Collection SC533 - Barbara Jean collection

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Barbara Jean collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1930 - 2014 (Creation)
    Barbara Jean

Physical description area

Physical description

2 metres graphic and textual material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Barbara Jean was the feminine persona, or second self, of Robert Burman (1926-2014), a Southern California architect. Barbara Jean was an active member of the transvestite community in the 1950s and 1960s. She created approximately 300 original drawings from the 1930s to the 1960s, in the genre of “petticoat punishment,” which she continued to elaborate upon throughout her life; Barbara Jean signed her works “BJ.”
Barbara Jean sold her art to publications and retained the originals; crossdressing publications throughout the 1960s featured her work including: Fated for Femininity (1962), Transvestia (1960 onwards), The Transvestite and His Wife (1967), The American Crossdresser (undated), and Turnabout (1963), as well as dozens of other underground publications devoted to the genre. Barbara Jean collaborated with Howard Bardol, also known by the feminine persona Nan Gilbert or Nancy; Barbara Jean created illustrations based on Nancy’s photographs. The collection contains drawings, notes and photographs they exchanged.

Custodial history

Material was acquired from Barbara Jean by a collector over an approximate 20 year period.

Scope and content

The collection primarily reflects the artistic and related published output of Barbara Jean, and is relatively homogeneous; it consists of over 4600 items, primarily original drawings and their derivations, in pencil and ink, in black and white and colour, as well as notes and correspondence, and black and white and colour photographs. Digital copies of drawings found in the analogue files, and digital images for which there is no corresponding analogue image are found on 17 CDs. The collection also includes some material from Burman’s later life unrelated to Barbara Jean and the cross-dressing community. The collection consists of the following groupings identified by the collector or the creator: binders of original drawings and their derivations, and related photographic and textual materials; folders identified as “working files” consisting of drawings and their derivations, related photographic and textual materials; and CDs consisting of digital images, for which there may or may not be corresponding analogue images.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated in 2017 to Special Collections & University Archives by an anonymous collector.


Arrangement as received from the donor.

Language of material

  • English

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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