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Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press
Page 1 of 40 / Introduction / Appx 1,100 words / 9 images / 140K TOTAL

This page: / Contents
TBP #1
# 1, Nov / Dec 1971


Inventory of the Records of
The Body Politic
and Pink Triangle Press

Compiled and annotated by Rick Bébout

First published by
The Canadian Gay Archives, 1988
Revised and expanded for the World Wide Web site of
The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 1996
Re-edited, 1998


The Body Politic and Pink Triangle Press
About this Inventory, 1988 and 1996
Using this Inventory (& the material it lists)
On-screen tips

The Body Politic and Pink Triangle Press

The Body Politic (TBP) existed for just over 15 years, publishing 135 issues from late 1971 to early 1987. It was based in Toronto, but became the leading journal of gay liberation in all of Canada and -- with an eventual third of its circulation outside the country -- an internationally respected voice of radical gay thought.

Pink Triangle Press (PTP) was founded in 1975 to give The Body Politic formal corporate existence. Until 1980, what is now the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives was part of Pink Triangle Press. Today, the Press publishes Xtra in Toronto, Xtra West in Vancouver, and Capital Xtra in Ottawa. It also has a growing electronic media division.

The Historical overview and The Body Politic- Press- Archives connection give more info. All pages are accessible from the Contents list. There are links to it at the top and bottom of this page.

Related material is available on my own website, launched in January 2000. It includes:

On the Origin of The Body Politic Link opens in a new browser window, covering the paper from its birth in 1971 to late 1974, with reflections on what it became -- and 46 images;

Gay "journalism": What for? Link opens in a new browser window, a May 1997 paper drawing on TBP's history; and

Promiscuous Affections: A Life in The Bar, 1969 - 2000 Link opens in a new browser window, a big memoir recounting (among much else) life at TBP in my time there, 1977 - 87, and my later stint at Pink Triangle Press, 1994 - 95. Includes 450 images, many of TBP people.

About this Inventory: 1988, 1996, and 1998

I compiled the core of this Inventory in early 1988, not long after The Body Politic ceased publication. I dug into more than 125 linear feet of boxes making up more than two dozen accessions, and then tried to list their contents in some logical order. My logic is explained on the page called Series introduction.

I also wrote related historical commentaries, about TBP and the Press, and about specific parts of the operation. These commentaries were perhaps the most valuable part of the Inventory -- making it not simply a list of archival holdings but a direct source of information on the history and workings of The Body Politic and the Press up to 1988.

As for the 1988 listings: they are not as complete as I had hoped to make them. As Harold Averill notes in his Foreword, work was interrupted by a move of the Archives. I was able to give some material only a cursory glance and describe it in only the most general way.

I also prepared this Inventory for online use, in the fall of 1996. Accessions listed in 1988 are described much as they were then. But there were other changes. New to this edition:

  • Expanded commentaries heading series lists

  • Accessions missed (or misnumbered) in 1988, and some accessions added since

  • Footnotes offering new annotations

  • Lists of other sources of information, published, archival, and online, on The Body Politic, the Press and many of the people involved

  • New appendices, including lists of collective members, correspondents, key writers and volunteers -- more than 500 people in all

  • Graphics: new images illustrating the series listings

A Photo Gallery meant to offer many more images was built into the 1996 online version, but I was never able to develop it. In the 1998 re-edit it has been removed -- at least for the time being.

Using this Inventory (& the material it lists)

This Inventory is a guide to more than a tonne of archival paper held in Toronto. But wherever you are, you may be able to find the information you want right here on-screen.

The Historical overview, the commentaries heading series listings, and the appendices offer substantial background on the workings of The Body Politic and, to 1988, Pink Triangle Press. The page on other sources of published information lists material that may be in libraries near you. Some is also online -- and more will be noted as it's made available.

If you want to look into that tonne of paper yourself, you can come to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto. See the Archives Home Page (there are links to it on every page of this Inventory) to find out how to get in touch. There is an e-mail link to the Archives on every page here as well.

However you make contact, you'll get what you want more quickly if you note the accession and box number of the material you're interested in. For example:

83-010 / 01
The Body Politic Collective. Minutes, 1973-1981.

That's accession 83-010 (made in 1983), box 1.

On-screen tips

To view the Inventory on-screen, click on the Contents link below. From the Contents list, you can choose any page you want to see. The list also shows how big pages are, giving for each one an approximate word count, number of images, and the size in kilobytes.

Links are provided at the top and bottom of each page, letting you move to the previous one, the next one, back to the Contents list or to this Introduction -- or to any of the pages that may have led you to this Inventory from the Archives Home Page.

Footnote numbers are in brackets (eg: [1]). If you click on the number, you'll get the relevant note. There's a link at the end of each footnote to take you back to your place in the text.

Feel free to save pages from this Inventory for later use. There is no full-text version of the entire document in a single file, but you can print individual pages while online, or download them to your own computer. (Note that such downloads will not include images.)

Finally, style purists may catch inconsistent use of italics in this document. To save on endless HTML mark-up, from here on I have generally not italicized the names of The Body Politic or of its Xtra offspring.

Purists of fact may find more substantial errors. Others may have questions -- or additional information -- particularly about the many people named here. I would be glad to hear from you. My own e-mail address is:

Rick Bébout, 1996 / 1998 / 2000

TBP #19: Harold Hedd zapped
# 19, Jul / Aug 1975
TBP #40: Alive & kicking!
# 40, Feb 1978
TBP #64: Video and Performance Art. File bpcov64.jpg 170x228
# 64, Jun / Jul 1980
TBP #71: Bath raid Rage! File bpcov71.jpg 169x232
#71, Mar 1981
TBP #84: Now obscene! File bpcov84.jpg 164x228
# 84, Jun 1982
TBP #102: Silly like us File bpcov102.jpg 168x229
# 102, Apr 1984
TBP #135: Farewell issue. File bpc135.jpg 169x229
# 135, Feb 1987
Xtra #67: Bye Bye Beep.
Xtra # 67, Jan 3, 1987

List of online documents