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Guide to the Bill Bytsura ACT UP Photography Collection
1981-2012 (Bulk 1989-1997)

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Anna Gurton-Wachter with Rhyannon J. Rodriguez, 2012-2013.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 26, 2021
Description is in English.

Scope and Content

The Bill Bytsura ACT UP Photography collection documents AIDS activism across the United States and Europe from 1989 through the late 1990's. Portraits include prominent activists such as Larry Kramer, Ann Northrop, Tim Bailey, Luke Sissyfag Montgomery, Didier Lestrade, Peter Staley, and Terry Stogdell. The collection also documents demonstrations, political funerals, and related publications.

The collection consists of photographs, contact sheets, negatives, and slides; press in the form of magazines and articles; promotional materials such as t-shirts, hats, and buttons; printed ephemera such as posters, postcards, flyers, and stickers, and administrative files, including release forms and correspondence.


This collection is arranged into the following series. All series are arranged alphabetically except for Series II, which is arranged chronologically.

Series I: Portraits contains photographs, contact sheets, negatives, release forms and statements. The dates finding aid dates reflect the date of printing. When identifiable, the release forms have been left together with photographs. There is a separate folder titled "release forms" for unidentified release forms.

Series II: Demonstrations contains photographs, contact sheets, negatives and slides. The finding aid dates reflect the date of printing, as that was the photographer's method of notation. In some instances, the dates of printing are the same or extremely close to the estimated date of the event the prints describe. In other instances, the dates of printing are separated by a few years from the event. In this case, the date of the event, if known, is included in the title. Negatives that were found loose have been separated by year, and may contain some portraits as well as documentation of demonstrations or events.

Series III: Press, Promotion, and Adminstrative Files includes articles and magazines featuring Bytsura's work, as well as promotional materials and objects such as t-shirts, a hat and buttons, and a few administrative items such as budgets.

Series IV: Ephemera includes a hat, t-shirts, stickers, pins and postcards.

Oversize materials are listed at the end of the finding aid:

Series I Oversize: Portraits
Series II Oversize: Demonstrations
Series III Oversize: Press, Promotion, and Adminstrative Files
Series IV Oversize: Posters