find good candidates to prepare for public use. Among these the Barbara Cameron Papers (2 cartons). This is a jewel box of a collection as each item invites further inspection and contemplation.

Barbara Cameron (May 22, 1954-February 12, 2002) was a Native American (Lakota Sioux) lesbian activist, poet and writer. She was raised by her grandparents on the Standing Rock Reservation (North and South Dakota), and moved to San Francisco in the 197os. In 1975 she co-founded Gay American Indians with Randy Burns. She counted among her friends the Native American poet and activist Chrystos, and there are a few pieces in the Papers that are written by Chrystos and dedicated to Cameron.

The Papers also include speeches, poems and other writings by Cameron. Her subjects include the challenges of being gay within the Native American community, being Native American within the LGBT community, racism, nature, violence and death, acceptance, activism, and alcoholism. Her Papers also include material on the different political groups with which she was affiliated, including the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club.

The Barbara Cameron Papers are not yet ready for public use but I expect them to be ready by the end of 2011. The Papers will be available through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library.

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