Charles Shively Collection

Title

Charles Shively Collection

Subject

Shively, Charles

Publisher

The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston

Rights

Contact info@historyproject.org for more information.

Identifier

THP-0074

Items in the Charles Shively Collection Collection

Certified Copy of Birth Record, Charles Shively
This Certified Copy of Birth Record is for Charles Shively. It notes his birth date on December 8, 1937, in Stonelick Twp., Clermont County, Ohio, to Florence Lillian Potrafke and Mearl Carlton Shively of Batavia Ohio. The certificate notes…

Sympathy card from Lou Costa in Billerica to Gordon Copeland, November 2, 1990
Sympathy card from Lou Costa in Billerica to Gordon Copeland, November 2, 1990

Letter from Carol (Gordon's wife) to her father-in-law, from the Air Force Base in 1954.
This letter, from Carol to “Dad Copeland,” is written in cursive with red ink, on stationery decorated with a hunting dog in the top left corner. It is likely that “Skip” is Gordon, and Carol is Skip’s wife, writing to her father-in-law. …

Letter "Dear Skip" about the end of Gordon and Carol's marriage, no date
This letter was filed in Gordon Copeland’s correspondence folder in the Charles Shively archives. Written by hand in cursive, with faded pencil, on yellowed stationary, it is addressed “Dear Skip,” and is not signed or dated. However the…

Letter, Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, June 28 1973
In this letter, Allan gives his condolences about the death of a mutual friend or family member named Michael, and passes on a message to Judy and (another) Gordon ("I really feel bad and ... I wish them the best of luck"). He asks "How is everyone…

post-breakup Valentine's Day card from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, not dated
In this Valentine's Day card, Allan writes "Gordon, I hope we're still good friends. Let the past be the past, life isn't long enough. Only think of the future. Love, Allan." The greeting card's pre-printed message reads "Valentine, you are... the…

Valentine's Day card from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, not dated
Valentine's Day card from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, not dated. "To Gordon, my sweetest Valentine :) "

Postcard from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, October 18, 1974
Allan writes to Gordon from Spain - he didn't like Morocco, but he loves Spain, and he toured a champagne distillery. Dated October 18, 1974.

Letter from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland in which Allan shares that he is now going steady with someone, dated August 4, 1974
In this letter, Allan writes "I think there is something you should know. I am now going with somebody, and have been for a couple of months now. I think it is only fair that you should know this. I still think of you as a great friend (I always…

Birthday card from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, June 20, 1974
Birthday card from Allan to Gordon, apologizing for it being a couple days late, dated June 20, 1974.

Card from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland. April 17, 1974.
Greeting card from Allan to Gordon with a conch shell on the front. Allan asks how Gordon's Easter was and says his was "boring. Like every day." Dated April 17, 1974.

Letter from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, April 11, 1974
In this letter, Allan apologizes for not spending more time with Gordon when he was home ("my mother was sick, what could I do!?") and asks him to say hello to Chuck (Charles Shively?) and again complains about Ricky's lack of correspondence. Dated…

Letter from Allan Searcy to Gordon Copeland, November 1, 1973
Allan writes to Gordon from Charleston, SC ("not AWOL"). In this letter Allan refers to a prior decision to "get out of the Navy" - "to get out on you know what," but says that he has now changed his mind: "I figured it wasn't worth it... So I told…

letter from Allan Searcy in the Navy to Gordon Copeland,  June 7, 1973
In this letter, Allan writes "it sounds like my *hotline* was right about what was happening downtown," asks about Flo, complains that Ricky didn't write him back, and tells Gordon to say hi to Red (Ricky's friend). Dated June 7, 1973

letter from Allan Searcy in the Navy to Gordon Copeland, May 4, 1973
Allan Searcy writes from his ship in the Navy to Gordon Copeland, and asks about their mutual friends ("everyone in town") and asks him to say hello to Ricky. Dated May 4, 1973.

letter from Allan Searcy in the Navy to Gordon Copeland, May 17, 1973
Allan Searcy was Gordon's boyfriend for a time. Allan wrote to Gordon from various posts in the Navy. This letter is dated May 17, 1973. Allan notes that "It seems every day I mature more. Damn by the time I am 19 I'll be 30," shares praise he…

Gordon's autographed studio portrait of Robert Russell (writer for plays, musicals, and documentaries)
This black and white glossy studio portrait has the inscription "To Gordon, A kind & sincere friend, Fondly, Bob. 'Take Me Along!'" Robert W. Russell was an American playwright who co-wrote the book (aka libretto) for the 1959 musical "Take Me Along"…

Gordon bartending
photograph of Gordon bartending

Portrait of a young Gordon Copeland and four other men.
This black and white Kodak Velox Paper candid photograph features five young white men with their arms around each other, facing the camera and smiling, standing on a sidewalk. Some of them are in jackets and ties, others more casually dressed. The…

Black and white photograph of a living space with a painted portrait of Gordon Copeland.
This small, square, black and white Kodak Velox with scalloped edges appears to be of a living space (lamp, table, candles, vase, record player and vinyl records) with a painted portrait of a man posed in a chair, looking back over his shoulder at…

Small color Kodak studio portrait print of sailor Allan Srarcy, with affectionate inscription to Gordon, 1973.
This tiny color print is a studio portrait of a smiling very young-looking white man in a Navy uniform. On the back is a handwritten inscription "To Gordon, with great love, Allan, '1973.'" This photo was stored along with a handwritten note on scrap…

[Untitled]
Color Kodak print.

Charles Shively, June 1961 (age approximately 24)
This small, color "Kodacolor Print" of Charles Shively is dated June 1961 - so he is approximately 24 in this photo.

Charles Shively (young)
This is a small black and white studio portrait photograph of Charles Shively, possibly from the time of his enrollment at Harvard. He is wearing a coat and tie, glasses with heavy rims, and a serious expression.

[Untitled]
Black-and-white portrait photograph of a woman theatrically posing with a sword and a mask in her hands, wearing a strappy, feathered bikini top and sequined satin panties with cut-aways at the hips, and spiral earrings. She has autographed the…

Photograph of Gordon Copeland in a bar, later in life.
This is a sepia-tone photograph of Gordon Copeland in a bar, later in life. He is wearing a swater with his name monogrammed onto the right breast. This is the photograph that Charles selected for Gordon's memorial service.

Photo of a dog
Color photograph of a dog.

Retouched, enlarged Kodak copy of original Polaroid of Gordon and his dog.
This Kodak photo is a retouched, enlarged re-print of the original Polaroid of Gordon and his dog, featured in this archive. The back of the photo has a label that reads "Photo Retouched By Take Two Photocraft, 202 Mass. Avenue, Arlington, MA 02174."

Gordon and his dog.
Polaroid photograph of Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner) and his dog.

Gordon bartending,  July 1968.
3.5"x3.5" black and white photograph of Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner) bartending, dated July 1968. Gordon's obituary stated that he bartended at Brumlin's.

Handwritten draft of Gordon's obituary and to-do lists for his memorial service.
These handwritten sheets draft out Gordon's obituary and also include scattered notes and lists regarding his memorial service. Gordon was Charles Shively's partner.

Request from Cambridge Hospital Patient Accounts for Gordon Copeland's income information in order to obtain Free Care.
This packet contains a letter from the Cambridge Hospital Patient Accounts Department, addressed to Charles Shively's partner Gordon Copeland, stating that his Free Care status had been denied due to lack of income verification. The letter encloses…

"NINETY-FIVE: ANNUS SEMIHORRIBILILIS"
This printed letter appears to be a summary of the author's academic and personal affairs of the year 1995 - it may have been sent out to a number of recipients, as it is not addressed to anyone, and is printed from a computer with a handwritten…

Application for use of Old Cambridge Baptist Church, for December 8 1995 memorial service of Gordon Copeland (partner of Charles Shively).
This document is a copy of the form that Charles filled out to reserve the sanctuary of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church (Cambridge MA) for Gordon's memorial service on December 8, 1995. Charles wrote that he anticipated 50-75 people to attend, and…

"Airman's Clearance Certificate" - paperwork part of Gordon Copeland's discharge from the Air Force on April 3, 1953. (Gordon was Charles Shively's partner.)
This document three-page document begins with a form titled "AIRMAN'S CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE," which states that Gordon had finished his work on the activities that he was responsible for at the Biggs Air Force Base in Texas, prior to being…

Letter from Gordon Copeland to the Boston Veterans' Affairs office, regarding the benefits that the Air Force had denied him since 1953 due to his "undesirable discharge" (discharge based solely on accusation of homosexuality), dated July 3, 1979.
This type-written letter, from Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner) to the Boston Veterans' Affairs office, requests "to activate a character of service determination to determine my access to VA benefits." The letter is dated July 3, 1979 - during…

Copy of a letter from Gordon Copeland to the Secretary of the Air Force, Discharge Review Board, dated July 3, 1979.
This document is a type-written draft of a letter from Gordon Copeland, addressed to the Secretary of the Air Force, Discharge Review Board. Gordon writes, "I hope that an upgrade of my undesirable discharge will be possible without a personal…

Letter of membership recruitment for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), addressed to Charles Shively, with handwritten notes on the back regarding Gordon Copeland's appeal for upgrade to honorable discharge.
This letter is addressed to Charles Shively, and signed by the executive director of the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The letter states that John Mitzel has recommended Charles for membership, and describes the achievements and value of…

ACLU Gay Rights Chapter: "UPGRADING GAY & LESBIAN VETERAN DISCHARGES"
This pamphlet, created by the ACLU of South California Gay Rights Chapter, instructs veterans on how to apply to upgrade their discharge to honorable discharge, if they had been discharged "less than honorably" due to being (or being accused of…

Newspaper clipping, reporting a fire at 135 Commonwealth Ave (Boston MA) that almost killed Gordon Copeland.
This scan is of a xerox of a newspaper clipping that describes "a blaze at on the top floor at 135 Commonwealth Ave" in which "Gordon W. Copeland," (Charles' partner) "34, an occupant... was taken to City Hospital after being overcome by smoke. He…

Schedule of personal estate in detail, schedule of real estate in detail
This undated document is a handwritten tally of someone's personal estate ($146,188.78) and real estate ($45,000). There is no name on the document. It was filed in a folder of Gordon Copeland's documents.

Mortgage document - Charles Shively's purchase of a property on Broadway in Cambridge, MA, that became his and his partner Gordon's long-time home.
This legal document is regarding the sale of a property in Cambridge by Timothy and Evelyn Kelleher to Charles Shively, for $16,000 to be paid over 10 years with 9% interest.

"Court Does Not Require the Memorandum" notice sent to Gordon Copeland from Attorney Joseph Johnston on February 23 1985.
This document is a standard form from the Middlesex Probate and Family Court Department that simply states "Court Does Not Require the Memorandum... Happy New Year." It was stored in Charles' files in an envelope addressed to Gordon Copeland…

Postcard from England. Perhaps from Gordon Copeland's mother to her father on a vacation to England in 1932.
This scan is actually of a xeroxed copy of a postcard saved in Charles' files. On the same sheet of xerox paper was also a studio portrait of Charles' partner, Gordon Copeland, at age 18 months, taken in 1932 in England (close to Gordon's father's…

Portrait photograph of Gordon Copeland at age 18 months, with a woman (possibly his mother).
This is a photocopy of a portrait photograph of Charles' partner, Gordon Copeland, at age 18 months (as noted on the back). He is standing beside a woman in a dress with lace on the shoulders. She may be Gordon's mother (Marie Thompson Copeland), or…

Love poem for Gordon Copeland, typed and handwritten drafts, dated 9 July 1965 (over 30 years before Gordon's passing).
This item includes 2 pieces of paper: one, a draft of the poem typed on a typewriter with handwritten edits, and the second, a handwritten version of the poem (probably an earlier draft) on lined composition book paper. Both versions are dated 9 July…

Draft of Gordon Copeland's Obituary
This typed paragraph appears to be a draft of Gordon's obituary run in the Boston Globe on Thursday, December 7, 1995 (also included in this collection). (Gordon Copeland was Charles Shively's partner.) This draft is not signed or dated.

Gordon's discharge from the Air Force, April 3, 1953
This discharge paper records the character of Gordon's separation from the U.S. Air Force as "Undesirable." He had enlisted on July 20, 1950 in Providence RI. He had completed 2 years, 8 months, and 13 days, and had been assigned to the Biggs Air…

Gordon Copeland's Certificate of Death
Gordon Copeland's Certificate of Death records his passing on November 23, 1995. The certificate states that he passed away at age 64, and that the immediate cause of death was "hepato cellular carcinoma" with 3 months between onset and death, and…

Last Will and Testament (envelope and 4 page document) of Gordon W. Copeland, Jr. (Charles Shively's partner), signed April 5, 1985.
This document, dated April 5, 1985, is the Last Will and Testament (envelope and 4 page document) of Gordon W. Copeland, Jr. (Charles Shively's partner). Gordon left six precious items to his sister and younger descendants (the list is archived here…

List of personal property referred to in Gordon Copeland's Last Will and Testament, April 5, 1985.
This 1-page document is a list of personal property referred to in Gordon Copeland's Last Will and Testament, April 5, 1985. The list refers to 6 items (jewelry, a watch, and a pitcher) to be inherited by Gordon's sister, children, grandchildren, and…

Death Certificate of Timothy Joseph Kelleher
This document is Timothy Kelleher's Medical Examiner's Certificate of Death. The certificate states that Timothy passed away on December 3, 1977, "en route to the Cambridge Hospital" and the causes are listed as "Coronary Heart Disease" and "Sudden…

Birth Certificate of Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner)
This is Gordon's birth certificate. He was born on June 17, 1931 in Providence RI. His father, also named Gordon, was born in Chatham, England, and his mother, Marie Thomas, was born in Syracuse, New York.

Memorial Service Program for Gordon William Copeland, Jr., Charles Shively's partner, on December 8, 1995
This is the Memorial Service Program for Gordon William Copeland, Jr., Charles Shively's partner, on December 8, 1995, at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. The front has a small black and white photograph of Gordon along with the dates of his birth…

Four obituaries for Gordon W. Copeland Jr., Charles Shively's partner, who passed away on November 23, 1995.
This envelope contained four obituaries for Charles Shively's partner of 30 years, Gordon W. Copeland Jr. The obituaries record his passing on November 23, 1995, and note that he was a father, grandfather, brother, uncle. He attended Brown…

Letter to Charles from his mother, Florence, regarding the marriage of his brother,  Mearl Jr ("Butch") to a woman named Marilyn on March 6 (year not recorded).
In this letter, Charles' mother, Florence, breaks the news that his brother "Butch" (Mearl C. Shively, Jr.) has gotten married to "an awfully nice girl" named Marilyn L. Edwards on March 6 (Marilyn's 19th birthday - year not given). Florence also…

Letter to Charles regarding his grandfather's will (Mearl A. Shively) dated April 5, 1977.
This letter is from a law firm that was representing Charles' mother and presents a copy of his father's will and requests that Charles sign and return a waiver of notice and consent to probate.

letter to Charles from an attorney regarding the estate of his brother, Stephen C. Shively
This letter from May 10, 2000 introduces Jack Cornett as the attorney retained to administer the estate of Charles' brother, Stephen C. Shively, and presents a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration. The estate in…

Funeral Program for Florence L. Shively, Charles' mother.
This small funeral program has a yellow front page with painted picture of yellow flowers and a white church steeple, and reads "In Loving Memory." The inside contains the Twenty-Third Psalm ("The Lord is my shepherd...") and gives her dates of birth…

Obituary for Florence L. Shively, Charles' mother
This newspaper clipping is an obituary for Florence L. Shively, the mother of Charles Shively. She had died on Monday September 16, 1996, so this clipping is probably not long after that.
It was probably run in a local paper, as the article on the…

Letter dated September 27 1996, from Kathleen Staarman (paralegal) to Charles Shively presenting a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration.
This letter, dated September 27 1996, presents Charles Shively with a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration, regarding the property at 1333 East Avenue in Hamilton Ohio that had previously belonged to Charles' mother.…

Packet of 3 documents from November 6 1996 regarding Charles' deceased mother's property (transfer of property rights to Charles's brother Stephen, and Charles' receipt of receiving household goods).
This packet contains a letter from a law firm, a document confirming that Charles received one fifth of the household goods from his deceased mother's home, and a Quit Claim Deed in which Charles grants ownership of his portion of his deceased…

Front cover featuring a photo of "The 1954 All Ohio Boys' Band," perhaps including Charles.
This newspaper clipping is from the front page of The Columbus Citizen, August 28 1954, featuring a headline regarding the Ohio State Fair: "Ohio's Finest Young Musicians --- The 1954 All Ohio Boys' Band." The caption says that the band has 320…

Local Ohio newspaper announcement of Charles Shively's graduation from Harvard undergrad.
This article is from the Sunday Echo, June 21, 1959. The paper appears to be based in Fairfield Ohio. The article announces Charles' graduation magna cum laude from Harvard University, having majored in American History. The article notes that…

Local newspaper article from May 10 1958 reporting on Charles Shively (noted as a Fairfield High School graduate) making Dean's List at Harvard.
This newspaper clipping is most likely from a local newspaper, as it describes Charles as a "Fairfield High School graduate." It briefly notes that Charles (son of Mr and Mrs Mearl Shively at 2117 Tuley Rd) made the undergraduate Dean's List at…

Last Will and Testament for Charles' grandfather, Mearl Avery Shively, July 30, 1971
This is the Last Will and Testament of Mearl Avery Shively, Charles' grandfather. This will was signed by Mearl Avery and two witnesses, in Batavia Ohio, on July 30 1971. This date is a year after the death of Charles' father (Mearl Avery's son),…

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