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Finding aid of the Laud Humphreys Papers
Coll2007-012  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Laud Humphreys papers
    Dates: 1951-1988
    Bulk Dates: 1968-1988
    Collection number: Coll2007-012
    Creator: Humphreys, Laud (Robert Allan), 1930-1988
    Collection Size: 12 archive boxes (4.8 linear feet).
    Repository: ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
    Los Angeles, California 90007
    Abstract: Drafts, correspondence, journal articles, notes, newspaper clippings, surveys, legal documents, memoranda, transcripts, speeches, course curricula, subject files, ephemera, photos, and an audiocassette tape created or collected by sociologist and Episcopalian priest, Laud Humphreys, who is best known for his book, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places --the first publication to examine the social and sexual behaviors of men who perform sex acts with other men in public restrooms. The majority of the collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, lecture material, surveys, journal articles and newspaper clippings relating to Humphreys' career--from his doctoral work in 1968 until his death in 1988--and research in the field of sociology and, more specifically, homosexuality and criminology. The collection also contains personal papers including correspondence, documents and clippings related to his experience as an Episcopalian priest from 1955 to 1965, an altercation with a professor at Washington University in 1968, and his trial and subsequent imprisonment for an antiwar demonstration in Illinois in 1970.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

    Preferred Citation

    Laud Humphreys papers, Coll2007-012, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Donor and date of gift unknown.

    Processing Information

    Formerly boxes 103-146 and 103-097; ONE subject files. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, September 10, 2007.
    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Biography

    Born on October 16, 1930 in Oklahoma, Robert Allan (Laud) Humphreys is a pioneer researcher in the study of homosexual behavior, combining academic study with political activism.
    Humphreys graduated from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois in 1955. He took the name of "Laud" from William Laud, a seventeenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury, and as "Laud" was ordained an Episcopalian priest. In 1960, Humphreys married Nancy Wallace. In 1965, Humphreys undertook graduate work in sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. His doctoral dissertation on male-male sex in St. Louis-area public restrooms--known in gay slang as "tearooms"--was published as Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places to much controversy in 1970. The book won the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems but was frequently denounced as covert research and condemned for its invasion of the privacy of those having sex in a public place. Humphreys moved on to teach at Southern Illinois University. On May 5, 1970, he led an antiwar demonstration that invaded a draft board office, where he destroyed a picture of President Richard Nixon. He was subsequently convicted of destroying government property. He served three months of a one-year prison sentence in the summer of 1972. While in jail, he was hired by Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges in Southern California, where he became a full professor of sociology in 1975. In 1972, Humphreys published Out of the Closets: The Sociology of Homosexual Liberation , one of the first scholarly accounts of the emerging gay liberation movement. In 1980 Humphreys left his wife and two children to live with his protégé, Brian Miller. Also in 1980, Humphreys earned California certification as a psychotherapist and established a private counseling practice. In his final years, he served as a consultant to police forces and frequently provided expert testimony in court cases. He also retained his position at Pitzer College. Humphreys died from complications of lung cancer on August 23, 1988 in Sherman Oaks, California.
    Source: Stephen O. Murray, "Humphreys, Laud (1930-1988)," An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Culture , http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/humphreys_l.html , last accessed June 20, 2007.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Drafts, correspondence, journal articles, notes, newspaper clippings, surveys, legal documents, memoranda, transcripts, speeches, course curricula, subject files, ephemera, photos, and an audiocassette tape created or collected by sociologist and Episcopalian priest, Laud Humphreys, who is best known for his book, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places --the first publication to examine the social and sexual behaviors of men who perform sex acts with other men in public restrooms. The majority of the collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, lecture material, surveys, journal articles and newspaper clippings relating to Humphreys' career--from his doctoral work in 1968 until his death in 1988--and research in the field of sociology and, more specifically, homosexuality and criminology. The collection is divided into four series: (1) Research, (2) Teaching and Administration, (3) Professional Activities, and (4) Personal.
    The first series, Research, compiles material related to research that Humphreys has conducted throughout his career. This series is divided into (1) Writings, (2) Subject Files, and (3) Reference Materials. The bulk of the Writings subseries contains manuscripts and notes for Humphreys' published and unpublished material. This includes manuscripts for Tearoom Trade, Sex & Righteousness and other articles, including an interview with Evelyn Hooker. The Subject Files comprise mostly newspaper clippings and journal articles related to homosexuality. The Reference Materials include surveys, interview transcripts and legal papers used in Humphreys' research.
    The second series, Teaching and Administration, consists of student papers, lectures, notes, memoranda and course administration documents related to Humphreys' work teaching sociology courses at Southern Illinois University (1968-1970), State University of New York at Albany (1970-1972) and Pitzer College (1972-1986).
    The third series, Professional Activities, includes peer reviews, speeches, memoranda, minutes, flyers, newsletters and clippings related to Humphreys' activities outside of the university. This includes consultations and presentations at professional conferences, such as the Society for the Study of Social Problems. This series also includes documents related to his professional involvement in such organizations as Alternative Lifestyles and the National Committee for Sexual Civil Liberties.
    The fourth and final series, Personal, contains personal papers, including correspondence, documents and clippings related to his experience as an Episcopalian priest from 1955 to 1965, an altercation with a professor at Washington University in 1968, and his trial and subsequent imprisonment for an antiwar demonstration in Illinois in 1970.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Gay activists--Los Angeles
    Gay liberation movement--United States--History
    Homosexuality and education
    Homosexuality--Psychological aspects
    Homosexuality--Religious aspects
    Homosexuality--Research
    Homosexuality--Social aspects
    Hooker, Evelyn Caldwell
    Humphreys, Laud
    Miller, Brian
    Sociology
    Sociology--Methodology
    Tearoom Trade