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Gender and Sexuality Studies

Selected Special Collections on Gender at The John Hay Library

Gay Pulp Fiction
A growing collection of over 4,500 titles of gay men's pulp novels constituting a significant source for genre and sociological study.

James Jackson Bequest
Approximately 1,900 titles in the area of gay/lesbian literature, much of it dating from the pre-Stonewall era. The Jackson Collection contains many titles not previously owned by Brown and virtually all are in very good condition and retain their dust jackets. There are a quite a few lesbian-related titles which fills in a gap in our existing holdings and quite a few gay-related science fiction and fantasy titles which complement one of existing collection strengths. Quite a few of the books are signed or inscribed, this being particularly true of the post-Stonewall titles.

John Preston
John Preston authored over 30 books, ranging from fiction and erotica to such important non-fiction titles as Personal Dispatches: Writers Confront AIDS and Hometowns: Gay Men Write About Where They Belong. The Preston archive is especially important in that it contains many thousands of letters between Preston and a vast array of authors that comment upon matters both literary and socio-historical. Among Preston's most prolific correspondents was Ann Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles, whose papers provide insight into the link between straight/gay and erotic/mainstream fiction.

Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, [ca. 1834-1980]
Consists of the papers of the family of Emily Dickinson, along with the 3,000 volume family library from "The Evergreens," the Dickinson home in Amherst Massachusetts. In addition to the personal papers of Martha Bianchi (including family and editorial correspondence, diaries, notes, worksheets, typescript poems, stories, plays, photographs, articles, books, and clippings) the collection includes the personal papers of Alfred Leete Hampson and his wife, Mary Landis Hampson, and includes much secondary material relating to Emily Dickinson. Supplemented by gifts from Barton St. Armand and George Monteiro, of additional items from the same source.

On Our Backs
The archive of the lesbian periodical, On Our Backs.

Rhode Island Feminist Theatre Records, 1973-1984
Theatre group founded in 1973 in Providence, Rhode Island. Members often collaborated on the writing of plays. Performances were given in Providence, Boston, and on national tour. The collection includes scripts, publicity, reviews, articles, promotional and touring material, posters, playbills, photographs, and other files.

Rhode Island Women's Health Collective
The records of the RIWHC include financial, legal, funding, and donor records, mailing lists, newsletters and publications relating to women's health issues.

Scott O'Hara Papers
Literary and personal papers, 1979-1998, of Scott O'Hara (1961-1998), pornographic film actor, author, magazine publisher, also containing publications that include material by or about him.

The Hammond Lamont Library
In 1911, the personal library of the late Hammond Lamont, Professor of Rhetoric from 1895 to 1900, was donated to the University as a memorial from his students in the Classes of 1899 and 1900.The principal focus of the collection is 18th and 19th century English literature with an emphasis on prose. These 2,700 volumes of 17th-18th century English literature included many works by Daniel DeFoe and William Prynne, including the latter's Histrio-Mastix (London, 1633).Includes many novels published between 1760-1840, particularly those by women writers, and over 100 17th and 18th century tracts by Jeremy Collier and William Prynne, among others, exhorting against the pernicious moral influence of the stage. This collection also includes holdings of "triple-decker" subscription and popular fiction of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including a fine selection of gothic novels.

The Richard G. Katzoff Collection
The collection, named in honor of Richard G. Katzoff and housed in the John Hay Library at Brown University, consists primarily of literary works relating to gays and lesbians, with a small component of history and sociology; most are U.S. publications. The core of the Collection is the gift of books, primarily novels dating from the 1970s and 1980s, received in 1991 from the estate of Richard Katzoff, supplemented by the library and personal writings of John Preston, journalist, author and editor of gay literature (the Library also houses Preston's papers). In addition, the Collection includes the publications of Larry Townsend (sadomasochistic fiction and pictorial erotica), many books from the library of Edmund White, an extensive collection of contemporary lesbian fiction, and many other smaller donations of gay and lesbian writings. Materials continue to be added to the Collection by gift and purchase; an endowment has been established for that purpose by the Katzoff family. The more recent acquisitions include a 30,000-item collection of gay pulp fiction dating primarily from the 1950s and 1960s.

The Brown University Archives

Women of Brown. Class of 1929.The University Archives are the repository of official records of Brown University, and are located in the John Hay Library.

The history of women at Brown can be studied in documents concerning the admission of women in 1891 and the administration of the Women's College, named in 1928 Pembroke College, which merged with Brown in 1971.  There are collections of correspondence of women students, scrapbooks kept by women students full of memorabilia of their college lives, and oral histories on cassette tapes of Pembroke alumnae. There are also copies of

  • The "Pembroke Record", the college newspaper (1922 - 1970)
  • The "Sepiad", a student literary and news periodical of the women students (1901 - 1932)
  • The "Brun Mael", the women's yearbook (1909 - 1970)
  • The "Pembroke Alumna" (1928 - 1970)

Brown Archival & Manuscript Collections Online (BAMCO)
Provides access to primary source material through finding aids representing manuscript and archival holdings at Brown University, including digitized collections.

Women of Brown class of 1929. Photograph taken at Mary Fessenden's summer home in Glen Rock (West Kingston) , RI, ca. 1929. Pembroke College archives.

Selected Manuscript Collections at the John Hay Library

Botta (Anne Charlotte Lynch) papers, 1835-1894
Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta (1815-1891) was a teacher and poet of Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. The collection of ca. 200 items covers the years 1835-1894 and contains correspondence concerning literary and personal affairs, three manuscripts of her poems, two engraved portraits extracted from a book, and miscellaneous notes.

Wyllys (Samuel) papers, 1638-1757
Annmary Brown Hawkins inherited from her father, Nicholas Brown, a collection of papers compiled by Samuel Wyllys (1631-1709), a Connecticut magistrate and public official who served from 1654 to 1684, along with papers of other members of the Wyllys family. The collection, covering the period from 1638 to 1757 (bulk 1663-1698), comprises half of the original collection; the other portion (covering 1694-1726) was acquired some time ago by the Connecticut State Library from the Estate of John Carter Brown. These early papers pertain to Indian affairs, colonial wars, civil and criminal cases. The witchcraft trials of 1692 to 1693, as revealed in the testimony of witnesses in the Oyer and Terminer Courts, are of particular interest.