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Stephen K. Desroches papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2018.desroches
This collection contains materials relating to Stephen K. Desroches’ childhood activities and school work. These include correspondence, writings, photo albums, scrapbooks, articles, publications, awards, realia, photographs, drawings, notebooks, audio cassettes, and sticker books. Also included in this collection are tickets and passes to events throughout Desroches’ lifetime. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1982 and 1992. Additional scope and content information can be found in the “Contents List” section of this finding aid.

The Stephen K. Desroches papers have been arranged into seven series. The collection is housed in six archival document boxes and one oversized folder.


  • 1948 - 2020
  • Majority of material found within 1982 - 1992



The majority of materials in this collection are in English, with some instances of French, German, Polish, and Russian.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


5.25 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 1 oversized folder)

3.81 Gigabytes (Digital files) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.


The Stephen K. Desroches papers provide a unique perspective of male childhood in the 1980s and 1990s. Materials in this collection exhibit creative activities, including homemade books, sticker books, photo albums, scrapbooks, and correspondence to pen pals and holiday characters. Additional items in this collection document events attended by Desroches throughout his life. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1982 and 1992.

Biographical Note

Stephen K. (“Steve”) Desroches spent his childhood in Taunton, Massachusetts, attending Hopewell Elementary School and Parker Middle School in the 1980s and 1990s. He was often the “court jester,” making people laugh, and had an aptitude for writing which was apparent in his school work and play-related activities.

Desroches graduated from Wheaton College and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University where he received awards for his investigative work on issues facing lesbians and gays seeking political asylum in the United States. Desroches’ work as a journalist has appeared in Provincetown publications as well as The Advocate, The Boston Herald, and In Newsweekly.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Creative writing and artwork, 1977-1996

Series II: School, 1981-1992

Series III: Scrapbooks, 1979-1992

Series IV: Photographs and photo albums, c. 1980-1992

Series V: Audiocassettes, 1983-1984

Series VI: Theater and other events, 1982-2018

Series VII: Miscellaneous, 1948-2018

Custodial History

The Stephen K. Desroches papers were donated to The Strong at various times as a gift from Stephen Desroches. The papers were received from Desroches in multiple donations and accessioned by The Strong under Object IDs 117.3115, 117.3116, 117.3317, 117.3318, 118.8965, 118.9628, 119.2846, 120.4418, and 121.1320.

Related Materials

The Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play holds a copy of Steve Desroches’ 2011 book My God, My God … Why Have You Forsaken Me? (which corresponds to several items in this archival collection). The Strong also houses several dozen objects (including holiday decorations, crafts, pageant trophies, and drag costumes) donated by Desroches in its museum collections.

See also the video oral history recorded in June 2022: "Play Memories with Stephen K. Desroches."

Revision Note

This finding aid has been updated from its original iteration to reflect additional accessions received from Desroches in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Processed by

Nicole Pease, August-September 2018; Julia Novakovic, August-September 2019, December 2022
Finding Aid to the Stephen K. Desroches Papers, 1948-2020
Nicole Pease and Julia Novakovic
6 December 2022
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)