Louie Crew Papers, 1936-2015 (majority within 1974-2006)
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Crew, Louie, 1936-2019 and Clay-Crew, Louie
- The Louie Crew Papers document the life and writings of Louie Crew Clay (1936-2019): a gay activist, Episcopalian minister, professor, and poet. He founded Integrity, an Episcopal forum for gay rights, and best known as an advocate for the acceptance of gay people within the Episcopal Church and the academic community. Papers consist of correspondence, publications and writings, professional materials such as teaching and committee work, Episcopal church and Integrity records, and personal materials.
43 Linear Feet
42 record boxes, 1 flat audio cassette box
- Finding aid created by Katie Jones using ArchivesSpace, 2023.
- Scope and Content:
Louie Crew Papers has been divided into 6 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1947-2006: divided into outgoing and incoming correspondence, arranged by correspondent or by date. Incoming correspondence from 1962 to 1985 is arranged by correspondent and then date, while correspondence from 1986 to 2005 is arranged by date. Incoming correspondence aquired in later accretions is arranged by date.
Series 2: Publications and Writings, 1958-2015: includes articles, prose, poems and poetry volumes, sermons, manuscripts, essays, dissertations, and materials written and/or edited by Crew. Materials are arranged by publication type and then by date.
Series 3: Professional Materials, 1959-2015: documents related to Crew's career as an English professor, gay activism outside of the church, and his involvement in various organizations and conferences. The series is divided into 3 subseries: (1) Teaching Materials, (2) Organizations, Conferences, and Research, and (3) News Clippings and Secondary Materials. All are arranged by date.
Materials include Crew's involvement with the Gay Academic Union, National Council of Teachers of English Gay Caucus, National Gay Task Force, Gay People's Union, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Black and White Men Together, as well as Crew's development of open-source software programs for writing. Materials of particular significance include Crew's "Gay Bibliography,"which is a collection of pamphlets, brochures, articles, and other research on a variety of gay organizations and subjects.
Series 4: Episcopal Church and Integrity Records, 1974-2006: documents related to Crew's involvement in the Episcopal Church, including his service on the Executive Council, House of Bishops, Council for the Diocese of Newark, and General Conventions. Also included are materials related to Episcopal conferences, talks, and mission trips. Integrity Records documents Crew's founding of Integrity, a non-profit Episcopal Forum for gay rights, and includes board reports and correspondence, bylaws, and the Integrity newsletter. Also included are news articles, reports, newsletters, correspondence, and other materials sent to Crew from presidents and board members.
Series 5: Personal Materials, 1936-2014: contains diaries and appointment books, baby and wedding scrapbooks, artwork, awards and honorary degrees, family genealogy materials, and legal documents. Also included are graphs showing statistics Crew collected on himself related to manuscript publications and rejections, correspondence sent, time spent asleep, computer activity, and other personal data.
Significant materials include Crew's lawsuits regarding housing discrimination, a sexual discrimination suit against American University, and a same sex domestic partner health benefits case against Rutgers University.
Series 6: Photographs and Audiovisual Materials, 1937-2011. Photographs contain headshots and candid photos of Louie Crew and his husband, Ernest Clay. Also included are Crew's theater photos and candid shots of friends and family. Audiovisual Materials contain audiocassettes, floppy disks, VHS, and CDs of interviews, poetry readings, sermons and talks, published poems, and pdfs of Crew's websites and YouTube videos.
- Biographical / Historical:
Louie Crew Clay was born Erman Louie Crew Jr. in Anniston, Alabama on December 9, 1936. He received his bachelor's degree from Baylor University (1958), master's degree from Auburn University (1959), and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (1971). He married Flora "Flo" Frederich in 1968 and divorced in 1973. Crew married Ernest Clay on February 2, 1974, although their marriage was not legally recognized until 2013.
Crew taught English composition for 44 years at various prep schools and universities around the world including Claflin College, Fort Valley University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Beijing International Studies University, Chinese University at Hong Kong, and Rutgers University until his retirement in 2001. He authored more than 2,500 publications including several poems and poetry volumes, prose, books, and academic articles under several pseudonyms including Lin Min Hua, Quean Lutibelle, and Dr. Dungo.
In 1974, Crew founded Integrity, a national non-profit organization and Episcopal forum for gay rights. He served as editor of the newsletter, Integrity, from 1974 to 1977. He also co-founded the Gay Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English with Julia Penelope Stanley in 1975 and served on the board of directors for the National Gay Task Force and the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Lesbian and Gay Issues. Crew, an ordained minister, was heavily involved with the Episcopal Church including serving six terms in the Episcopal Church House of Deputies and one term on the Executive Council from 2000-2006. He also served as a member of the Newark Diocese Council, Newark Standing Committee, and was a board member for Oasis, the first Episcopalian Diocesan ministry for gay people.
Crew died on November 27, 2019, in Newark, New Jersey.
Sources: "Dr. Louie Crew Clay Profile", LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, 2003.
Louie Clay Crew, interview by Timothy Stewart-Writer and Whitney Strub, Queer Newark Oral History Project, 2015.
"Louie Crew Profile" (from box 42, folder 2).
- Acquisition Information:
- Materials were donated by Louie Crew over multiple accretions from 1990-2016.
- Processing information:
Materials were processed in the 1990s and re-processed with accretions by Katie Jones and Tere Elizalde in 2023. Removed materials include tax, financial, and medical records, student records and class lists, ephemeral materials such as church bulletins and invitations, faculty memos, conference materials, and other materials not related to Crew or his work. Incoming correspondence was originally processed and arranged in order of correspondent. This was kept intact, with all additional correspondence arranged by date.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright has not been transferred to the regents of the University of Michigan. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).