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Collection #21

Michael Weltmann Papers

Date:1968 - 1992
Size:3 feet 4 inches


Weltmann’s father, who had power of attorney at his death, agreed to allow Weltmann’s friend and care-giver Rina Malonzo to dispose of his belongings. She decided to make the donation of his paperwork and photographs to the Archive. His family supported the donation, which was confirmed via a phone call between Rina Malonzo and Nicholas Weltmann on April 29, 1993. The processing of the collection was completed in the summer of 1994.

Use Restrictions

No personal names or identifying information about any person may be published unless (1)researcher obtains his/her permission (2)he/she is publicly known as gay/lesbian or (3)he/she is deceased. No nude photos or photos of a sexual nature may be copied or published before the year 2050.

Scope and Content

The collection was received by the Archive in five boxes. Each box was assigned a number and the processing of the collection proceeded in that order, albeit arbitrary. Those packets of letters that still had title tabs were appropriately titled when placed in folders. The photographs were not always in accordance with labeling on their albums, the reason for which is unclear.A large part of the correspondence and photos came from men who were met through advertisements, though Weltmann also had many friends and acquaintances internationally. One truism can be stated: it should not be assumed that a great quantity of material from a particular person signifies quality of either the relationship or the material. Of interest to researchers will be four main things. (1)A fair amount of information about HIV and AIDS is disclosed via the personal testimonies of Weltmann’s correspondents. (2)One view of gay male sexual life in the late 1980’s can be inferred by viewing the photographs and reading through the bulk of his correspondence. (3)Information about ILGA on a social, interpretive, or possibly gossip-y level can be found scattered throughout the letters and the photos. (4)If one seeks information about Weltmann himself, much can be found through the development of his relationship with Kathy Donohue (notably folders 11, 82 & 89), as well as in a broad scale assessment of the type of letters sent to him.

History or Bio

Michael Weltmann was born on February 28, 1949, in Trenton, New Jersey, to Louis Nicholas and Jennie Weltmann. He was the eldest of three boys. In 1970 Weltmann earned his BS in Language Arts from Trenton State College(TSC). The years spent at TSC gave birth to his activist career, as he was elected president of the Student Union and also became heavily involved with the Vietnam protests. Weltmann also met Kate Donohue at TSC, and they were married in June of 1970. In 1971 Weltmann and Donohue moved to the Philadelphia area. Weltmann began his twelve year career as a social worker at the Eromin Center, holding positions such as Adolescent Service Director and serving on the Board of Directors. From 1972-75 he advocated for gay children and foster parents, and began a program for them in the Division of Youth and Family Services. From 1973-74 he was involved with the Association of Lesbian and Gay Social Workers. In 1975, Weltmann came out as a gay man, and he and Donohue were divorced.

Weltmann returned to TSC to study nursing in 1984, and graduated in 1987. In August 1987, he moved to New York City and became an RN at New York University Medical Center. He eventually became Assistant Head Nurse, where he remained until 1992. Weltmann’s major work began when he became involved with the International Gay Association (later known as the International Lesbian and Gay Association [ILGA]) in 1978. Through his involvement with ILGA he addressed issues ranging from health to international human rights. As co-chair and founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center ILGA Committee in New York City, Weltmann obtained Department of Public Information status for ILGA within the United Nations. He also brought the first openly gay delegation to the U.N. on World AIDS Day of 1991. Shortly after this, on January 27, 1992, Weltmann passed away as a result of AIDS complications.

Folder List

Box 1

1. [Memorial booklet for Jean Claude Letist.]
2. [A theater poster; an anti-discrimination poster; wrapping paper.]
3. [Detailed notes taken from Miss Universe pageants 1970-1991. 1″.]
4. CANADA.[Letters: 1988-1991 Photos included.]
5. BELGIUM.[Letters: 1985- 1991 Includes ILGA 1990 material.]
6. ITALY.[Letters: 1989-1990; Christmas cards.]
7. SWEDEN.[Letters & notecards: 1981-1991; ILGA news included; letters from D. Murphy 1987-89, from PA, VT, & Sweden were tied separately within this bunch. 3/4″]
8. [Chicago letters. All from Larry of The Nude Exchange 1988-1991.]
9. FRANCE.[Letters & notecards: 1977; 1983-1991. Those from Dr. Michel Andre mostly in French; a few pictures included.]
10. HOLLAND.[Letters & notecards: 1983-1991. Included is much discussion of AIDS, particularly in the letters of Maria Pronk; ILGA news; photos; an obituary for Jehuda Sofer. 3/4″]
11. JAPAN.[Letters & cards: 1969-1975; containing extensive information about Weltmann and his wife Kathy Donohue.]
12. ENGLAND & SCOTLAND.[Letters & notecards: 1985-1990; Include information on Letist, AIDS, British gay life, extensive ILGA information, and a mention of the Gay Archives and the Jewish Gay & Lesbian World Conference. 1/2″]
13. [Letters from Binghampton, NY 1989-1991.]
14. NORWAY.[Card and Letter.]
15. [Letters: Harry B. Hungerford of Memphis, TN, and Joe Bishop, the caretaker of the Carrollville, Mississippi House & Gardens, 1988-91. Included are photos; birthday and Christmas cards; extensive mention of nudist groups and leather groups, for example: The Nude Exchange, Naturists Across the Blue Ridge States, Arkansas Bare Society, Gay Atlanta Naturist Group, and more, and of “Chiron Rising” magazine.]
16. [Letters from Decatur, Georgia 1984-1989. Including pictures and references to Donohue.]

Box 2

17. [Notecards 1986-87.]
18. [Notecards: 1987-90, mailed from NJ, OH, and TX, respectively.]
19. XMAS 1987.[Notecards. 1″].
20. BIRTHDAY 1987.[Notecards].
21. NEW ZEALAND.[Letters and photo 1988.]
22. PENNSYLVANIA.[Notes from Philadelphia 1986-90.]
23. [Groups of letters & notecards in this folder were individually tied. Those dated span the years 1984-1990. All from various locations in New Jersey. 1/2″]
24. SID’S NOTES.[Notes and cards from lover and care-giver Sidney Zweibel.]
25. [Letters from Indianapolis, IN 1989-90. An ILGA notice included.]
26. KENTUCKY.[Letters from Louisville, KY 1990.]
27. [Letters from Wytheville, VA 1990-91. Contain information about Weltmann’s AIDS symptoms.]
28. FINLAND.[1983-90. Letters containing information on international gay organizations included.]
29. SPAIN.[Letters 198890; several pictures enclosed.]
30. [Letters from Holladay, Utah 1988-91. Information includes Weltmann’s relationship with Zweibel; the European gay scene; and endless letters detailing sexual fantasies, particularly of a father-son nature. 3/4″]
31. [Letters & notecards from Germany 1981-91. Topics include AIDS, AZT, Weltmann’s relationships, gay cinema, and German gay political issues. 3/4″]
32. DENMARK.[Postcards: 1983-89.]
33. [Unbound Christmas notecards, apparently 1988.]

Box 3

34. XMAS 1989.[Notecards.]
35. [Notecards from Brooklyn, NY 1989.]
36. [Letters from New York 1984-87.]
37. [Letters from Carteret, NJ 1987.]
38. FAMILY.[Notecards, invitations, a poem, and notes from his mother and father regarding his homosexuality.]
39. [Groups of letters and notecards, some from New Jersey locations, from mid 1980’s to 1990.]
40. 1974-1983 PHILA YEARS JOHN & MICHAEL & LARRY & JEROME [Two folders of letters, originally tied together in small groups within the larger pack. Actual years spanned 1969-1987. Of particular interest are: a memorial program and obituary for Joseph Beam 1989; photographs; letters about Provincetown; references to Donohue; a press release for Giovanni’s Room; postcards from Weltmann to his lover/roommate John Edgar; and a very early mention of Letist. 1″ each.]
41. 1974-1983 PHILA YEARS JOHN & MICHAEL & LARRY & JEROME [Two folders of letters, originally tied together in small groups within the larger pack. Actual years spanned 1969-1987. Of particular interest are: a memorial program and obituary for Joseph Beam 1989; photographs; letters about Provincetown; references to Donohue; a press release for Giovanni’s Room; postcards from Weltmann to his lover/roommate John Edgar; and a very early mention of Letist. 1″ each.]
42. [Miscellaneous found floating throughout collection. 1 3/4″]
43. [Letters from Plymouth, IN 1989. Photos included.]
44. [Letters from Salem, NH 1988.]
45. [Letters from Missoula, MT 1989.]
46. [Letters from Bask, Switzerland 1989. Photos included.]
47. [Letters from Silver Lake, NH 1989-90. Included are Polaroid photos, sexual fantasies, and letters decorated with their author’s artwork.]
48. [Letters from St. Charles, Missouri 1989-90. Photos included.]
49. [Letters from Washington DC 1989-1990.]
50. [Letters & notecards from men met through ads 1987-1989.]
51. [Letters from Philadelphia, PA 1989-90. Included are poems, and commentary on the Florida gay scene.]
52. [Miscellaneous found floating throughout collection.]

Box 4

53. [Letters from Seattle, WA 1988-91. Included are a draft of a story for Foreskin Quarterly; a memoriam for Frank Boyen; photos.]
54. [Letters from various men, United States, 1987-91.]
55. [Party invitations from Brookfield, CT 1989-90.]
56. [Letters from men from the United States 1987-91.]
57. [Letters from men met through ads 1985-89. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, & Minnesota. Photos enclosed.]
58. [Unbound letters and notecards from United States, including NJ, NE, IA, CA. 1976-77, 1980, & 1988-90.]
59. [Letters from Coatesville, PA 1988-89.]
60. [Letters from Drums, PA 1989-90.]
61. [Letters from Bradenton, FL and La Crosse, WI, 1989-1991.]
62. [Letters from Cambridge, MA 1989-90.]
63. [Gay Atlanta Naturist Group material.]
64. [Letters 1990 from Germany, Holland, & Sweden. Photos enclosed.]
65. SWEDISH DIARY 1981.[Weltmann’s notes from trip to IGA Conference.]
66. 40TH BIRTHDAY 1989.[Notecards.]
67. AUSTRIA.[Letters & notecards, 1986, 87, 89, 91.]
68. OHIO.[Letters from a friend from The Nude Exchange 1988.]
69. [Notecards from Niko Sotakos, 1986-91.]
70. MARYLAND.[Letters, photos, drawings. 1988-89.]
71. [Letters & notecards from Linda Suydam, 1968-90.]
72. [Letters, notecards, & photos from Jean Claude Letist, 1982-89. Much material related to AIDS.]
73. [Notecards from Pennsauken, NJ, 1979-93. Photos enclosed.]
74. [Notecards 1986 & 88. Included is an old envelope marked, “To Mommy Michael”.]

Box 5

75. GERMANY.[Letters & notecards from various people, 1984-91. Photos & sticker enclosed. Includes early IGA social information.]
76. [Letters, poetry, & photos from Ridgewood, NY, 1979-87. Significant information touches on the US Army and MCC/NY. 1″ each.]
77. [Letters, poetry, & photos from Ridgewood, NY, 1979-87. Significant information touches on the US Army and MCC/NY. 1″ each.]
78. [Letters, poetry, & photos from Ridgewood, NY, 1979-87. Significant information touches on the US Army and MCC/NY. 1″ each.]
79. SIGMA THETA TAU-DELTA NU.[National Honor Society of Nursing. Member information.]
80. [Scrapbook of childhood/teenage performance programs, photos, newsclippings, notes.]
81. [Miscellaneous found floating throughout collection.]
82. [Letters from Donohue 1968-70, 1986-91. Wedding invitations and photos included. 1 1/4″.]
83. [Letters from Arleen Olshan of Philadelphia 1985-90.]
84. [Letters from Ed Hermance of Philadelphia 1985-91. See for personal reference to Audre Lorde.]

Box 6

85. [Notecards from Philadelphia 1987-91. Photo included.]
86. [Letters, notecards, and newsclippings from Philadelphia area.]
87. [Letters & notecards from Joan DeForest of Pennsylvania 1985, 86, & 88.]
88. [Notecards from Bill Keeling of Newtown, PA 1989-90.]
89. [All correspondence from 8/91 until death. Includes fliers; get well cards; Berlin ILGA minutes; information on RFSL and ILGA; letters from Donohue. Of interest is a July 1991 letter from Weltmann to Glen Kidder in which Weltmann writes about his illness. 1/2″.]
90. THE INVISIBLE MINORITY.[Columns written by Weltmann at Trenton State University 1984-85 in “The Signal”. Also included are rough drafts of these works and editorials in response to them.]
91. [Puzzle photo of Weltmann and Donohue on their wedding day.]
92. [Business cards; an origami item with note inside.]
93. [Miscellaneous found floating throughout collection.]
94. [Photos from album. Shots of vacation sites; people; NYC; more. 1/2″.]
95. [Photos from loose photo sheets. Shots in Brooklyn; San Francisco; Stockholm ILGA 1990; enlargements of Letist; various people. 1/2″.]
96. [Photos from album. Sexually explicit shots of Weltmann as well as others sent to him; a nudist camp; Mardi Gras. 3/4″.]
97. [Photos from album. Nudes of young Weltmann and Donohue.]

Box 7

98. [Photos from album. Sexually explicit shots of Weltmann with friends as well as others sent to him. 1″.]
99. [Photos from album. Older shots of friends and family; European touristy shots.]
100. FRIENDS NYC.[Photos from album. Shots of Fire Island; Europe; NYC; various friends.]
101. [Photos from scrapbook. Older photos of Weltmann’s family.]
102. 1989 EUROPEAN TRIP VIENNA.[Photos from album. Shots of friends in Europe. 1/2″.]
103. [Album put together posthumously for a memorial service. Includes photos and clippings from all phases of Weltmann’s life. 3/4″.]
104. XMAS-1986 GERMANY/SPAIN/AMSTERDAM, BRUSSELS, KOLN-1986 EASTER/NEW HOPE/1987-GERMANY, HOLLAND, BERLIN. [Photos from album. Shots of friends, some in NYC. Unclear that all places listed in title were contained in the photos. 1/2″.]
105. [Miscellaneous photos found throughout the collection. Some sexually explicit. 1″.]
106. [Drawing of Letist. Removed from frame.]Two Trenton State University Diplomas; a framed 5×7 photograph of Weltmann; a framed hand-made birthday card; an album of sexually explicit photographs.

Box 8

107. [Two Trenton State University Diplomas; a photograph of Weltmann; a hand-made birthday card.]
108. [Album of sexually explicit photographs.]