A Queer Library Collection

Happy Pride Weekend all!

This Sunday, June 29th, 2014, thousands of LGBTQ New Yorkers and allies will march along 5th avenue, and pass the walls of the Graduate Center for the annual Heritage of Pride NYC Pride March. The library will be closed on Sunday, but to celebrate remotely, below is an excerpt from Fall 2012 CLAGSNews of an article highlighting the GC Library’s commitment to a Queer Library Collection. Click here for the original article.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Featured Image Photo Credit: rainbow flag on white background : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)
by torbakhopper

About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.