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Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press
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The Body Politic-Press-Archives connection
Its impact on these archival holdings

In organizing the papers of The Body Politic and Pink Triangle Press, the (then) Canadian Gay Archives was often in an odd position. While it is now an independent institution, it began in 1973 as a creation of The Body Politic -- originally as the Canadian Gay Liberation Movement Archives. From 1975 until 1980 the Archives was formally part of Pink Triangle Press. And, but for a brief stay in the house of its founder Ron Dayman, the Archives shared addresses with The Body Politic, and later Xtra, for more than 17 years.

(For more on the history of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in relation to TBP and PTP, see the next page, Other sources of information: Published material.)

These facts have a number of important implications for anyone examining the history of The Body Politic and the Press through material held in the (now) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

The first, and most important, is that the Archives houses a good deal of material originally collected by The Body Politic but not accessioned as originating with the magazine or the Press. This material includes: much of the gay and lesbian periodical collection, built through exchange subscriptions with TBP; many books in the James Fraser Library, originally received for review; a large number of newspaper clippings and non- gay periodical files; many vertical files on organizations and individuals; and photographs, posters, audio and video material produced or gathered through the daily workings of The Body Politic.

Second, the close organizational relationship between the Archives, The Body Politic and the Press -- combined with their long physical proximity -- often led the Archives to be treated not as a despository of historical material but as an ongoing record centre. Much material moved from TBP and the Press to the Archives not in discrete and infrequent accessions of well- ordered files, but in a sporadic flow of largely unsorted paper.

The order of many records was imposed by the Archives, especially in earlier years. Even after a formal accession system was set up in 1982, small, random deliveries from some operations of TBP -- as well as from staff whose work (and filing systems) often covered more than one part of the operation -- remained common. This has no small impact on efforts to establish a coherent order and produce a reasonable inventory of the papers The Body Politic left behind.

Finally, the Archives has separate accessions holding the papers of a number of individuals who were involved with The Body Politic and the Press. In some cases material in these accessions relates to their work on the magazine. For a list of these related personal accessions, see Other sources of information: Archival resources.

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