The Sexual Representation Collection (SRC) is Canada’s largest university-based collection of pornography. The collection contains roughly 2,000 VHS videocassettes and DVDs, 1,000 magazines, 500 pulp novels, hundreds of 35mm slides, digital files, 8mm film, 8mm cassette tapes, and 267 linear feet of personal papers, legal documents, reports, art, kink objects, and unique ephemera dating from the 1950s to the present. In addition, it includes a significant collection of materials related to the social and legal regulation of sexual representations in Canada. SRC is administered by the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto, and is managed by the Archives Director, Prof. Patrick Keilty.
The SRC aids in the recovery and preservation of pornography, and materials related to their social and legal regulation, production, circulation, and consumption. Its mission is to acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium about sexual representation, with particular attention paid to feminist, queer, and kink material.
Location and Contact Information
The SRC Reading Room is located on the lower level of University College, 15 King’s College Circle, Rooms 41 and 43. The Archives Director, Prof. Patrick Keilty, can be reached by email at email@example.com.
The SRC is accessible for visitors using wheelchairs or other mobility devices; additional arrangements can also be made on an individual basis.
The Sexual Representation Collection contains a number of sub-collections, each of which comes from a unique source and has its own particular areas of focus and strength.
Researchers are welcome to visit the collection by appointment. Please contact the Archives Director to schedule a suitable time weekdays between 9am – 5pm. The SRC requires researchers meet for an initial orientation with the Archives Director before conducting research in the Reading Room.
The Archives Director is happy to assist with any reference questions and to provide additional resources related to your research. Unfortunately, the SRC does not employ any full-time staff and is therefore limited in the kinds of remote assistance it can provide.
The SRC is a non-circulating collection, and most of its materials are stored off site. Before visiting the SRC, please consult our list of finding aids above. Contact the Archives Director with details of the collection and boxes you wish to consult. Most material is made available within 24 hours. Material held by the SRC is open to the public; however some collections may have restrictions based on individuals’ privacy, donor specific restrictions, and the condition of the material.
SRC’s Reading Room contains a shared desktop computer with internet access, a scanner/ printer, a television with VHS and DVD players, an 8mm film projector, and an 8mm-cassette player. Researchers are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops. For long-term visitors, wifi can be made available through the Centre.
We ask researchers to request permission to publish, exhibit or use records and to determine the appropriate acknowledgement(s), particularly to ensure personal or confidential information is not released. Failure to acquire permissions or to provide adequate acknowledgement is a violation of copyright law. Researchers can use SRC’s digital scanner in the archive, with the assistance of SRC staff. Researchers are also permitted to use digital cameras, including smart phones.
Public Programming and Exhibits
SRC regularly organizes talks, panels, and workshops that provide a public forum for engaging social, cultural, and legal issues related to pornography. These events bring together established and emerging scholars, people who have worked in the sex industry or are sex workers, and members of the community to develop a conversation that extends beyond the archive. In addition, SRC regularly partners with cultural institutions and university courses, particularly MSL4000: Exhibition Project, to exhibit highlights from the collection for a broader public. These exhibits rethink the politics and performance of public display and expand traditional ways of telling stories about archival objects. Support for these events comes from the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies and community partners. Please consult the Centre’s website for details about upcoming events and exhibits. In addition, SRC serves as an experiential learning opportunity for SDS490: Engaging Our Communities and INF2173: Information Professional Practicum.
How to Donate Materials
The SRC actively accepts archival donations relating to sexual representation and its social and legal regulation, production, circulation, and consumption, with particular attention paid to feminist, queer, and kink material. Please contact the Archives Director with possible donations. Materials will be assessed according to our mandate, the significance of the materials, and space limitations for long-term storage and preservation.