TABLE OF CONTENTS
Donald Matheson was born on December 10, 1951 in Everett, Massachusetts, the third of four sons. He was educated K-12 in the Newton Public Schools, graduating Newton (North) High School in 1969. He attended two years at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1971-1973, but failed to produce the expected Associates degree in Landscape Operations largely because he'd lost interest. In 1977 he returned to his studies with a new focus, enrolling at University of Massachusetts-Boston, majoring in Art (History), and he received a BA in 1982. He also completed the Victorian Society in America's Summer School in Newport RI in 1987, where he was solicited by its Director, Richard Guy Wilson, to enroll in the master's program in Architectural History at the University of Virginia, which he did in 1990. He received his MA there in 1992, and passed his doctoral exams in 1995. Sensing that the market for teaching in the humanities was already lessening by that date, he returned to Boston where he enrolled in the Library Science program at Simmons College with an archival concentration, receiving my MS in 1998 with the intention of becoming an Art Librarian. However, he refused an offer by his advisor, cataloger Sheila Intner, to enroll in their doctoral program in Library Science.
His mother had become an invalid in 1977, and his father's death in 1981 left him in charge not only of her care, but of her 12 room Victorian house, built in 1893, that was in decrepit condition. Don spent most of the mid 1980s working on the house, stripping the paint from the outside and learning all necessary carpentry skills to repair and repaint it. At the time of his mother's 1999 death enough problems remained with the house that the Matheson family faced substantial problems in settling her estate. Don stepped into the breach, and after an uplifting Mid Atlantic Leather in 2000, he returned for what would be nearly 16 months non-stop work on the property, finally selling it in 2001 for a sum greatly above the pre-work estimates.
Don’s interest in leather began very late. He saw a notice in the fall of 1996 for a local leather party in the Boston gay paper which he attended. It really was just a pig pile with harnesses, but he formed an important contact there with someone he met who introduced him to Roger Klorese's Gay and Lesbian Alt Sex Bondage discussion group (GL-ASB), which he quickly found and signed onto. His friend had warned him not to post right away among so many seasoned players. He promptly disregarded this advice when someone posted asking about library holdings of Drummer. He had access to Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC, which allows librarians to view, create, and display library holdings. He immediately wrote a post regarding the holdings of Drummer magazine. Don’s inbox lit up with messages from Joseph Bean, Robert Davolt, et al. An online friendship was quickly formed with Joseph, who invited Don to attend the first of his five consecutive IML's in 1998, and the first of four such MAL's in 2000. Don was also a member of DELTA for twelve years, retiring this year for health reasons. He now considers himself retired totally from the scene for various reasons. He has become his own archivist, getting items from his family and his own life into proper repositories.
His father, Hugh D. Matheson was born August, 18, 1917 in Marion Bridge, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, the son of Duncan and Sarah (MacDonald) Matheson. He was raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Hugh's work with the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937 coincided with his becoming a United States citizen, probably in an attempt to secure work. He enlisted in CCC Company 1180 and worked on the Waterbury Dam in Waterbury, Vermont. He served in World War II with the 2nd Armored Division as a tank driver, and saw battle in five major campaigns: North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. He worked as a watch and toolmaker in the greater Boston area most of his adult life. Hugh was married January 1, 1942 to Harriette [sic] Smart and had four children born between 1947 and 1960. He died of pancreatic cancer after a year's illness on July 11, 1981 in Newton, Massachusetts. The majority of his papers were eventually donated by Don Matheson to the Library of Congress, Veterans History Project.
Sources: Matheson, Donald, email correspondence. Matheson, Hugh D. 1937. Hugh D. Matheson CCC papers. Vermont Historical Society, Waterbury, VT. Hugh D. Matheson Collection (AFC/2001/001/54411), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
The Don Matheson Papers are comprised mainly of correspondence, ephemera, and his father’s WWII medals and uniform. The majority of correspondences are emails between Don and Copy Berg, Joseph Bean, and BossPup. His fathers’ uniform and Army bag were removed from the collection and integrated into the uniforms and realia collections.
Records were donated in 1 box. All metal paper clips and staples were removed. Newspaper articles and clipping were photocopied. Materials were organized according to correspondent. The processor has kept the arrangement in original order unless otherwise noted. In instances where the folder label accurately described its contents or the folder contained material related to a common subject, original order has been maintained.
Restrictions on Access
Joseph W. Bean Papers (personal), PERS0013, Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois.
The following items were removed from the collection and placed within the Leather Archives and Museum’s poster and artwork, magazine, library, realia, and vertical file collections:
MG Handcrafted Leathers catalog
The following items were duplicates and removed from the Matheson Collection:
MAL 2002 Reunion book