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Don (Donald H.) Amador Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2009.562

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Papers of gay rights activist Don (Donald H.) Amador (1943-1992) of Los Angeles.

Series 1: Included are personal papers, papers relating to research and teaching, as well as papers relating to his political activities.  Included in this collection is a book titled, Homosexual Subculture 497.  It is a self published manuscript from June, 1976.  It is the cumulation of 14 term papers from his first course offering of a gay studies course at California State University, Long Beach.  Sociology 497 was the first of its kind.  The papers covered topics such as the gay couple, religion, family, military, lesbianism, fetishism, and leather subculture.

Series 2: This series contain the papers of Bill Carey, the gay community's liaison to the mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley. There are letters, memos, and notes from Bill Carey as well as other LA City officials. Included in this series are papers pertaining to the city of Los Angeles including materials about the police department and the gay community and Pride Week 1976. Materials concerning the LA gay community and LA  newspaper clippings are also part of this collection.

Series 3: An assortment of newsletters and flyers collected by Don Amador, as well as a few handwritten notes. The publications include the MECLA (municipal elections committee of Los Angeles) special dinner edition, volume 1, number 2 of their February 1980 newsletter; Investigative Leads volume 1, number 10 edition from June 30, 1980; Parents & Friends of Gays Newsletter, April and May 1980 issues. There is also a "From the director's chair..." flyer, a business card for East Side Association, the line up for the 1980 Christopher Street West Gay Pride Parade, and two flyers for the National March on Washington in October 14, 1979.

Other items include a blank sheet of MOWC/LA (March on Washington Committee/Los Angeles) letterhead, and a blank sheet of Field Photo Homes, Inc. letterhead, newspaper clippings, a biography of Donald H. Amador, two pages of handwritten notes, and the end page of a thank you letter from Amador.


  • Creation: 1944-1983 and undated


Language of Materials


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 / Historical

Don (Donald H.) Amador was born Donald Grace in 1943. He served in the United States Navy with Richard J. Amador. In 1971 Richard J. Amador legally adopted Don Grace. In 1977 Amador was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley as the city's official liaison to the gay community.  Amador was passionate about the history surrounding gay culture and his greatest accomplishment was the creation of the first gay studies course at California State University, Long Beach in 1976.  From it he created a book where he took the 14 best papers presented in the inaugural spring semester of Sociology 497. A pioneer of the subject, this book is a glimpse of the origins of a field of study that numbers more than 40 course offerings in programs across the United Staes by 2014.  Amador died in 1992 from complications with the AIDS virus.


3.00 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.

Custodial History:

After the death of Don Amador the papers were in the custody of his sister in Troy, N.Y.

Acquisition Information:


Appraisal Information:

One cubic foot of newspapers were deaccessioned as the originals were damaged by mildrew and potential mold and there were multiple copies of many papers. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.

Acc. 2014.122  purchased for Swem Library with support from the Clarice Garrison Quasi Fund.

Processing Information

Accessioned and minimally processed in December 2009  The collection was processed by Nell Garver, SCRC student, from August to November 2014. Finding aid and biographical note updated by SCRC staff March 2016.

Guide to the Don (Donald H.) Amador Papers
SCRC staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository