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Papers of Bruce McKinney

Call Number: RH MS 1164


Coffeyville, Kansas native Bruce A. McKinney began his career as an activist in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community during the 1960s while still a student in Coffeyville. During college, he was active in Wichita State University's Student Homophile Association. After college McKinney continued his activism in the community and began his archive, collecting items of significance related to the LGBT community both in and outside of Kansas. This collection reflects McKinney's involvement in the community as an activist and an archivist. It includes McKinney's personal notebooks, organization papers, newspaper and magazine serials, posters, and other memorabilia. It also contains the papers of both Rob Gutzman and Steve Wheeler, whose papers were donated to McKinney's archive posthumously.


  • 1900 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Bruce McKinney

Bruce A. McKinney was born December 13, 1953 in Coffeyville, Kansas to Gilbert "Dean" McKinney (1926-2007) and Velma Louise Bates (born 1930), who married on November 2, 1950. McKinney graduated from Coffeyville High School in 1971 and went on to attend college at Wichita State University (WSU) from 1971-1975.

McKinney began his career in activism while a youth by joining the Tulsa Organization for Human Rights, paying for the membership with his paper route money. At college he became involved in WSU's Student Homophile Association. After leaving college in 1975, he continued his activism, working to help found the Metropolitan Community Church of Wichita and the Homophile Association of Sedgwick County. In 1977, the Homophile Association of Sedgwick County proposed an amendment to the city council of Wichita, prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The ordinance was initially passed, but then overturned after being placed on the ballot in 1978.

During the 1980s, McKinney took a sabbatical from activism until he determined it was time for Kansas to have its first Gay Pride parade. McKinney joined Wichita's Gay Pride planning committee in 1988 and was instrumental in Kansas' first Gay Pride Parade in 1990. He has remained involved in the community since that time and is an active member of the Wichita Pride Committee, Kansas Equality Coalition, and the Gay and Lesbian Awards (G.A.L.A).

McKinney began collecting items related to the gay community in his youth after purchasing the Little Blue Book 1,000 Famous Homosexuals by E. Haldeman-Julius at a garage sale. His collecting continued through the 1970s and 1980s. By the mid-1990s, his archive was housed at the Wichita Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center. After The Center, as it was known, closed, McKinney retained most of the items from the collection and continued adding to it through the years. Papers by Rob Gutzman and Steve Wheeler were donated to McKinney's archive posthumously.

In August 2008, McKinney donated his archive to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas and has made some additional donations since.


114 Linear Feet (142 boxes + 147 oversize boxes, 9 oversize folders)

Scope and Contents

The Bruce McKinney Collection contains materials from approximately 1900 to 2008 and is arranged in 8 main series: the Papers of Bruce McKinney, the Papers of Rob Gutzman, the Papers of Steve Wheeler, Organization papers, Newspaper Articles and Clippings, Magazine and Newspaper Serials, Memorabilia, and Oversize Serials.

The Papers of Bruce McKinney, Rob Gutzman, and Steve Wheeler contain personal and professional correspondence, organization papers, and documents reflecting each man's personal interests, often related to activities within the LGBT community.

The Organization Papers are comprised of a variety of documents such as volunteer manuals, meeting minutes, and annual reports for various LGBT organizations from Wichita and around the state of Kansas.

Magazine and Newspaper Serials contain a wide variety of magazines, newspapers, and newsletters from Kansas, Illinois, and a number of other states and foreign countries.

Memorabilia includes materials such as flags, posters, and event buttons from across the country.

Series List

The Bruce McKinney collection dates from approximately 1900 to 2008 and is arranged in 8 main series: Bruce McKinney's papers, Rob Gutzman's papers, Steve Wheeler (and Dale Schultz)'s papers, Organizational records, Newspaper articles and clippings, Magazine and newspaper serials, Memorabilia, and Oversize serials. There have been additions to the collection, which typically follow the same organization as the original series but are located at different call numbers.

Photographs are located at RH MS-P 1232. Oversize materials have been separated and are located at RH MS Q306, RH MS Q338, RH MS R264, RH MS R265, RH MS R301, RH MS R354, RH MS R355, RH MS S26, and RH MS S32.

Physical Location

RH MS 1164

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RH MS Q306

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RH MS R264

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RH MS R265

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RH VLT MS 1164

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RH MS 1232

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RH MS-P 1232

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RH VLT MS 1232

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RH MS Q338

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RH MS R301

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RH MS 1321

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RH MS R354

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RH MS R355

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Bruce McKinney, 2008, 2010, 2011.

Separated Materials

Los Angeles Advocate. Advocate (Los Angeles, California). Issues 332-341 (1981:Dec.:10 - 1982:Apr.:29), 420-429 (1985:May:14 - 1985:Sept.:17), 433-6 (1985:Nov.:12 - 1985:Dec.:24), 511-2 (1988:Nov.:8 - 1988:Nov.:22), 526 (1989:June:6), 548 (1990:Apr.:10), 552 (1990:June:5), 591-6 (1991:Dec.:3 - 1992:Feb.:11), 614-7 (1992:Oct.:20 - 1992:Dec.:1), 620 (1993:Jan.:12), 622-3 (1993:Feb.:9 - 1993:Feb.:23), 626 (1993:Apr.:6), 645 (1993:Dec.:28), 648 (1994:Feb.:8), 650 (1994:Mar.:1994) removed to RH Wl D3738.

Barbo, Beverly. The Walking Wounded. Lindsborg: Carlson, 1987. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11313.

Coe, Edith C, ed. Edith Rosine and Albert Lincoln Koeneke: Their Lives in Poetry and Prose. North Newston: Menonite Press, 1977. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11310.

Meija, Michelle. Their Blah-She Blah-He Blah-You Blah. Wichita: Introspect Publications, 1995. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11315.

Walston, Matt. Among You. Wichita: Introspect Publications, 1995. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11312.

Webb, Michele, ed. My Folks Back to the Basics: A Treasury of Outhouse Stories. Topeka: Capper Press, 1994. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11311.

Wear, Scott. Poems by Scott Wear. Wichita Falls: Western Christian Foundation, 1972. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11314.

Guide to the Bruce McKinney Collection
Papers of Bruce McKinney
Finding aid prepared by skt, 2010; revised by skt, 2011, 2014. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2010; revised by skt, 2011, 2014.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
<p>Bruce McKinney Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1164, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries</p>

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States