Digital Transgender Archive

Finding Aid to the Ralph W. Judd Collection on Cross-Dressing in the Performing Arts

Download the full-sized PDF of Finding Aid to the Ralph W. Judd Collection on Cross-Dressing in the Performing Arts

The collection consists of materials collected by Ralph Judd relating to the history of cross-dressing in the performing arts. The collection is focused on popular music and vaudeville from the 1890s through the 1930s, and on film and television: it contains few materials on musical theater, non-musical theater, ballet, opera, or contemporary popular music. The materials consist primarily of sheet music, 1848-1988 (bulk circa 1895-1940), and studio publicity stills of motion pictures, 1900-1996, and of television productions, circa 1950-2000, that depict men and women dressed in attire considered appropriate to the opposite gender. The sheet music also includes a substantial number of items whose covers do not depict cross-dressing, but which (1) were performed by known homosexuals, (2) have titles with a “gay” connotation according to present GLBT and mainstream sensibilities; (4) have front pages that depict men or women in positions that could be construed as “gay” or “lesbian” according to current sensibilities; (5) are considered “camp” according to current sensibilities, and (6) celebrate patriotic themes. The collection includes a separate series of sheet music and photographs relating to Julian Eltinge, perhaps the greatest female impersonator of the 20th century, and a small album of photographs and postcards relating to other musical theater and vaudeville stars of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection also contains a series of Research Files, arranged in a number of sub-series and consisting largely of studio stills, supplemented by press kits and other publicity materials, programs, reviews, photocopies, and clippings from newspapers and the popular press. The People sub-series includes information on several prominent female impersonators, such as Jim Bailey and Charles Pierce. The significance to cross-dressing of a substantial portion of the materials, in particular in the Motion Pictures sub-series, is not readily apparent from the documents at hand. The collection includes a number of booklets on cross-dressing published by Judd; copies of his regular columns published in the cross-dressing press; and final drafts of several unpublished works on cross-dressing in motion pictures and in television. The collection also contains small number of periodicals published by the cross-dressing community; over 100 posters of motion pictures and theatrical performances that contain cross-dressing; and the remainder of Judd’s collection (originally numbering over 183 items) of VHS videos of motion pictures that depict cross-dressing.

Item Actions

PDF File

Item Information:

Discovery Resources
ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
ONE Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Date Created
Dates Covered
1848 to 2000?
Finding Aids
Charles Pierce
Jim Bailey
Julian Eltinge
Karyl Norman
Ralph Judd
Female impersonators
Male impersonators
Resource Type
Copyright undetermined
For more information on copyright, please read our policies