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John E. Boswell Collection

Identifier: UA 5.151

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence to and from and news clippings about Professor John E. Boswell, College of William and Mary class of 1969, and faculty member at Yale University. Most of the articles and clippings contain reviews of Boswell's scholarship, including his book "Christianity, Social Intolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the 14th Century" published in 1980. The bulk of the correspondence is between Boswell and the donor of the collection, Prof. George Greenia, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the College of William and Mary. The collection also includes one folder of clippings collected by Swem Library about Boswell for the Faculty-Alumni File Collection.


  • Creation: 1980-2009


Language of Materials

English Latin

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

John E. Boswell went to Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Virginia, where he graduated in 1965 and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in 1969. After he left the College, Boswell attended Harvard University and received both his Master of Arts and PHD degreees in History in 1971 and 1975, respectively. Boswell began to teach at Yale University in 1975 and by 1982, was named the youngest tenured professor in the history of Yale University. He received the National Book Award for his publication of "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe From the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century." in 1981. John E. Boswell died due to the complications with AIDS on December 24, 1994 in New Haven, Connecticuit at the age of 47. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


0.40 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is not yet fully arranged and described. Researchers may wish to consult with a staff member for further information in advance of using the collection.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2011.378 was hand delivered by the donor to the Circulation Department and then transferred to the SCRC on 6/3/2011.

Related Materials:

William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae (GALA), Inc. Records (UA 42); University Archives Photograph Collection (UA 8). Consult Yale University, Sterling Library, Manuscripts and Archives for the major collection of material related to John Boswell.

Separated Materials:

Material related to John E. Boswell was separated from the University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection and added to this collection in June 2011.

Processing Information:

Acc. 2011.378 accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in June 2011.

Guide to the John E. Boswell Collection
Finding Aid Authors: Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository