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Rick Sandford writings

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2009-001

Scope and Content of Collection

The Rick Sandford collection includes typescripts of his journal; the journals document his correspondence to friends, important documents such as medical records and tax returns, along with his writings and traditional journal entries. The collection also includes drafts as well as final drafts of comparative literature works, short stories, a novel, plays, screenplays, and poetry. A few of his works were published during his life most were published posthumously. The correspondence, not included in his journals, and biographical information are located in the Personal Series. The final series, Cultural Compendia consists of his lists of motion pictures screened, cultural events attended, and books read along with his selection of the best for each year, 1980-1994. The series also contains lists and reference materials concerning theater, literature, and motion pictures..


  • 1951 - 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1990



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).


Rick Sandford was born December 31, 1950, in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in the Lake Tahoe area. His early difficulties learning to read led his parents to enroll him in a private school, Peter Pan. At the school he learned how to overcome his difficulties and would later consider reading as a primary component of his happiness. Sandford at some point created typescripts of original documents including his mother's correspondence in 1951. His early personal journal entries date to 1958 and were short and sporadic, however his later entries were longer and more frequent. The journal entries include copies of his correspondence and writings, and traditional journal entries concerning his life. His journals also document his appreciation of motion pictures, another life-long passion. After his graduation in 1969, he came to Los Angeles to see the musical, Hair and the Russian motion picture version of War and Peace. After 1972, Sandford remained in Los Angeles employed in various positions, from an usher at Grauman's Chinese Theatre to a television show stand-in. He received credit as a "research assistant" on 50 Golden Years of Oscar: the Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Ronald Haver's David O. Selznick's Hollywood. Along the way Sandford appeared on television shows and in motion pictures as an extra and in a few bit parts. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he worked as an editor on 3 gay erotic films and appeared as Benjamin Barker or Ben Barker in 13 gay erotic motion pictures including Kip Noll and the Westside Boys, Rear Deliveries, Skin Deep, The Class of '84 Part 2Jocks, Gold Rush Boys, The Boys of San Francisco, A Night at Halsted's, and Games. On Octber 23rd, 1979, Sandford posed for Don Bachardy, the work was published in October (1981). During the mid 1980s, Bachdardy sketched Sandford for his book, Drawing of the Male Nude. He also served as an assistant on the 1990 documentary Hollywood Mavericks. In 1991, his short story "Forster & Rosenthal Reevaluated: An Investigative Report" was published in the anthology, Indivisible: New Short Fiction by Gay and Lesbian West Coast Writers. In 1994, another of his short stories, "Purim" was published in Blood Whispers: L.A. Writers on AIDS, Volume 2. He died of AIDS during the evening of September 28, 1995. Two more of Sandford's short stories were published posthumously, "The Gospel Of Bartholemew Legate: Three Fragments" in His 2: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers and "Manifest White" in His 3: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers. In 2000, his novel, Boys Across the Street was published.


13.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Journals, short stories, plays, screenplays, comparative literature, poetry, and annual compendia of literature read, motion pictures seen, and theatrical performances attended by Rick Sandford, 1963-1995. Sandford documented his early life in Tahoe 1958-1969, as a "born again" Christian 1971-1972, and life in Los Angeles 1973-1980, and 1989-1994 in typescript journals. Working in various positions from an usher to a television stand-in Sandford documents life in Los Angeles and his love of reading, motion pictures, and theater.


The collection is divided into 4 series: Journals, Writings, Personal, and Cultural Compendia and the associated subseries. Series 2: Writings is divided into four subseries: Comparative Literature, Novels and Short Stories, Plays and Screenplays, and Poetry. Series 3: Personal is divided into two subseries: Correspondence and Biographical. Series 4: Cultural Compendia is divided into 5 subseries: Cultural Compendia, Literature Lists, Theater Lists, Motion Picture Lists, and Reference Materials.

Acquisition Information

Method and date of acquisition unknown.

General Physical Description note

10 records boxes, 1 archive half-carton, and 1 oversize box

Processing Information

Formerly boxed in 103-044, 103-068, 103-093, 103-095, 103-104, 103-109, 103-129, 103-335, 104-149, 104-150, 104-151, 104-152, and 104-159. Collection processed by Greg Williams, Sócrates Silva, Richard French, and Michael C. Oliveira, 2005-January 2009.

Finding aid of the Rick Sandford Writings Coll2009.001
Michael C. Oliveira
© 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in: English

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771