Peek at the New York Public Library's Collection of Naughty Bits

Illustration for article titled Peek at the New York Public Librarys Collection of Naughty Bits

You name it, the New York Public Library’s probably got it. Including a substantial collection of historically important erotica, apparently!


The New York Times went behind the scenes for a (tastefully edited) peek at the goods. They’ve got Playboy, sure, but it’s much more than that. “We try to buy things that are important, that we think will help document how American society thought about sexuality,” explains librarian Jason Baumann. But the best part is when one longtime librarian talks about scouring the many seedy corners of Times Square in the 1980s for “adult literature” to add to the library’s collection. (One of their go-tos is now an Aldo.) Now there’s a job.

Take a look:


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Photo via Getty Images. Not actually the New York Public Library but rather the Library of Congress. Not, to my knowledge, erotica, either.

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Just stopping by to say the header picture makes me so wistful for the satisfying feeling of using the card catalog. The sound of the drawer pulling out, the musty smell of old cards, finding the right one and the information being perfectly typed. :-(