New York University's Fales Library & Special Collections will host a panel discussion, “Nelson Sullivan: Vlogging in the 80s,” to mark the Nelson Sullivan Video Archive official entry into its collections on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at 6p.m. at the Fales Library, third floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.].

Fales Hosts a Panel Discussion: Nelson Sullivan: Vlogging in the 80s, April 25
Title: Nelson Sullivan & Sylvia Miles, Empress Yacht, Rhonda and Brant's wedding reception. NYC, 1985. Gelatin Silver print. All rights reserved. Photo by Paula Gately Tillman.

5 Ninth Avenue Project, Contact: David Goldman | 404-524-7195 |

Long Days' Journey Downtown --Nelson Sullivan's Video Archive Back in NYC After 23 Years

In October 2012, New York University's Fales Library & Special Collections accepted the Nelson Sullivan Video Archive as a donation from Atlantans Dick Richards and David Goldman, and Robert Coddington of Durham, N.C. -- operating collectively as the 5 Ninth Avenue Project.  Sullivan’s body of work is a remarkable trove of video tapes chronicling the golden age of New York's 1980s club scene in downtown Manhattan.


  • WHO:  Robert Coddington, 5 Ninth Avenue Project; Michael Musto, author and columnist; Lady Miss Kier, lead singer of Deee-Lite and DJ; Joe E. Jeffreys - drag historian and videographer; and Flloyd Heacock, Drag Queen/performance artist.


  • WHAT:  Panel discussion--“Nelson Sullivan: Vlogging in the 80s”


  • WHERE:  Fales Library, third floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South


  • WHEN:  Thursday, April 25, 2013, at 6p.m


Coddington will talk about Sullivan's body of work, and how he and his partners worked to preserve it. Several artists featured in the videotapes also are expected to attend and add their recollections of Sullivan and the scene he documented. A few of the personalities of note featured in the Nelson Sullivan Video Archive include: RuPaul, entertainer; Sylvia Miles, Academy Award nominee; Lady Miss Kier, lead singer of Deee-Lite; and Michael Musto, author and columnist, to name a few.



"Nelson Sullivan was the chronicler of the demimonde downtown New York scene," said Marvin J. Taylor, director of the Fales Library. "He was everywhere that was important at just the right time. But, he was more than that. When Nelson turned his video camera on himself as flaneur of downtown, he found his own artistic, queer, postmodern voice. We're honored to have Nelson's videos here at NYU."


The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.


About Fales Library and Special Collections:

The Fales Library, comprising nearly 255,000 volumes, and over 12,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Food and Cookery Collection and the general Special Collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video objects. The Food and Cookery Collection is a vast, and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the collection include the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll Materials, the Robert Frost Library, the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica and the manuscript collections of Elizabeth Robins and Erich Maria Remarque. The Fales Library preserves manuscripts and original editions of books that are rare or important not only because of their texts, but also because of their value as artifacts.

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