Research Catalog

Vito Russo papers

Vito Russo papers, 1969-1990.
Russo, Vito.
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FormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Mixed materialPermit neededAvailableMssCol 2654Schwarzman Building - Manuscripts & Archives Room 328


Additional Authors
13.19 linear feet (36 boxes); 1.41 Megabytes (249 computer files); 230 audio files, 19 video files
  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries.
  • Floppy disks.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Video recordings.
Source (note)
  • Estate of Vito Russo, via Jed Mattes
Biography (note)
  • Vito Russo was a film critic, writer, and gay rights activist.
Processing Action (note)
  • Cataloged.
Call Number
MssCol 2654
Russo, Vito.
Vito Russo papers, 1969-1990.
Personal and professional papers documenting Russo's activities as a film critic, writer, and gay rights activist. Included are correspondence, journals, news clippings, personal memorabilia, photographs, computer disks, audio cassettes and videotapes. Correspondence relates to Russo's professional activity as writer and film critic, his political activism, and his personal life. Russo's journals chronicle his work, personal relationships and his fight against AIDS. Audio tapes contain lectures and interviews given by Russo. Computer disks contain the text of speeches given by Russo, research notes and interview transcripts for "The Celluloid Closet," drafts of articles and outgoing correspondence. Ephemera consists of buttons, handbills and flyers from gay rights events, as well as programs from gay and lesbian film festivals.
Restricted Access
Correspondence contained in boxes 1-5 is closed until November 7, 2015.
Vito Russo was a film critic, writer, and gay rights activist. Born in New York City in 1946, Russo attended college at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and received a Master's degree in cinema from New York University in 1971. Russo's essays, interviews, and film reviews appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, New York, Outweek, The Village Voice, and Esquire. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Russo presented "The Celluloid Closet," a lecture and film series about the depiction of gay characters in movies. A book-version of "The Celluloid Closet" was published by Harper & Row in 1981. In 1983, Russo wrote, produced, and co-hosted "Our Time," a television series focusing on the gay community. In 1985 he was the national publicity director for the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk." He also appeared in the 1990 documentary film "Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt." Russo was a member of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), a co-founder of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), and a co-founder of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Russo was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985, and died of AIDS-related complications on November 7, 1990.
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Added Author
Bell, Arthur (Arthur Irving)
Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Brown, Rita Mae.
Charisse, Cyd.
Duane, Tom.
Kantrowitz, Arnie, 1940-2022.
Katz, Jonathan, 1938-
Koch, Ed, 1924-2013.
Midler, Bette.
Tomlin, Lily.
Waters, John, 1946-
Research Call Number
MssCol 2654
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