Title and statement of responsibility area
General material designation
- Multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
Physical description area
475 photographs: 441 col., 34 b&w, 20 sheets of negatives, 2 sheets of slides
2 mixed media artworks
1 oversized photograph reproduction
9 artifacts: 1 plaque, 4 t-shirts, 2 buttons, 1 flag, 1 fabric
10 audio cassette tapes (unprocessed)
17 DVDs (unprocessed)
57 VHS tapes (unprocessed)
3 5.25 inch floppy disks (unprocessed)
3 3.5 inch floppy disks (unprocessed)
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Michael Roderick Johnstone was born in Hamilton, Ontario at the Salvation Army Hospital. He graduated from McMaster University in 1969 where he served as the Student Cultural Affairs Commissioner and President of the McMaster Students Union. He was also involved with The Silhouette, McMaster University’s student-run newspaper as a writer from 1962 to 1963 and with the McMaster’s Film Board. Michael returned to school at Mohawk College for nursing in the 1980’s and worked at the Hamilton General Hospital as a registered nurse in the post-operative care unit for more than 25 years until his retirement.
Michael was involved in the founding of many gay and lesbian organizations in the Hamilton area. Prior to moving back to Hamilton in 1979, he was a member of Gays of Ottawa from 1976 to 1979. Michael also served as a secretary of the Coordinating Office of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition that dealt with specific issues of federal jurisdiction. At this time, the Hamilton-McMaster Gay Liberation Movement group had been established. To expand outside of McMaster University and into the broader Hamilton community, core members of the McMaster Homophile Association formed Hamilton United Gay Societies (HUGS) in 1980. Michael was one of the founding members of HUGS and served in different executive committee roles such as secretary, treasurer and president from 1980 to 1982 and again from 1988 to 1991 when HUGS changed its name to Hamilton Gay and Lesbian Alliance (HGALA). Michael was the self-appointed archivist of the Hamilton-Wentworth Gay Archives which was founded in 1982 and was also involved in the Gay Phoenix (then The Phoenix/Hamilton Phoenix) newsletter, Lesbian/Gayline and Speakers’ Bureau.
Since its founding in 1986, Michael was a member of the Hamilton AIDS Network for Dialogue and Support (HANDS) Board of Directors, was the president from 1991 to 1993, and a member of the Steering Committee. He was also involved in the AIDS Prevention Task Force Implementation Subcommittee of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, the AIDS Working Group on Anonymous HIV Testing, and Regional Palliative Care Program Hospice Services Group.
At the Hamilton GALA Honour Roll Dinner in 1991, Michael Johnstone and Anne Cassel were presented with the Honour Roll Award plaque to recognize their contributions to the LGBTQ+ community in Hamilton throughout the years.
In addition to Michael’s activist work, he was a part of the Social Justice and World Outreach committees of the Hamilton Presbytery of the United Church of Canada and was an active member of the Hamilton Group of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
Michael passed away from lung cancer on July 26, 2018 at the Good Shepherd’s Emmanuel House hospice in Hamilton which used to be a housing residence for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
The fonds was donated to the Hamilton Public Library, Local History and Archives on December 28, 2018 by Cole Gately and Bill MacKinnon, principal representatives of the Estate of Michael Johnstone. As the self-appointed archivist of the Hamilton-Wentworth Gay Archives, Michael kept materials from this fonds since the 1980’s when they established the archives under the Hamilton United Gay Societies (HUGS). The collection started with Michael and Mike W. Dorman, founder of Gay Fathers in Toronto and Hamilton and affiliate of HUGS, who had collected relevant materials, which were added by Michael Johnstone throughout the years.
Hamilton Spectator newspaper clippings were included in this donation and will be made into scrapbooks in the future. The newspaper clippings are on topics about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community in Hamilton. They were sorted by theme and subgroups based on the existing themes followed by the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. At present, 24 boxes have been categorized and labeled by Jordana Satok and Kelly Wu while three boxes are still unsorted.
Scope and content
The fonds is composed of materials from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) organizations in Hamilton and its surrounding areas founded from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. Textual materials include agendas, meeting minutes, reports, financial statements, notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, information sheets, flyers, magazines, newspapers, programme books, booklets, directories, bibliographies, and articles. The fonds also consists of other materials such as t-shirts, buttons, a plaque, photographs, posters, artwork, audio cassette tapes, DVDS, floppy disks and VHS tapes.
Contains series and subseries:
Series 1 – Hamilton AIDS Network for Dialogue and Support (HANDS)
Series 2 – Hamilton-McMaster LGBTQ+ Groups
Series 3 – Hamilton United Gay Societies (HUGS)
Subseries 3.1 – Administrative files
Subseries 3.2 – Sub-organizations and associated groups and events
Subseries 3.3 – Lesbian/Gayline
Subseries 3.4 – Gay Phoenix/The Phoenix
Series 4 – Hamilton Gay and Lesbian Alliance (HGALA)
Series 5 – Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO)
Series 6 – Hamilton Pride
Series 7 – Associated Organizations and Events
Series 8 – Resources and Subject files
Series 9 – Publications
Subseries 9.1 – Hamilton
Subseries 9.2 – South/South Western Ontario
Subseries 9.3 – Ontario
Subseries 9.4 – Outside of Ontario and across Canada
Subseries 9.5 – International
Series 10 – Artifacts
Series 11 – Photographs
Subseries 11.1 – HUGS/HGALA Honour Roll Dinners
Subseries 11.2 – Pride
Subseries 11.3 – Festival ‘91
Subseries 11.4 – HUGS Social Events
Subseries 11.5 – Meetings and Locations
Subseries 11.6 – Events and People
Subseries 11.7 – Negatives and slides
Series 12 – Posters and oversized materials
Series 13 – Audio-visual materials
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
The collection is open to researchers. There are no restrictions on access with the following exception:
Material from Series 13 (boxes 27-31) is currently undergoing processing and is consequently not available for public consultation until this work is completed. Any request to view unprocessed archival material should be directed to the HPL Local History and Archives’ archivist.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright held by creator(s). Any reproduction for public presentation or publication must first seek permission from HPL’s Local History and Archives department in order to review the copyright.
Use of photographic material in series 11 (box 25 and binder 1) for any public display, presentation or publication, including use in an educational or academic environment, is first subject to the review and approval by Local History and Archives’ archivist and/or manager.
Preferred citation: Michael Johnstone fonds, 01179, Hamilton Public Library, Local History and Archives.
The following related material can be found in the Local History and Archives (LHA) department at Hamilton Public Library pertaining to the Michael Johnstone fonds:
Michael Johnstone Postcard Collection (Accession #01182)
Michael Johnstone Bank of Hamilton Postcard Collection (Accession #01183
Michael Johnstone Family Interview DVD (unprocessed)
Homosexuality Scrapbooks – R306.766 HOM CESH, Vol. 1-4
AIDS Scrapbooks – R616.9792 AID CESH, Vol. 1-3
CF – Hamilton – Organizations and Societies – McMaster Homophile Association
CF – Hamilton – Organizations and Societies – Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Assoc. of McMaster
CF – Hamilton – Organizations – Hamilton United Gay Societies
CF – Hamilton – Festivals – Hamilton Gay and Lesbian Alliance Festival ‘91
The following related material can be found at The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives in Toronto, Ontario pertaining to the Michael Johnstone fonds:
McMaster Homophile Association fonds
Nick Mule fonds
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Johnstone, Michael (Creator)