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Brad Keistler papers

Identifier: MS0568

Content Description

Early 1970s publications documenting leftist, counterculture and the LGBTQ community in North Carolina and Georgia. Includes The Carolina Plain Dealer, the Great Speckled Bird and the Southern Gay Liberator.


  • Creation: 1970

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Brad Keistler papers are the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

William Bradley "Brad" Keistler was born on September 23, 1942 in Charlotte, North Carolina to William Carlyle "Crip" and Frances Elizabeth "Lib" McCraven Keistler. Keistler grew up in Charlotte and attended Charlotte College and UNC Chapel Hill during his college years. Over the course of his career, Keistler started a head shop business called Asterisk in Charlotte located on Sixth Street across from the Main Library and next to Crazy Horse bookshop. Over his career, he also worked as a laboratory technician for Celanese Fibre Industries, Papermate and American Cyanamid and was employed as a coin payphone repair technician for Pacific Bell/Southwestern Bell. In the early 1970s, he co-founded the Charlotte chapter of the Gay Liberation Front along with his friends, Greg and Charles. During this time, Keistler lived in the Red Worms Commune on Lyndhurst Avenue, one of at least two communes in the Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte. Red Worms Commune was opposite the Charlotte Women's Center, a feminist center that was also known as the purple house. He moved to Los Angeles, California shortly after forming the Charlotte Gay Liberation Front Chapter.


.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Publications documenting leftist, counterculture and the LGBT community in North Carolina and Georgia. Includes The Carolina Plain Dealer, the Great Speckled Bird and the Southern Gay Liberator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Brad Keistler in 2018.

Oral History Interviews

There are two oral history interviews with Brad Keistler available in the Charlotte LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection

Processing Information

The collection was processed in 2022 by Andrew Pack.

Brad Keistler papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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(704) 687-1170
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