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Donald A. Ferguson papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2014-014

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises administrative records, 1979-1994, from gay activist Donald A. Ferguson, who served on the boards for the Triangle Gay and Lesbian Foster Parent Association (also known as Triangle Project) and the Whitman-Brooks Foundation. Included in the Triangle Project's records are bylaws, board of directors minutes, correspondence, publicity material, guidelines and training material for foster parents, and other material documenting their activities, circa 1977-1989. The Whitman-Brooks Foundation's records include board of director minutes and related material, conference and seminar materials, administrative committees records, financial records, event records, and materials documenting collaboration with the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles (MECLA), 1979-1994.


  • 1974 - 1994


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.

Administrative History

The Triangle Gay and Lesbian Foster Parent Association (also known as Triangle Project) was founded circa 1986 and worked to provide gay and lesbian youth with nurturing foster homes. Among the Triangle Project's activities was training potential gay and lesbian foster parents, and working with agencies such as the Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services to provide homes for at-risk youth. In 1989, the Triangle Project merged with the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), which led to disagreements regarding the organization's overall mission. Most of Triangle Projects' original members left, and GLASS went on to become a for-profit housing and service organization, which later dissolved in 2008.

Administrative History

The Whitman-Brooks Foundation was founded in March 1979 as a non-profit educational foundation dedicated to providing education and support for coming out; providing leadership training for emerging gay and lesbian activists; and fostering a positive gay and lesbian identity for its members. Whitman-Brooks' activities included hosting annual conferences attended by community leaders, educators, and mental health professionals; holding on-going rap sessions and community seminars in a "non-threatening" environment; and providing scholarships and other services.


"During the late '70s, through the '80s, and into the early '90s, I was an active member of a number of gay and lesbian organizations in Los Angeles. Most notable, I suppose, would be the Whitman-Brooks Foundation, the first and largest co-sexual gay and lesbian organization providing guidance in coming out, a training program for potential community activists, and education about gay and lesbian issues at two or three major conferences each year held at [University of California, Los Angeles], [University of Southern California], and Occidental College. I served as chair of Whitman-Brooks for several years in the late '80s."

In the 1980s, Ferguson served as chairperson of Whitman-Brooks and was presented with award recognitions in 1985 and 1994.

"The other organization in which I participated was the Triangle Project, the first community organization to address the problem of homeless gay/lesbian youth as well as other youth in need of sympathetic foster homes. For a number of years, we recruited men and women from the community to become licensed and to serve as foster parents for youth referred to us by numerous agencies including the Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services. In the early '90s, due to faltering sources of funding, the Triangle Project was absorbed by GLASS (Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services)."

Source: Letter from Donald A. Ferguson, dated May 12, 2007.


2.7 Linear Feet (1 archive box + 1 archive carton + 1 archive flat box.)

Language of Materials



Board of directors materials, bylaws, administrative committee records, correspondence, conference material, financial records, event and program records, newsletter copy, and publicity material, 1979-1994, from gay activist Donald A. Ferguson, who served on the boards for the Triangle Gay and Lesbian Foster Parent Association (also known as Triangle Project) and the Whitman-Brooks Foundation.


This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Triangle Gay and Lesbian Foster Parent Association

Series 2. Whitman-Brooks Foundation


Donated by Donald A. Ferguson, May 12, 2007 and an earlier unknown date.

Separated Materials

The following have been separated from the collection and cataloged in ONE's periodical collection and library, respectively:

The Triangle Project Newsletter, 1986-1988 [6 issues].

Wittels, Anne, Ms.ery, Beverly Hills, CA: Wollstonecraft, Inc., 1973.

Processing Information

Formerly boxes A253, 103-246, and 103-262. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, March 2014.

Finding Aid to the Donald A. Ferguson Papers, 1979-1994
Loni Shibuyama
(c) 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
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

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