Bunce Collection
Amatory and Erotic Works

Fredrick W. Bunce, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art, donated the materials in the Bunce Collection in 1996, shortly before his retirement from the university. The bulk of the literary books in the collection are noted because of their sexually suggestive or blatant content. Many such works were privately printed and contain illustrations, some quite tame by modern standards but considered scandalous by polite society at the time they were created. Additional holdings include critical, historical, and anthropological materials.

Dr. Bunce established the collection so that Indiana State University would have a body of such materials to provide examples for the discussion of both community standards with respect to suggestive or explicit materials and of the nature of primarily earlier and turn-of-the-twentieth-century erotic or pornographic art and books, including some on sexual fetishes or variant lifestyles. In addition, the works are frequently examples of private press books of a particular type, allowing for at least preliminary study of such a category of materials. Finally, much of the material, although suppressed, has artistic merit and should be, in the opinion of Bunce, made available locally to art and other interested students and faculty rather than remaining a private collection or being absorbed into a similar collection elsewhere.

Access to works in the collection is through the Rare Books & Special Collections Department. While there are no restrictions on who may use the materials, many items are rare. As such, they fall under the usual constraints for such materials. They must be handled with care. In some instances, an attendant may be required to remove materials from boxes or to assist in the turning of pages, etc.

For a record of holdings both donated and added to the Bunce Collection since its inception, link to LUIS, ISU's online library catalog, and perform the following keyword search as phrase: "Bunce Collection." All pertinent records will be retrieved at once.

Brief Biographical Statement

top of page Special Collections Home Rare Books Collection Home