Directions, Hours & Search
208 W 13 St
New York, NY 10011

Building Hours

9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Collection #72

Imperial Court of New York

Date:1991 - 1999
Size:5 inches


These papers were collected by Ben Sander, Vicountess Viveca Fairfax, a member of the Imperial Court of New York. The collection was donated by Mr. Sander to the Archives on June 5, 1996.

Use Restrictions

No names may be published unless (1) they are publicly known to be gay or lesbian, or (2) their permission has been obtained, or (3) they are deceased. Restrictions are only in regards to publication; any researcher may view or copy any document in the collection.

Scope and Content

This collection contains organizational papers of the Imperial Court of New York, including mission statements, by-laws, meeting agendas and minutes, financial statements and membership information. The collection includes applications and resumes for the Empress, Emperor and other executive board positions. There is material covering events and activities of the Court, with substantial information about “The Night of a Thousand Gowns,” the annual coronation ball and major fundrasing event of the ICNY.

History or Bio

In 1965, José Sarria, an openly gay candidate for San Francisco supervisor, founded the Imperial Court System. Today the Court System includes more than 70 Imperial Courts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Imperial Court of New York was founded in 1986 and continues to the present day as a social and charitable organization, raising funds for a variety of GLBT and AIDS organizations. ICNY’s main fund-raising event is the annual ball, “The Night of a Thousand Gowns,” where the coronation of the new year’s Empress and Emperor takes place.

Folder List

Box 1

1. Mission statement, rules and procedures

2. By-laws (with 1999 petition to amend by-laws)
3. Meeting agendas and minutes, 1991-1999
4. Financial statements, 1991-1999
5. Membership lists, rosters, “phone-tag” lists, etc., 1991-1996
6. Membership package, including FAQs, application form, membership card, etc.
7. Member bulletins and letters, 1992-1999
8. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1992-1999
9. Certificate of appointment of Vicountess Viveca Fairfax to the Imperial Court System, 1995
10. Applications, resumes, letters of recommendation, campaign flyers, etc. for Empress, Emperor and other board member elections, 1993-1999 (Note: videotape included with one application is at end of file)
11. Night of a Thousand Gowns (annual ball) schedules, forms, invitations, flyers, etc.
12. Miscellaneous events: flyers, schedules, etc.
13. Calendars of events for International and New York Imperial Courts, 1994-1996
14. Brief history and description of the Imperial Court
15. Miscellaneous articles, reprints, publications, etc.


1. Prince Royale Gabriel Della Notte for ICNY