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Robert F. Craig Papers and Photographs

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2012-177

Scope and Content

The collection comprises personal papers, photographs, negatives, slides, film, audiocassettes, a videocassette, and other material from businessman, publisher, and gay activist, Robert F. Craig, 1934-2000. The papers include Craig's administrative records from Frontiers, LIFE AIDS Lobby, Californians Against Prop 22, and Christopher Street West. The papers also document Craig's personal life, including his education, military service, personal relationships, travels, businesses he operated, and other interests. The photographs and audiovisual material includes hundreds of photographs and negatives documenting events such as gay pride parades, LIFE AIDS Lobby fundraisers, drag queen pageants, parties; as well as his military experience and international travel. The realia includes items such as Craig's military uniform service ribbons and insignias, name badges, a Masonic Lodge apron, and Craig's leather vest from the gay bar he owned, Hayloft.

Dates

  • 1934 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 2000

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biography

Robert F. Craig was a longtime gay political activist, businessman, and owner of the Los Angeles-based weekly newsmagazine, Frontiers.

Born on May 22, 1934, Craig is a Los Angeles native who attended North Hollywood High School. He served four years in the US Air Force and was assigned to the military police, before entering the University of Southern California where he majored in accounting. He ran businesses, including a flower shop and a messenger service. By the 1970s, Craig became owner of the Hayloft, a Studio City gay bar.

In 1978, Craig co-founded the Valley Business Alliance, which serves as a chamber of commerce for gay and lesbian business owners. By the 1980s, he served as president of Christopher Street West, which organizes the Los Angeles gay pride parade and festival. In 1982, Craig helped found Frontiers with Greg Carmack and Jerry Hyde. Craig eventually became the sole owner, expanding the publication from a 16-page tabloid to a 168-page magazine that had as of 2000 a circulation of more than 86,000 in Southern California, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Shortly after starting Frontiers, Craig joined the drive to incorporate the West Hollywood neighborhood into a city, and in 1984, he was elected chairman of the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee. In 1986, Craig helped establish the Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality (also known as LIFE AIDS Lobby) to fight in Sacramento for gay civil rights. The group successfully battled for increased AIDS funding and extension of protections under the state hate crime law to gays and lesbians.

A long time resident of the San Fernando Valley, Craig died of complications from AIDS on April 28, 2000.

Sources:

Woo, Elaine. "Robert F. Craig: Published Gay Magazine." Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2000, http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/03/local/me-26127 (last accessed March 20, 2013).

Extent

7.8 Linear Feet (1 archive box + 1 archive binder + 6 archive shoeboxes + 2 flat archive boxes.)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Personal and professional papers, photographs, negatives, slides, film, audiocassettes, a videocassette, and other material from businessman, publisher, and gay activist, Robert F. Craig, 1934-2000. Perhaps best known as owner of the Los Angeles-based gay newsmagazine, Frontiers, Craig was also instrumental in organizations such as Christopher Street West, Valley Business Alliance, Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality (LIFE AIDS Lobby), and the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee. Materials document his activism in the gay community, personal life, military service, personal relationships, travels, and businesses he operated.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Personal and professional papers

Series 2. Photographs and audiovisual materials

Series 3. Realia

Acquisition Information

Donor and date of acquisition unknown.

Separated Materials

The following publications have been separated from the collection and cataloged into ONE Archives' periodicals collection or monograph library:

Advocate Collector's Edition, 20 Year Anniversary, 1987.

Being Alive, Celebrating Our Community, 1997 Spirit of Hope Awards program.

Christopher Street West, A New Gay Dawning, The Gay Pride Festival program, June 26-27, 1982.

Christopher Street West Gay Pride Celebration, Bicentennial issue July 4, 1976.

Frontiers: The Nation's Gay Newsmagazine, "A special Guide to the March on Washington," Santa Monica, CA: Mercury Capital Inc., 1993.

Nightlife Magazine, West Hollywood, CA: Data-Boy, Issue 580, February 8, 1993.

Sinatra 80 Years My Way [benefitting AIDS Project Los Angeles and Barbara Sinatra's Children's Center] program, 1995.

Stoney Awards 1997 program.

Stoney Awards 1999 program.

Super-men 80, Hollywood, California, August 24, 1980 program.

Task Force on Family Diversity, City of Los Angeles, Final Report, "Strengthening Families: a Model for Community Action," 1988.

Task Force on Family Diversity, City of Los Angeles, Transcript of Public Hearings, January 28, 1987, February 19, 1987, March 16, 1987, April 8, 1987.



The following items have been separated from the collection and added to ONE Archives' t-shirt and garments collection:

Ask Me About Life AIDS Day [white t-shirt]

Christopher Street West Los Angeles 1982; A New Gay Dawning; Bob, CSW Official [pink t-shirt]

Christopher Street West; Pride=Power '92 [hat]

Come and Celebrate; See You in 1992; Long Beach; IAL/GPC [white t-shirt]

Community Yellow Pages [yellow t-shirt]

Dive!; The Incredible Skydive For Youth Services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center; Saturday, August 19th, 1995 [white t-shirt]

Hayloft [leather vest]

I do; Freedom to Marry [gray t-shirt]

Pioneer Days; Valley Business Alliance [blue t-shirt]

Series 16; LA 92; NAGAAA Softball World Series [gray t-shirt]

Southern California Gay & Lesbian Exposition; Expo 94 [white t-shirt]

Together in Pride [white t-shirt]



In addition, 1 bumper sticker, 5 matchbook covers and 115 buttons have been separated from the collection and placed in ONE Archives' ephemera collection.

Processing Information

Formerly boxes 103-191A, 103-191B, 103-191C, 103-191D, 103-191E, 103-364, and 103-365. Collection processed by Monica Ramsy and Loni Shibuyama, March 2013.

Creator

Title
Finding aid to the Robert F. Craig papers and photographs, 1934-2000
Status
Completed
Author
Loni Shibuyama and Monica Ramsy
Date
(c) 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

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

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