Brian McNaught and Ray Struble Donate 36-Year Collection

An extensive collection of me­morabilia will soon be on display at the Stonewall Library and Archives. Brian McNaught and his partner Ray Struble have donated their extensive thirty-six year collection of LGBT artifacts. Currently on display at their homes in Fort Lauderdale and Provincetown, MA, the collection will soon be housed at the Stonewall for all to see.

Consisting of over 70 unique artifacts, the collection depicts various aspects of LGBT history. Books, letters, signatures, art and political artifacts dot the collection.

Highlights include a very rare copy of Walt Whitman’s book Two Rivulets. The book is a one-of-a-kind gem, which has been personalized, signed and dated by Whitman himself. Furthermore, Whitman hand wrote three last-minute changes to typed sentences within the book.

Works of art being donated to the Archives include Sappho, a rare painting of the lesbian poetess. Sappho was an Ancient Greek poet, born on the island of Lesbos. The bulk of her poetry, which was greatly admired throughout Greece, has been lost, but her association with lesbian culture has endured through surviving fragments.

McNaught and Struble also acquired a significant amount of political artifacts. Some noteworthy objects include a letter signed by Detroit Bishops Thomas Gumbleton and Joseph Imesch praising McNaught’s fight to end discrimination against homosexuals. In addition, their collection includes a contraband poster from the 1982 Gay Olympics in San Francisco.

“The collection in and of itself is amazing and of tremendous value to our community and to Stonewall. On another level, the collection is an extraordinary testament to the life and the important influence that Brian McNaught and Ray Struble have had on the LGBT world,” said Chad Thilborger, Development Director.

Asked about the reason for his contribution, McNaught states, “Ray and I are so impressed with the Stonewall Museum in Fort Lauderdale, and with its curator, Jack Rutland, that we have decided to donate our sizeable collection of LGBT and feminist memorabilia to them.”

McNaught is dedicated to making the Library into a world-renowned destination. “I have joined a group of enthusiastic individuals who want to make the Stonewall a crown jewel, regardless of the theme.”

Brain McNaught, a thirty-six year veteran of the gay civil rights movement has been named “the godfather of gay diversity training” by The New York Times. Most recently, McNaught served as an advisor to the former Surgeon General David Satcher on matters of national sexual health.

To date, there is no other entity like the Stonewall Library, and Archives. It is a state-of-the-art facility, housing over 18,000 books, audio-visual materials and information pertaining to the LGBT community. New titles are added every week and are available in the “New Arrivals” section of the Library. The Library also offers over 60 national and regional periodicals in the John Graves Reading Room.