50 Feet and Over 50 years of Gay Travel Guides

By @ 12/14/15 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel
David Jarrett and his gay travel guides in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

David Jarrett and his gay travel guides

David Jarrett, show above, is a passionate traveler, photographer and collector of stamps, fine art and gay travel guides. He describes his collection of gay travel guides as the world’s largest. It’s difficult to verify but it is the largest we’ve ever seen and at 50 feet of shelf space, it’s undeniably huge.

He has complete collections of OUT & ABOUT, the premier gay travel newsletter first published in 1992, Passport Magazine and Out Traveler along with gay guides you’ve heard about and those you haven’t from countries all over the globe going back over half a century. It’s a gay traveler’s fantasy library. We found Damron, Spartacus and Fodor’s gay travel guides and many more. This collection is not yet available for public viewing though Jarrett says, “I am bequeathing all of my guidebooks (50 feet worth), my extensive sex diary and my sex trick photos to the ONE Archive in LA.”

The earliest guide in his collection dates from 1958. Below is an image of the Guild Guide from 1968.

According to David:

Also, over many years, I have made my gay guidebook collection available to serious gay researchers working on specific subjects. One researcher cataloged the changing gay neighborhoods in Manhattan, gradually moving from the Village, to Chelsea to now Hell’s Kitchen. Another incorporated some of the data in his master’s thesis. (Unfortunately, I haven’t yet seen anything published by them.)

Guild Guide from 1968 in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Guild Guide from 1968

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  1. Rick Hurlbut

    I am also compiling a collection of LGBT travel and tourism material, to be housed at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario. I would like to correspond with David Jarrett on how he compiled his collection, and whether there might be an opportunity to coordinate the two resources.

  2. edsalvato

    Fabulous! I’ll IM you. Ed

  3. Alan Beck

    Hi Ed,

    Knowing both David and Rick quite well, their combined information should be a valuable combination.

    I was just elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives. I attended my first Board Meeting yesterday and felt right at home. Also serving on the Board is John Tanzella, President of the IGLTA. Certainly, the SNMA would have an interest in David and Rick’s collections.

    I will be in NYC over the Christmas weekend and will be sorting my collection of FunMaps from their inception as “The David James Press” maps in 1982. I’m giving the copies to The Leslie Lohman Museum, William Way Center and the
    Stonewall National Museum and Archives.

  4. Michael C. Oliveira

    David thank you again, wishing a joyous holiday season and all the best for the new year. If anyone has questions about LGBTQ travel or would like to donate materials, please feel free to contact me. mcolivei at usc dot edu

    • Michael C. Oliveira

      Sorry I forgot to include ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles, California – longest continually operating LGBTQ organization in the western hemisphere and the largest collection of LGBTQ material in the world.

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