Cornell University

Speaking of Sex: Human Sexuality Collection Exhibition

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Kroch Library, Hirshland Gallery, Level 2B, Rare and Manuscript Collections
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Cornell University Library’s new exhibition, Speaking of Sex, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Human Sexuality Collection.

A quarter of a century ago, the Library began to gather rare books, letters, photographs and original artwork, films, erotica, and all sorts of ephemera related to sexuality — much of which was ignored or shunned by academia and society at large. By focusing on marginalized and contested areas of sexuality, the collection encourages us to think about sex from many angles and is a vital resource to the field of sexuality studies that has developed during this time.

The exhibition showcases words and concepts that our objects allow researchers to consider more deeply, like perform, desire, trans, deviant, commercialization. It includes items from the original 1988 Mariposa archives gift through very recent acquisitions. Come see a 1730 Dutch wanted poster for sodomites, an historic vibrator, and photographs of recent protests in India. The exhibition runs from Valentine’s Day to National Coming Out Day.

The Samuel L. Hirshland Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click on "see more dates" at the top, for more information, or check the library website for updates and Saturday hours at

Event Type



Cornell University Library


pawprint, history, Cornell University Library, CUL, photographs, sex, pa, rare and manuscript collections, American culture, artifacts



free and open to the public

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Brenda Marston

Contact Phone

(607) 255-3530

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Sherron Brown

Sherron Brown left a positive review 8/26/2014

Brenda Marston was amazing as she shared valuable information about the exhibit to me and my friends. What an afternoon well spent!!!