University of Massachusetts hosts Genital Autonomy Advocacy Archives

PALM SPRINGS, California – Tim Hammond, pioneering genital autonomy advocate and founder of the Genital Autonomy Legal Defense and Education Fund, announced today the establishment of the Tim Hammond Genital Autonomy Advocacy Archives as part of the Robert S. Cox Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

The collection covers Hammond’s history as a gay rights pioneer and involvement in other social change movements starting in the early 1970s, but primarily focuses on his work in the genital autonomy movement during the period from 1989 to 2023. The collection (Call #: MS 1205) consists of five boxes (8 linear feet) of materials collected and preserved by Hammond. A full listing of materials in the collection can be viewed online at the Genital Autonomy Advocacy Archives Finding Aid.

Included in the collection are videos featuring Hammond, copies of his published journal articles and conference presentations, news interviews with him, valuable historical photographs, books about circumcision, foreskin restoration and human rights from his personal library, as well as historical documents from the production of his groundbreaking video documentary Whose Body, Whose Rights?, which was broadcast in 1995 on numerous PBS stations around the U.S. The broadcasts were met with overwhelmingly positive viewer feedback. It is the only circumcision documentary to be inducted into the American Archives of Public Broadcasting.

The collection also contains materials Hammond created for the National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM), which he co-founded in 1989 with the late R. Wayne Griffiths, as well as educational materials and photographic documentation of protests from his founding in 1992 of the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males (NOHARMM). Also included are brochures, newsletters, t-shirts, bumper decals, and related materials from affiliated organizations (NOCIRC, Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, Beyond the Bris, Bloodstained Men, Bruchim, Children’s Health and Human Rights Partnership/Canada, Doctors Opposing Circumcision, Foregen, Genital Autonomy Legal Defense and Education Fund, Intact America, and the Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy).

Historical correspondence, reports and other documents involving organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Amnesty International, and the Centers for Disease Control are also part of the collection.

Hammond explained that “Preserving the history of this important human rights movement is essential to understanding its beginnings, remembering its past, assessing its present, and charting its future. To date this is the only such collection to be maintained by a public institution and freely available to those both inside and outside of the movement.”

Individuals may examine the collection by visiting the University of Massachusetts library in Amherst. Because Hammond digitized most of the materials before sending them to the University it will easier for some items to be accessible online by researchers and historians from around the world. The University said it plans to start uploading the digital files by the summer of 2024.

Pioneering activist Steve Scott (Genital Autonomy/Utah) underwrote the significant cost of shipment of the collection to the University. Hammond says that he intends to continue adding to the collection on an bi-annual basis as more early movement materials resurface and whenever new materials are created.

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