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Guide to the Erotica Collection, 1940s-1960s

Abstract

Creator of this archive is unknown.

An archive of original illustrations, sketchbooks, and erotic stories, depicting transgressive sex acts including (but not limited to) lesbian and heterosexual sex, incest, pedophilia, sadomassochistic behavior, and copulation with objects as varied as sex toys, produce, and household appliances. The stories and illustrations appear to be the work of a single individual, with nearly all narrative told from a female's point of view. Also includes some amateur pornographic photography and magazine clippings.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Title
Erotica collection 1940-1969
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.75 Linear Feet, 400 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

This collection contains an archive of original illustrations, four sketchbooks, and erotic stories, depicting transgressive sex acts including (but not limited to) lesbian and heterosexual sex, incest, pedophilia, sadomassochistic behavior, and copulation with objects as varied as sex toys, produce, and household appliances. The stories and illustrations appear to be the work of a single individual, with nearly all narrative told from a female's point of view. Also includes some amateur pornographic photography and magazine clippings.

The stories included in the collection range in length from one page to 46 pages. Two of the four sketchbooks include drafts of multiple storylines. Most stories are handwritten in the style of a graphic novel; some are typed. All include accompanying hand-drawn illustrations. There are also loose, miscellaneous illustrations in the collection with no correlating story. The collection's photographs and magazine clippings appear to have been used as models for some of the sketches and artwork. The photographs include at least one image of a hermaphroditic woman who appears in some of the accompanying stories.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Incoming letters for Mercedes Miller, Seattle, Washington, 1947 and undated
Box 1

Four sketchbooks and other loose notebook pages of drafts including both text and hand-drawn illustrations. Titles are included when provided; some stories are untitled. Other portions appear to have just been rough drafts or drawings of various characters or sexual positions. Two of the four sketchbooks include multiple storylines.

Small spiral-bound sketchbook

Includes illustrated draft of "Hot Tips from an Old Hand, starring Shy Ann and Leslie Beean."

Box 1
Sketchbook with boards

Includes various drawings titled "Lesbian Lust by Sappho," as well as the illustrated draft, "Uncle Jim."

Box 1
Loose pages with illustrated draft of "Uncle Jim Part 2"
Box 1
Loose pages with untitled illustrated draft, featuring an electrician fantasy with Sandra, Rod, and Sue
Box 1
Loose pages with untitled illustrated draft, featuring an "Intimate Lady" fantasy with Susan and Anne
Box 1
Spiral-bound sketchbook

Includes sketches and an untitled illustrated story about a virgin lesbian maid.

Box 1
Sketchbook with boards

Includes various untitled illustrated draft excerpts and many other drawings.

Box 1

Pencil drawings and sketches of sex acts on loose notebook paper, unattached to a particular story.

Miscellaneous lesbian sex scenes
Box 1
Soo Li and Leslie
Box 1
Stan the Handyman; hermaphrodite; lesbian sex scenes; other miscellaneous sketches
Box 1

Includes amateur pornographic photographs and magazine clippings, some with additional doodled enhancements.

Magazine photographs
Box 1
Photographs
Box 1

Historical Note

The creator of this archive is unknown, although one could speculate that the author and illustrator was Mercedes Miller of Seattle, Washington. Two pieces of correspondence addressed to her, dating from 1947 and the 1950s, were found inlaid in one of the collection's sketchbooks. This is strictly a circumstantial speculation; there is no way to match the handwriting style of the erotica with Miller's handwriting, and none of the stories or illustrations are autographed or signed with any identifying information.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Erotica Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Erotica Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, March 2014

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, March 2014

Accession(s) described in this collection guide: 2013-0204

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.