Archives of Sexuality & Gender, Part III: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century



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Check out this blog post by Phil Virta, the publisher who curated this fascinating new archive.

Archives of Sexuality & Gender, Part III: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century contains over 5,000 monographs that provide context to the twentieth-century materials covered in Parts I and II. The digitisation of this collection is of immense historical and research value, providing perspectives on history, society, social mores, and changing views of sexuality.

With a date range spanning the sixteenth to twentieth centuries, the collection examines patterns of fertility and sexual practice; prostitution; religion and sexuality; the medical and legal construction of sexualities; the rise of sexology; and more from a variety of sources including:

  • The Private Case from the British Library, comprised of printed books segregated from the main library from the 1850s to 1990 on grounds of obscenity. It presents an interesting study in social mores as the definition of obscenity evolved significantly during this time period.
  • Special Subject Units from Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica, a collection from the Alfred C. Kinsey Institute for Sex Research dating from 1700 to 1860. This is a portion of Dr. Kinsey’s original library which he used to study human sexual behavior from multiple perspectives.
  • A collection of rare and unique books from the New York Academy of Medicine, consisting of more than 1,400 monographs covering a variety of topics in sex, sexuality, and gender studies. From sex education to erotica, manners to medicine, the Academy collection offers a rich combination of materials from the humanities to the hard sciences.