Re: [Videolib] Porn videos in the library

Steve Brantley (
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 09:50:52 -0500

Danette Pachtner wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> I have been given the task of creating a core collection (no pun intended)
> of adult films for a fall semester course in sexual representation that is
> being taught in Duke University's literature department. I'm supposed to
> buy "the best porn." Could academic librarians out there please contact me
> if you have a hardcore video collection and let me know how these titles
> circulate (any restrictions, etc.), any public service issues you may have
> encountered, and what departments/areas of research this collection serves?
> I appreciate any information/guidance you can provide.
> Cheers, Danette
> Danette Pachtner / Duke University / Lilly Library / 919-660-5886 /
> _______________________________________________
> Videolib mailing list


If the only guidelines you were given were to buy "The Best Porn" then I
think you need to ask the instructor for more specific guidelines. That
suggestion is pretty much meaningless without more parameters.

Obviously, erotic and sexually exlicit materials have a long history,
but here are some points that you might want to consider.

Hardcore Pornography, (rated 'X') received a surge in popularity in the
early seventies with the production of the explicit and also comedic
film _Deep Throat_. Contrary to the stereotypical loner in a trenchcoat
patron of adult theaters, men and women were attending _Deep Throat_ and
other films like singly and as couples in mainstream movie houses.

Porn was a major technology driver for home video and now, in the
internet age, image file formats and multimedia file formats.

"The Best Porn" is like saying "The Best movies," There may be a
casually agreed upon canon, especially in Hollywood history, but art is
subjective, and porn preferences are subjective as well.

You may want to consult the Kinsey institute at Indiana U. They have a
small library, but probably the biggest institutional collection of
historical and contemporary material of a sexually explicit material.

Maybe also ask for the course reading list. There are several scholars
writing about sexual representation, Laura Kipnis to name one.

Steve Brantley
Asst. Reference Librarian and Asst. Professor
Liaison to Architecture and the Arts
University of Illinois At Chicago

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