Collection RBSC-ARC-1825 - Lisa Snider Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lisa Snider Collection

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Collection

Reference code

RBSC-ARC-1825

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1989-2014, predominant 2006-2014 (Accumulation)
    Accumulator
    Snider, Lisa
  • [1875?]-1992 (Creation)
    Creator
    Snider, Lisa

Physical description area

Physical description

7 postcards
2 pieces of sheet music
3 audio cassettes
1 b&w photograph
1 carte de visite
6 negatives (b&w)
6 t-shirts
1 button

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Lisa Snider was born in Calgary. She holds Bachelors in History and Classical History from the University of Calgary, and Masters in Classical Archaeology (1991), Library and Information Science (2013) and Archival Studies (2013) from UBC.

Snider has been a collector of historical lesbian ephemera since 2006, acquiring materials from then up until 2014.

Custodial history

The collection was donated to RBSC by Lisa Snider in 2019.

Scope and content

This collection consists of ephemera that celebrates gender performance and lesbian identities. Materials span a wide time period, capturing both early and late 20th century LGBT culture.

In particular, there is a significant part of the collection dedicated to ephemera and published materials that feature early 20th century gender impersonators. Developed out of the English music hall scene of the 19th century, male impersonators in the early 20th century were primarily vaudeville acts that toured the United States. Their audiences were predominantly male with a focus on comedic delivery, something that represented a shift in the male impersonator tradition from the earlier 19th century.
Well-known male impersonators include Vesta Tilley, who was an active performer from the 1870s until the 1920s, and Hetty King, who performed from the 1890s until her passing in the 1970s. Both are featured in a number of postcards that are part of the collection.

The collection also includes several early 20th century anti-suffrage postcards that depict women in relationships with each other (as opposed to men) and include phrases that suggest they have supplanted a man’s role. Other items include a souvenir photograph and accompanying paper frame from a 1930s entertainment venue, the Howdy Club, and 6 negatives of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt taken in 1939.

The collection also features materials from the 1980s and 1990s that belonged to Snider during that period. Highlights include several off-air recordings of episodes of the Vancouver Co-Op Radio show, ‘The Lesbian Show’ as well as t-shirts from the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria Womyn’s Centres.

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The collection was arranged, processed, and described by Mya Ballin in October 2021.

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