RE: [Videolib] Porn videos in the library

Brian Burns (
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:23:11 -0400

Steve has some very valid ideas and good suggestions. I merely wanted to
emphasize the importance in working with the instructor for this particular
course to discover what areas will be covered and what angles will be taken.
There is a wide array of porn available including "soft" porn like most of
the titles from Playboy, Inc. as well as various degrees of deviancy from
the norm (I use the term very loosely as meaning 1 male and 1 female) as one
proceeds into group sex, bondage, S&M, animals, and (illegal) heaven forbid
children. The range is so huge its like a military history instructor
asking for some videos on war.

Anybody know what the Library Bill of Rights would have to say about this


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Brantley []
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Porn videos in the library

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
> 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
> 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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