Robert F. Johnson Papers
Scope and Content
This collection is composed of correspondence, visual materials, publications, audio-visual materials and ephemera, largely related to Robert F. Johnson's engagement with and contributions to BDSM communities and practices. Coverage documents master-slave relationships with particular emphasis on sophisticated, long-term immobilization, mummification and catheterization. The collection also comprises notes and research on dungeon architecture and safety.
Content Notice - Pornographic Content: This collection contains highly explicit material regarding BDSM practices, including graphic body modification, master-slave rhetoric, and photographs that contain Nazi symbolism/uniforms worn or displayed in a sexualized context.
- 1945 - 2007
Language of Materials
Restrictions on Access
Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Please contact staff regarding copyright status of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).
Robert F. Johnson, Ph. D., was born on March 20, 1929 in Crestwood, Kentucky. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952-1956, eventually achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. He received a doctorate of engineering in Zurich, Switzerland in 1963 and became a professor in the Clothing and Textiles program at the University of Minnesota in 1972. Recognized for his research in clothing fire hazard analysis, Johnson’s work was published widely in various academic journals. He retired from teaching in 1992.
Johnson was an active member in the Twin Cities BDSM community and the Chicago Hellfire Club. In the wake of the death of David Madson, Johnson gave a talk entitled, “The Real Separation between Leather and SM in the 1990s and its Consequences for Personal Safety” (originally titled, "When is it Leather, When is it SM, when is it both?") at Tournament IX, the ninth annual Female and Male Run of the Knights of Leather. Madson, who was murdered by Andrew Cunanan in 1997, maintained a relationship with Johnson from 1990-1996.
9.26 Linear Feet
The Robert F. Johnson papers, 1945-2007, comprise the personal and professional records of Robert F. Johnson, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota. Content Notice - Pornographic Content: this collection contains highly explicit material regarding BDSM practices, including graphic body modification, master-slave rhetoric, and photographs that contain Nazi symbolism/uniforms worn or displayed in a sexualized context.
The Robert F. Johnson papers, 1945-2007, are maintained in original order and arranged in the following six series.
- Personal and Professional Materials, 1964-2007
- Correspondence, 1978-2006
- Publications, 1966-2001
- Visual Materials, 1977-1990
- Ephemera, 1945-1992
- Audio-Visual Materials, 1988-1990
Source of acquisition
The Robert F. Johnson papers, 1945-2007, were donated to the Tretter Collection by Robert F. Johnson.
- Bondage (Sexual behavior) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Chicago Hellfire Club Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Inferno (Event) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Johnson, Robert Foster , 1929-
- Sadomasochism Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Robert F. Johnson Papers, 1945-2007.
- January 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English