A Queer Library Collection

After the receipt of a generous bequest by long-time CLAGS member
Ivor Kraft in 2000, an Endowment was created in the name of
poet and labor activist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929). Thanks to
this Endowment, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies administers
the acquisition of materials and resources on books directly relevant
to the fields of lesbian, gay, and gender studies, broadly defined, to
be housed at the Graduate Center’s Mina Rees Library.
For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Library instituted a large shipment
of hundreds of new titles including, films such as 2012 release
Dyketactics: And Other Films from the 1970s by Barbara Hammer,
to titles published by previous CLAGS Awards recipients, such
as 2011 publication, Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships,
and Motherhood among Black Women by 2009 Joan Heller–Diane
Bernard Fellowship Recipient Mignon R. Moore, PhD. Included in this
new shipment were 2011 and 2012 publications by well-respected
CUNY Faculty, including but not limited to former CLAGS Executive
Director Paisley Currah, 2012 Harry Hay Conference Presenter David
A. Gerstner, and CLAGS 2013 Homonationalism and Pinkwashing
Conference Chair Sarah Schulman, to name a select few.
Beyond books, as LGBT scholarship expands, a queer library will
include a multiplicity of formats. Income generated by the Carpenter
Endowment will be used exclusively to collect books, serials,
pictorials, graphics, audiovisuals of all sorts, electronic programs
and materials, manuscripts, archives, and objects of art as set forth
by the parameters of the Fund. This includes supported databases
and indexes such as user-friendly academic database, LGBT Life
with Full Text, administered by EBSCO Publishing, a database containing
hundreds of the most historically significant LGBT journals,
magazines, regional newspapers, and monographs. While the Mina
Rees Library consistently ensures acquisitions that are reflective of
courses taught at the The Graduate Center, CUNY, the Carpenter collection
is uniquely on its way to ensuring an LGBT studies research hub
for all of CUNY.
For the Fall 2012 semester, a simple catalog subject search will
prove that the CUNY system is a leader in LGBTQ holdings. As a
result of over ten years of acquisition, this Fund maximizes access
to texts that would likely not exist in a public library, or in most
public universities. Students from all CUNY campuses have access
to these invaluable resources, thereby transforming the essential
nature of graduate and undergraduate research to include an LGBTQ
framework. CLAGS is proud to contribute to a representative library,
one that undoubtedly holds a queer library collection.
Edward Carpenter (1844 – 1929) was an influential English author,
social reformer, and leader in sexual freedom, enlightenment, and
tolerance. His socialism advocated for a homosexual imprint in conversations
of social change and public education. The Mina Rees
Library is committed to a collection that represents the mission of
the Carpenter Endowment.
LGBTQ book recommendations can be emailed to the LGBT Studies
Liaison at ssmith4@gc.cuny.edu.
Shawn(ta) Smith, MLS is an archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and is the
LGBT Studies Liaison and Reference Librarian at the Mina Rees Library. She worked
as Memberships Fellowships Coordinator at CLAGS and Web Administrator for three
years. She updates the LGBT Studies Subject guide and welcomes your feedback
at ssmith4@gc.cuny.edu.