The Sexual Representation Collection (SRC) is Canada’s largest archival collection of pornography. The collection contains roughly 5,000 VHS videocassettes and DVDs, 1,500 8mm and 16mm films, 1,000 magazines, hundreds of photographs and negatives, 500 pulp novels, hundreds of 35mm slides, hundreds of 8mm cassette tapes, 30 petabytes of digital artifacts, and 300 linear feet of personal papers, legal documents, reports, art, kink objects, and unique ephemera dating from 1907 to the present. With an emphasis on feminist, queer, trans, and kink pornography, the SRC includes important collections of Mexican, south Asian, and east Asian pornography; pre-war hard-core films; coin-op peepshow films; stag films; beefcake photographs, and artifacts related to the history of sex work, sex education, and obscenity. The 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 Brian Pronger Reading Room is located on the lower level of University College, 15 King’s College Circle, Room 41. The SRC’s digitization and processing workspace is located next door, Room 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.
Researchers are welcome to visit the collection by appointment. Please contact the Archives Director to schedule a suitable time weekdays between 9am – 5pm. 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. Digitization services, including digital research copies, are freely available upon request. Material held by the SRC is open to the public; some collections, including digital copies, may have restrictions based on individuals’ privacy, donor specific restrictions, and the condition of the material. Before visiting the SRC, please consult our list of finding aids below. Contact the Archives Director with details of the collection and boxes you wish to consult. Most material is made available within 48 hours. However, digital research copies may take longer. The Brian Pronger 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. Please credit “The Sexual Representation Collection, Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto.”
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.
A small collection of materials Sprinkle donated to the collection, including materials on her art projects, sex education, and ecosexuality movement.
A complete run of the Body Politic, one of Canada’s first gay publications, a monthly magazine published from 1971 – 1987. The Body Politic played a significant role in the development of the LGBTQ2+ community and its politics in Canada.
A collection of roughly 1,000 commercially produced VHS videocassettes of gay pornography from the United States, Mexico, and Canada from the 1980s – 1990s.
Materials from Carey Gray, a Queer FTM Toronto-based pornographer, photographer, BDSM sex educator, the owner of ASLAN Leather and StudioTen Toronto.
Materials donated by Carlyle Jansen, a sex educator who owns the Toronto-based sex shop Good for Her. Materials relate to the International Feminist Porn Awards and the Toronto Women & Trans Bathhouse Committee.
A complete run of Nude magazine, a glossy art-photography magazine produced by Carrie Leigh, a former Playboy cover model and official “First Lady” of the Playboy Mansion and photographer.
Max Allen donated materials from his time working with the Canadian Committee Against Customs Censorship (CCACC), an activist group in the 1980s and 1990s that influenced changes in Canadian laws and culture. Contains meticulous marginalia in English and French.
This fonds consists of 11 series, divided by media type. The collection was not received by the archives with an apparent original order, but textual records were kept together as much as
possible and where appropriate. The series are as follows; Audio-Visual Materials, Electronic Records, VHS Sleeves and Magazine Pages, Theory Books, Annuals and Directories, Photographs, Pulp Novels, Fashion &; Lingerie Magazines, Pornographic Magazines &; Film Catalogues, Film &; Media Magazines &; Journals, and Academic Notes, Research and Writings.
David Webb Collection
Erotic Film Archive
Contains 16mm hardcore films from the 1910s – 1950s, 16mm coin-op peepshow films from the 1940s – 1970s, and 8mm stag films from the 1950s – 1970s.
Three hundred issues of Gai Peid from 1983 – 1992, and an assortment of other newsletters, magazines, and ephemera documenting gay activism in Canada and France in the 1980s – 1990s.
Various materials, photographs, and publications of Lord Morpheous, BDSM practitioner and educator, including digital and print copies of his art work, ephemera, and signed copies of his books.
The extensive personal papers, audio recordings, magazines, and 35mm slides of Max Allen, former CBC producer and recognized anti-censorship activist who was involved in numerous legal battles to produce sexual representations between the 1970s and 1990s.
Collection of zines from the 1950s – 1970s focusing on MTF dominatrixes, published by Mutrix Corps, Empathy Press, and Lee’s Mardi Gras Enterprises.
A small collection of Neville Austin’s VHS, book, and magazine collection from 1990 – 2008.
A complete run of high quality digital copies of Playboy from 1953 – 2013. A nearly complete run of Playboy in print from 1963 – 2000.
Approximately 500 pulp novels from 1953 – 1986, many of which focus on sexual taboos, such as fetishism/ BDSM, and group sex.
Contains over 1,000 VHS videocassettes, DVD, magazines from the United States, Canada, and south Asia. These materials were donated by a pornography retail shop in operation in Scarborough (a former municipality within Toronto), which closed in the early 1990s.
A complete run of Screw magazine from 1974 – 1978.
Approximately 700 books, pamphlets, VHS, DVD, magazines, and catalogues donated by the producers of SexTV (2001-08) containing the kinds of information the producers used to create their public programming. The books are available for circulation through the UTL System and contain bookplates and catalog notes about their provenance.
Tom Waugh Collection
Trade Magazine Collection
Hundreds of pornography industry trade publications, such as AVN, Adult Gay Video News, The X-Rated Video Tape Star Index, Erotic Video Guide, and Adult Film World Guide Directory of Adult Films.
A small collection of educational and erotic videos produced by Tristan Taormino, a leading feminist author, activist, and sex educator.