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UNH Gay Student Organization, 1973-1975

This guide was created by the UNH Special Collections and Archives to document the creation of the Gay Student Organization (GSO) and the subsequent controversy in the early 1970s.

Relevant Collections

  • The New Hampshire

    • This is the student newspaper. It has been digitized and made available online – however, we encourage you to manually go through the physical, bound copies available in the archives. 
    • The online search function for the digitized versions can be unreliable and miss results. If you are looking for an article, it is best to go through issue by issue and use CTRL + F or COMMAND + F to search the PDF. This can be tedious but will often turn up information that you might otherwise miss. 
    • The New Hampshire is a great window into student perspectives on the GSO. In addition to articles from TNH student staff writers, the Letters to the Editor section captures the diverse range of reactions from students. There are also often Letters to the Editor from anonymous gay students. 
    • The New Hampshire also offers incredible insight into the context surrounding the GSO controversy, including other events and occurances on campus. The issues from 1972 shed light on the preexisting contentious relationship between the university and the Union Leader and other contextual information. 
  • Gay Student Organization Scrapbooks

    • Collection number: UA 7/1/2 
    • This is a good starting point for research into the GSO. It helps establish a clear timeline and an idea of the context surrounding these events. 
    • The collection contains a variety of newsclippings regarding the controversy around the GSO. These clippings represent a wide variety of viewpoints and publications, including the Manchester Union Leader, the New Hampshire Sunday News, the Portsmouth Herald, Gay Community News, and Foster’s Daily Democrat.  
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Files 

    • Collection number: UA 2/3/15 
    • The relevant material is in Series 2, Box 1, Folder 1 
    • This collection contains more supplementary information about the GSO. Materials include a simplified timeline of UNH LGBTA history, more newsclippings, official statements from the Board of Trustees, and newsletters from UNH President Thomas Bonner. It also includes information about the Annual LGBTQ Pancake Breakfast at UNH. 
  • Mildred McAfee Horton Papers

    • Collection number: UA 1/7/2  
    • Relevant material can be found in Folder 6. 
    • This collection contains material that fleshes out the administration's point of view. This includes correspondence sent to the Board of Trustees from various supporters and opponents of the GSO, including letters from Governor Thomson. It also includes the original statement by Vice Provost for Student Affairs Richard Stevens, which was voted on by the Board of Trustees. It also includes the motion presented at the Student Caucus to call for the resignation of  Student Trustee Allen Bridle. 
    • This collection also includes all of Thomas Bonner’s newsletters and speeches from 1972-1974, which would be worthwhile to go through. 
  • Office of the President Papers

    • Collection number: UA 2/1/12
    • Relevant material can be found in Box 32, folders 9 and 10
    • This material represents the administration's point of view and the legal point of view. 
    • It includes statements from President Bonner, court documents and opinions, memorandums, legal documents, letters from the university's lawyer, petitions and drafts of petitions, copies of motions, and statements from Governor Thomson.