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Guide to the Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters
1964-1987
 MSS 222 MSS.222

Fales Library and Special Collections
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70 Washington Square South
3rd Floor
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Phone: (212) 998-2596
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Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Processed by Nicholas Martin, 2008.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 11, 2017
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters
Dates [inclusive]: 1964-1987
Abstract: The Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters contains 46 letters written to Joe Campbell. Of the 46, 42 were written by Dorothy Dean; the other four were written by various friends of Campbell after Dean's death. The letters are dated from 1964-1987.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Call Phrase: MSS.222

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Biographical Note

Dorothy Dean was a downtown social figure. Born into a bourgeois black family in 1932 in White Plains, New York, she attended Radcliffe College and in 1958 earned a masters degree in Fine Arts from Harvard College. While at Cambridge, she began associating almost entirely with gay white men, presumably in an effort to distance herself from the politics surrounding being both black and female in the fifties and sixties, politics with which she did not identify.

Moving to New York, Dean established herself as part of Andy Warhol's Factory and also worked as the door person at Max's Kansas City. She was loved for her strong, verbose personality, perhaps mostly for her playful phrasing and clever nicknames (Andy Warhol, to Dean, became "Drella," a combination of Dracula and Cinderella; James Baldwin was "Martin Luther Queen"). She rarely worked; she held brief editorial and proofreading positions at publications such as The New Yorkerand  Vogue. She appeared in several Factory films, including  My Hustler, and  Afternoon.

In 1980, Dean moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she worked at a bookstore and as an editor, and continued writing letters to her friends. She died of cancer in Boulder on February 13, 1987.

Sources:

Als, Hilton. The Women. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998. pp. 67-117.

Watson, Steven. Factory made: Andy Warhol and the Sixties. New York: Pantheon Books, c2003.

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Scope and Content Note

The Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters contains 46 letters written to Joe Campbell. Of the 46, 42 were written by Dorothy Dean; the other four were written by various friends of Campbell after Dean's death in 1987, regarding her funeral, obituaries, and a memorial reception held in New York. The letters written by Dean range from 1964 to 1986. The latest letter by Dean dates approximately eight months prior to her death.

A number of the letters contain newspaper clippings, dealing with a range of topics from downtown musicians such as Lou Reed to pivotal moments in the gay rights movement. One letter contains a manuscript of the first issue of Dean's film review, which she called the "All-Lavender Cinema Courier." Evincing her creative and erudite linguistic control, the prose and content of the letters vividly represent Dean's literary wit and personality.

Arrangement

The collection consists of 46 folders, each containing one letter.

The letters are arranged in chronological order.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: The Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987
  • Reed, Lou
  • Dean, Dorothy
  • Campbell, Joe

Document Type

  • Correspondence.
  • Scripts (documents)

Subject Topics

  • Gay men.
  • Gender identity -- United States
  • Artists and community -- United States
  • African Americans -- Intellectual life
  • African Americans -- Race identity.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers without restrictions. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, fales.library@nyu.edu, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters; MSS 222; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Related Material at Fales Library and Special Collections

The Fred W. McDarrah Gay Pride Photographs Collection

Provenance

Received by donation from Callie Angell, Andy Warhol Film Project, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008.

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Container List

Series I: The Joe Campbell Collection of Dorothy Dean Letters

Scope and Contents note

This series comprises the entire collection of Dorothy Dean Letters.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
19-Aug-64
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
18-Oct-64
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
15-Feb-65
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
23-Apr-65
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
25-Oct-65
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
1-Nov-65
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
24-May-66
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
16-Jun-66
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
12-Jul-66
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
26-Feb-67
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
12-Mar-67
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
22-Mar-67
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
27-Apr-67
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
29-Apr-67
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
19-May-67
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
11-Jun-67
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
3-Sep-67
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
25-Sep-67
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
2-Nov-67
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
30-Jan-68
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
20-Feb-68
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
25-Apr-68
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
2-Jun-68
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
22-Apr-69
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
2-Aug-69
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
18-Dec-69
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
14-Feb-70
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
3-Jul-71
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
2-Nov-71
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
18-Dec-74
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
22-Dec-74
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
8-Mar-75
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
11-Oct-75
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
11-Feb-76
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
27-Apr-76
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
4-Jun-76
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
28-Jan-78
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
29-Mar-81
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
9-Feb-86
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
9-Mar-86
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Dorothy Dean to Joe Campbell
22-Jun-86
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Nora Sayre to Joe Campbell
14-Feb-87
Box: 1 Folder : 44 Nora Sayre to Joe Campbell
17-Feb-87
Box: 1 Folder : 45 "Libby" to Joe Campbell
25-Feb-87
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Nora Sayre to Joe Campbell
25-Mar-87

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