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Collection #166

Cory Benett Papers

Record:166
Date:1960-2005 (Bulk 1972-1997)
Size:4 feet

Provenance

Donated by Cory Benett on January 6, 2020.

Scope and Content

The collection centers on an unpublished memoir, set predominantly in the 1980s and 1990s, written by Cory Benett. Additional contents relate mostly to experiences recorded in the memoir, and include personal correspondence, photographs, calendars, relics, and ephemera.

History or Bio

Cory Benett was born in 1960 in Queens, New York, and grew up near the south shore of Long Island. He sardonically describes himself as an “obscure, depressive, trivial, cisgender white sissy New Yorker,” whose proficiency at “classic-movie quoting and fantasy” out-shown his professional abilities. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but left school to work at Bloomingdales in the china and crystal department. After almost two years there, he returned to F.I.T. to complete his degree in Advertising and Communications in 1983. Bloomingdales, embodying all things elegant, expensive, and stylish, was an object of fascination for Benett since childhood and is a setting for his memoir about life in New York in the 1980s-1990s. The memoir also depicts the AIDS crisis in New York and its effects on the many gay men like himself who struggled with their place in the social hierarchy of New York’s gay culture. Bennet was active with the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in the ’80s and ’90s and describes the surprising comfort he found there as well as with a community of gay country western two-step dancers. He lived in Manhattan for 23 years, taking various jobs in retail and office management, before relocating to South Florida.

USE RESTRICTIONS

Interpretation of these restrictions should always err on the side of respecting and protecting the privacy of living individuals.

Personal correspondence may be viewed in-person at the archive, but neither accessed online nor copied nor displayed unless the author of correspondence has given written permission, or is deceased.
Private street addresses, email addresses, phone numbers may not be published, copied, photographed, or otherwise disseminated.  Actual names of living persons may not be published, copied, or otherwise disseminated unless the person has given written permission for specific usage; restriction does not apply to the deceased.

Calendars:  Surnames, address or phone information, or other pointedly identifiable personal data for clients, medical practitioners, and other individuals may not be accessed online or otherwise posted, copied, or distributed.

Copyright of creative writing or journaling by the donor reverts to The Center after donor’s death.  Contents in the memoir may be viewed or shared as per standard Center Archive policy (and with credit to the author), however: anonymous and fictionalized names in the memoir may not be altered or notated to reveal actual names of living persons.

Folder List

Box 1

1. Postcards, 1970s – 2000s
2. DVDs, Home Movies, Out in America Documentary – Andy Humm 1991, Rights & Reactions 1987, Chris Honeysett doc.
3. Postcards to Parents over the years
4. More CB writing
5. Cat Photobook
6. Gay City News [published writing by CB]
7. Misc. CB writing (1 of 3)
8. Misc. CB writing (2 of 3)
9. Misc. CB writing (3 of 3)
10. Scrapbook – first adult trip to Paris (w/parents)
11. Photos by CB: Perspectives – Paris Opera, New York, San Francisco, South Beach, Venice 8/2005
12. Photos by CB: Perspectives – Paris 8/2005
13. Photos & Menu [1973 Europe trip w/family]
14. Photos [from unlabeled folder]
15. Photos [friends & family, NY Apt., Pride Parade: 1989-1993]
16. Xmas cards sent over the years (blank)
17. Greg Carstens Drawing & Xmas card
18. Calendars [F.I.T. 1979-1980]
19. Calendars [F.I.T. 1980-1981]
20. Calendar 1981
21. Calendar 1982
22. Calendar 1983
23. Calendar 1984
24. Calendars 1985, 1986, 1987
25. Calendar 1988
26. Calendar 1989
27. Calendar 1990
28. Calendar 1991
29. Calendar 1992
30. Calendar 1993

Box 2

31. Connections 2000-2007 [correspondence] (1 of 2)
32. Connections 2000-2007 [correspondence] (2 of 2)
33. “Semblance” – Relative to written work [memoir] (1 of 4)
34. “Semblance” – Relative to written work [memoir] (2 of 4)
35. “Semblance” – Relative to written work [memoir] (3 of 4)
36. “Semblance” – Relative to written work [memoir] (4 of 4)
37. “Bonus Human Being” Andy Humm & CLRG
38. Kenny & Mary in Paris ’89-’90 [Ken Moody]
39. Last minute Catch All [photos, home floorplan]
40. Miscellaneous [ephemera] of personal meaning (1 of 3)
41. Miscellaneous [ephemera] of personal meaning (2 of 3)
42. Miscellaneous [ephemera] of personal meaning (3 of 3)
43. Key Places
44. Pride Guide Covers
45. F.I.T. Samples 1978-1979 (interior design)
46. Ken Moody [Agency Cards, photos]
47. Art & Design / Fashion Images
48. Family Photos [1950-1972]
49. Photos [Fire Island, NYC, Paris, Florida 1980-2009]
50. Photos – Mark’s apartment revamp, 1997
51. Photos – Battery Park City 1998
52. Photos [NYC, San Francisco 1995-2000]
53. Photos [NYC Friends & Family 1980-2007]
54. Photos – Hawaii 1994
55. Paris, Venice [Photographer: Chris Bode]

Box 3

56. Father 1 of 2
57. Father 2 of 2
58. Mother
59. Correspondence from 1979 (age 19) & Earlier (1 of 3)
60. Correspondence from 1979 (age 19) & Earlier (2 of 3)
61. Correspondence from 1979 (age 19) & Earlier (3 of 3)
62. Financial Ledger 1979, check account record ’81, ’82
63. Correspondence 1980-1982
64. Correspondence 1983-1985 (1 of 2)
65. Correspondence 1983-1985 (2 of 2)
66. Correspondence 1986-1994 (1 of 2)
67. Correspondence 1986-1994 (2 of 2)
68. Life 1995-1998 [letters, emails and cards] (1 of 3)
69. Life 1995-1998 [letters, emails and cards] (2 of 3)
70. Life 1995-1998 [letters, emails and cards] (3 of 3)
71. Connections 1999 [letters, emails, cards]
72. AOL “instant messenger” w/friend/employer Mark G. 2001-2002
73. Additional Correspondence 1995-2019

Box 4

74. Benett Family Trip Diary, Europe 1965
75. Calendars 1995, 1996
76. Diary, misc. writing 2/29/12-11/21/19
77. Calendars 1996,1997
78. Dream Log 2/25/05
79. Calendar 2001-2004
80. Quite Cory Book 9 – 9/7/87 [writings, scrapbook from binder]
81. Memoir – “A Semblance of Living” 8/29/2019 (1 of 3)
82. Memoir – “A Semblance of Living” 8/29/2019 (2 of 3)
83. Memoir – “A Semblance of Living” 8/29/2019 (3 of 3)
84. “Like No Other Store in the World” by Mark Stevens [book & note]
85. “Bloomingdales” by Maxine Brady [book & notes]
86. Bill B. artwork [pastel]

UNFOLDERED ITEMS

Box 4 also contains: a hard drive with correspondence, writing, photos, and other digital files; a Rosenthal paper bag vase.