TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Related Material

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers

Publications and Printed Matter

Series 3: Organizations and Event Material

Series 4: Judging and Event Production,

Series 5: Digital Media

Finding Aid to the Vi Johnson Papers



Overview of the Collection

Repository: Leather Archives and Museum
6418 N Greenview Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
773.761.9200
Creator: Viola M. Johnson
Title: The Vi Johnson Papers
Dates: 1981-2011
Quantity: 4 archival boxes and 1 media box, or 2 linear feet
Identification: PERS0030
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

Viola Johnson, known as Vi, was born in 1950 in New York City and grew up in Roselle, New Jersey. Vi attended Rider College (now Rider University), receiving her Bachelors degree in Education. After graduating, she became a housing director at Montclair State University, where she met Jill Carter, who would become her partner. Vi and Jill have been together for 40 years at the time of writing this finding aid. Vi is an author of vampire and SM-based books, Dhampir, Child of the Blood: A Vampire’s Babybook and To Love, to Obey, to Serve: Diary of an Old Guard Slave. She founded and is the Librarian of the Carter/Johnson Leather Library, a traveling library of books, magazines, and other material related Leather, fetish, and S/M history and communities.

Vi became involved in organizational SM activities in the mid-70s when she and Jill attended a meeting of The Eulenspiegel Society. Vi has been a member of Tulsa Uniform Leather Seekers Association (TULSA), Lesbian Sex Mafia, and National Leather Association International (NLA-I), among others. She has served as a board member of the Leather Archives and Museum, NLA-I, and many other organizations. As evident in Series 4 of this collection, Johnson has served as a judge, producer, and/or speaker at many Leather contests across the United States. Among these was the Ms. World Leather contest (MsWL), founded in 2000 by Jill and others. Vi served as Judge, Head Judge, or Judge Emeritus throughout the six-year tenure of the MsWL contest.

Jill Carter has been partnered to Vi for over 40 years. Jill was International Ms. Leather 1996, Pantheon of Leather Woman of the Year 1998 and 2001, and recipient of many other awards in the broader Leather community.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The Vi Johnson Papers contain 4 archival boxes and 1 media box. The collection is comprised of her personal papers, such as personal correspondences, vertical files of the creator dedicated to certain relationships, personal ephemera, creative material such as Vi’s writing, and yearly planners; publications and printed matter including newspaper articles related to Vi and her partners; organizational and event material, such as organizational records, run booklets, and ephemera related to events she attended and organizations she was a part of; and judging and event production records related to her role as a contest judge and papers related to Vi’s ownership and production of the Ms. World Leather contest.

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Access to contestant applications and tally sheets located in Series 4: Judging and Event Production, are restricted and not available to the public.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

Related Material at the Leather Archives & Museum

  • Johnson, Vi. Vertical files.
  • Carter, Jill. Vertical files.
  • Ms. World Leather. Vertical files.
  • Mystic Rose Books. Vertical files.
  • Mistress Mir. Vertical files.
  • Carter Johnson Leather Library. Vertical files.
  • Welcome Home Retirement Community. Vertical files.
  • Oral History Interview with Vi Johnson,(Jun 2010; interviewed by Sarah Humble.
  • “An Interview with Vi Johnson.” Leather Times, Issue 27.
  • “Vi Johnson’s Library at TIL 2005.” Leather Times, Issue 24.
  • Jill Carter Photography Collection, Photograph Collection, RCID #2004003501.
  • Vi Johnson and Michelle Buchanan 1992, Photograph Collection, RCID #2010006404.
  • Herstory. Digital Resources on CD Collection, RCID #2010011101.


Separated Material

The processor removed a CJ’s Leather Spring 1998 catalog and a Violet Wand manual, both of which are duplicates and already exist in their respective vertical files or catalog collections. The following newspapers and/or newspaper articles were removed and photocopied for preservation purposes:

  • Newspaper clippings from Dominant Mystique (1981-1982).
  • Newspaper clippings from Bay Area Reporter written by Mister Marcus (1996-1997).
  • Newspaper clippings from Leather Link (1997).
  • San Francisco Frontiers. September 25, 1997.
  • The Leather Journal. March, 2000.
  • Fairfield County Weekly. February 13-19, 1997.
  • “Leather Contests Update,” Cuir Underground. September/October, 1996.
  • “A Leather Mardi Gras,” San Francisco Bay Times. February 20, 1997.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers

This series includes material directly related to Vi Johnson's relationships with her friends and acquaintances, writing and other creative material, and her personal planners. These include personal correspondence, such as handwritten letters, photographs, and event invitations; vertical files created by Vi that contained material related to her friends, their accomplishments, and letters, such as Phil Ross or Patty the Pooch; and certificates of accomplishment bestowed upon her and upon others by her; records related to her creative endeavors, such as printed emails in response to her books. If applicable, photocopies of the original folders with writing have been placed inside folders.

Subseries 1.1: Personal Correspondence & Relationships
Box# Folder#
1 1 Personal Correspondence
2 Patty the Pooch
3 Cara and Faye
4 Leo
5 Leonard Dworkin
6 Mir and Dennis
7 Phil Ross
8 Master Rick and toy bob bob
9 Jeff Tucker/Better Together
10 One Common Heartbeat
11 Photographs
12 Business Ephemera

Subseries 1.2: Certificates
Box# Folder#
1 1 Personal Certificates
2 Unsung Hero

Subseries 1.3: Writing and Other Creative Material
Box# Folder#
1 1 Vampire Writing
2 Journal
3 Emails in response to To Love, To Obey, To Serve
4 Book sales from Mystic Rose
5 Sanctuary of a Dark Angel
6 Stationary

Subseries 1.4: Yearly Planners
Box# Folder#
2 1 2000
2 2001
3 2002
4 2002 Pocket
5 2004
6 2005
7 2006
8 2007-2008

Series 2: Publications and Printed Matter

This series includes published and printed material that directly relates to Vi and her relationships with Jill Carter and Queen Cougar. It contains photocopies of clippings from newspapers and an interview with Vi in a periodical called Tied Times. If applicable, photocopies of the original folders with writing have been placed inside folders.

Box# Folder#
2 1 Dominant Mystique
2 Mr. Marcus
3 Articles from other sources

Series 3: Organizations and Event Material

This series includes records related to Vi's involvement in various organizations and attendance or participation at events. These include vertical files that were created by Vi to reflect the various organizations that she had been a member of or peripherally related to; events she attended and/or participated in and the materials related to those found in the collections as reflected by vertical files or folders; and event ephemera found dispersed throughout the collection in various vertical files, such as "Stuff," that were reorganized and condensed into one folder. If applicable, photocopies of the original folders with writing have been placed inside folders.

Subseries 3.1: Organizations
Box# Folder#
3 1 Leather Literary Project/Leather Encyclopedia
2 NLA Papers
3 Oklahoma Organizations, People, Events
4 Intersex Society of North America
5 Leatherpeople For Awareness, Caring, and Truth (L-FACT)
6 Leather Archives and Museum
7 Praetorian Guard
8 Educational Resources

Subseries 3.2: Events
Box# Folder#
3 1 Bay Area Women of Color BDSM Photo Project
2 Tribal Fire 2002
3 S/M Event Games
4 Event Ephemera


Series 4: Judging and Event Production

This series includes material related to Vi's role as a judge at many Leather events from 1995 to 2011. It has been artificially arranged into two series based on date of service as judge and one series of Vi's records pertaining to the Ms. World Leather contest, which Vi was a creator, producer, and judge of. Included in this series are judging booklets, run booklets, contestant information, and producer booklets. The order of contents of folders reflects the files or folders in which they were donated. Arrangement has been further imposed by the processor based on the date of the contest. Access to contestant applications and tally sheets located in this series are restricted and not available to the public.

Subseries 4.1: Judging, 1995-1999
Box# Folder#
3 1 IMsL 1995
2 Ms. Gulf Coast Leather 1996
3 Mr. and Ms. NLA Leather 1996
4 Washington State Ms. Leather 1996
5 Mr. and Ms. New Mexico Leather 1996
6 Oklahoma Mr. Leather 1997
7 Ms. Gulf Coast Leather 1997
8 Ms. Fallen Angels Leather 1997
9 Mid-Atlantic Drummer 1998
10 Mid-Atlantic Leatherboy 1999
11 American Brotherhood Weekend 1999

Subseries 4.2: Judging, 2000-2011
Box# Folder#
4 1 Mid-Atlantic Drummer and boy 2000
2 Sooner State Leather 2002
3 Mr. New Jersey Leather 2002
4 Mr. and Ms. South Plains Leatherfest 2004
5 Mr. and Ms. New Jersey Leather 2005
6 Maryland Leatherboy 2006
7 Mr. and Ms. New Jersey Leather 2011

Subseries 4.3 Ms. World Leather
Box# Folder#
4 1 Ms. World Leather 2001 Program
2 Ms. World Leather 2004 Judges Booklet
3 Ms. World Leather 2004 Tally Booklet
4 Ms. World Leather 2004 Organizer's Booklet
5 Ms. World Leather 2005 Judging/Results
6 Ms. World Leather 2005 Organizer's Booklet

Series 5: Digital Media

This series includes floppy disks and their contents that were found in the collection. There were 15 floppy disks, two of which were inoperable at the time of processing. The processor did not investigate the contents of every file, though at the time of processing the contents seem to be mostly the writing of Vi, including speeches, letters, and journal entries that would have been included in her book.

Return to the Table of Contents


Bibliography

V.M. Johnson
Interview Synopsis of Vi Johnson
Frazier gets award for lifetime of work
Pantheon of Leather Awards All Time Recipients
Carter/Johnson Leather Library

In accessing information on the Ms. World Leather Contest, the processor used the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to look at archived versions of the Ms. World Leather webpages. Click here for an example of an archived page.

Return to the Table of Contents