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Bruce Rodgers papers
2010-03  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bruce Rodgers papers
    Dates: 1942-2009
    Collection Number: 2010-03
    Creator/Collector: Rodgers, Bruce
    Extent: 6 cartons (6 linear feet)
    Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
    San Francisco, California 94105
    Abstract: The collection contains materials from Bruce G. Rodgers, author of The Queens’ Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon (1972), the first serious dictionary of gay slang and the definitive gay American jargon resource. The collection contains materials related to the publication of the book as well as other research materials on Romani, Hebrew, Polari, and other languages and slang. Included are personal and professional correspondence, notes, contracts, photographs, artifacts, poems, illustrations, ephemera and personal belongings.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

    Preferred Citation

    Bruce Rodgers papers. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Deborah Millett in April 2010

    Biography/Administrative History

    Bruce G. Rodgers was the author of The Queens’ Vernacular: a Gay Lexicon, a dictionary of gay slang. He was born October 15, 1942 in Wisconsin, moved to San Francisco in 1966 and died August 10, 2009. He is buried at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. Rodgers graduated from Wausau Senior High School in Wausau, Wisconsin in 1959. He attended Barstow Jr. College, 1960-1961 and University of Southern Nevada, 1961-1963. During the 1960s he worked as a teletype operator and supervisor for Review Journal Daily in Las Vegas and as a teletype operator at the Wall Street Journal in San Francisco. In the 1970s he worked in order fulfillment at Western Tape in Mountain View, California, then in the1980s at Albert L. Shultz Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. He retired in 1996. On his resume (circa 1982), Rodgers describes his personal interests: “I have an overriding interest in linguistics and languages. I (sic) am reading fluent in Spanish, French, Judeo-Spanish, and Hebrew, and am knowledgeable of Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Italian, German, and Turkish. I am constantly interested in slang expressions in all languages.” His partner from 1966 to 1989 was Joe Jenkins (1935-1989) who had an interest in George Washington memorabilia. Jenkins’ collection of George Washington memorabilia was donated by Rodgers to the San José Historical Museum (currently History San José) in 1994.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains materials from Bruce G. Rodgers, author of The Queens’ Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon (San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books, 1972). The book was later republished as Gay Talk: A (Sometimes Outrageous) Dictionary of Gay Slang (New York: Paragon Books, 1979). The book was the first serious dictionary of gay slang and the definitive gay American jargon resource. The collection contains materials related to the publication of the book as well as other research materials on Romani, Hebrew, Polari, and other languages and slang. Included are notes, contracts, photographs, artifacts, poems, illustrations, ephemera and personal belongings. In addition, there is extensive professional and personal correspondence reflecting Rodgers affection for language and gay slang.

    Indexing Terms

    Sex--Dictionaries.
    English language--Slang--Dictionaries.
    Gay men--Language--Dictionaries.
    Jargon (Terminology)
    Polari
    Romani language.
    Hebrew language.

    Additional collection guides