15 King's College Circle
Toronto M5S 3H7
Sexual Representation Collection Archive
With an emphasis on feminist, queer, trans, and kink sexual histories, the Sexual Representation Collection at the University of Toronto includes important collections of American, Canadian, Mexican, south American, south Asian, and east Asian sexual histories; pre-war hard-core films; coin-op peepshow films; stag films; beefcake photographs; and artifacts related to the history of sex work and obscenity from 1907 to the present, including 1,500 8mm and 16mm films, 3,000 AIDS-era VHS, 1,000 AIDS-era magazines, hundreds of photographs and negatives, and 300 linear feet of personal papers, reports, zines, art, kink objects, and unique ephemera.
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.
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.
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 Sexual Representation Collection 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.
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.
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.”
The SRC is accessible for visitors using wheelchairs or other mobility devices; additional arrangements can also be made on an individual basis.
The SRC is a non-circulating collection, and most of its materials are stored off site. 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. 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.
Digitization services, including digital research copies, are freely available upon request.
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.