Joseph L. Norton Papers, 1940-1998, bulk 1950-1983
- Norton, Joseph L., 1918-
- The Joseph L. Norton Papers include notes, correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, publications, and other materials documenting Norton's work as a SUNY Albany professor, a counselor, a teacher, and an activist in the gay community.
- 14 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Joseph L. Norton Papers, 1940-1998. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York.
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Joseph L. Norton Papers include notes, correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, publications, and other materials, with the bulk dating from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s.
Series 1 consists of papers relating to Joe Norton's research and publications, including notes, drafts, correspondence with publishers, and reprints.
Series 2 contains notes, correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, conference programs, and other materials related to Joe Norton's involvement in professional organizations, chiefly in the fields of psychology and counseling.
Series 3 includes materials related to Joe Norton's work as a member of the faculty at SUNY Albany. Subseries 1 contains teaching materials such as syllabi, lecture notes, and exams. Subseries 2 consists of student papers and dissertation proposals. Subseries 3 relates to other academic duties such as committee and departmental work, and contains notes, correspondence and memoranda.
Series 4 contains subject files. The first subseries consists of materials relating to gay rights activism organizations and includes notes, memoranda, newsletters, and other materials. (Note that groups involved with LGBT issues within the psychology and counseling profession are included in Series 2.) Subseries 2 consists of correspondence. Subseries 3 contains reference material in the form of clippings, publications, informational literature, newsletters, and notes on topics related to LGBT issues and rights, mental health, sex education, and other areas of interest collected by Joe Norton.
- Biographical / Historical:
Joseph L. "Joe" Norton was born on September 6, 1918 in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. in French (1940) and an M.A. in Personnel Psychology (1941), both from St. Lawrence University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Syracuse University (1950). He married in 1947 and had two children. In 1971, he divorced and shortly afterwards came out publicly as gay.
After brief spells in insurance and teaching high school as well as a stint in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1942-1945, Norton began his academic career as Assistant Professor and Counselor at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan from 1949-1951. From 1951 to 1953 he was Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Counseling and Placement at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Norton spent ten years as Professor of Educational Psychology at Alfred University in Alfred, New York before coming to SUNY Albany (now the University at Albany, SUNY) to be a Professor of Education in 1963. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1983. Norton's early teaching and research interests lay mainly in educational psychology and vocational placement, and later he became interested in LGBT counseling issues and sex education.
In addition to his academic work, Norton was a prominent figure in the gay rights movement within his community and profession. He helped to found the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council (now known as the Pride Center of the Capital Region); the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York; the National Caucus of Gay and Lesbian Counselors of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists; and the Caucus of Gay Counselors of the American Personnel and Guidance Association. He served as advisor to the Gay Liberation Front in New York State (1971–1972) and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Gay Task Force (1976–1978). Norton also was involved with the Association of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexuals in Counseling; the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force; the New York State Coalition of Gay Organizations; the National Association of Gay Psychologists; and Interweave, an LGBT organization affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist church. He also frequently gave talks and presentations to professional, school and community groups in the Capital District and beyond.
Joe Norton died on May 18, 2011, at the age of 92.
- Acquisition information:
The Joseph L. Norton Papers were donated to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in 1996
- Processing information:
Processed in 2014 by Kim Gianfrancesco and Carolyn Bennett.
- Social Activists and Public Advocates
Neighborhood and Community Associations
Medicine and Health Care
Human Sexuality and Gender Identity
Albany, New York
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UAlbany Faculty & Alumni Papers
- State University of New York at Albany