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Center for Sex and Culture collection
Coll2022-001  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Materials

  • Contributing Institution: ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Title: Center for Sex and Culture collection
    Creator: Center for Sex and Culture (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2022-001
    Physical Description: 18 Linear Feet 15 boxes, 1 map case drawer.
    Date (inclusive): 1925-2018
    Abstract: The Center for Sex and Culture was a San Francisco non-profit organization dedicated to providing judgment-free education, cultural events, and resources related to topics across the sexual and gender spectrum; and to supporting research and dissemination of factual information about sex, gender, identity, and health to help frame and inform issues of public policy and public health. The collection (1925-2018) contains art, photography, posters, flyers, and ephemera from a wide variety of artists, performers, groups, and institutions, largely from California.
    Language of Material: Language of materials is in English, unless otherwise noted.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Center for Sex and Culture (CSC) was a San Francisco non-profit organization dedicated to providing judgment-free education, cultural events, and resources related to topics across the sexual and gender spectrum. The CSC aimed to provide a community center for education, advocacy, research, and support to the widest range of people. It was also engaged in several fiscal sponsorships with artists, educators, and organizations.
    Founders Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence, both of whom have degrees in Human Sexuality, first conceived of the center in 1994, when a visit to Betty Dodson, "The Mother of Masturbation," led to the realization that there wasn't a venue or community space in the Bay Area suitable for shows, workshops, and social gatherings centering around sexuality and sex positivity. Drs. Queen and Lawrence founded the non-profit in 2000 and opened their physical space in 2004.
    The CSC hosted workshops, lectures, play parties, art exhibitions, and many other events. It participated in well-known queer events including San Francisco Pride and the Folsom Street Fair. In addition to the event space, the CSC housed a library and archive dedicated to collecting research materials on the subjects of sex, gender, identity, public policy, and public health. Materials were donated from across the community, creating what Dr. Queen believed to be the largest publicly-accessibly sex library in the country.
    Rising rents and the changing face of San Francisco forced the Center for Sex and Culture to close its physical location in January 2019.
    References:
    https://www.giveoutday.org/organization/sexandculture
    https://48hills.org/2019/01/center-of-sex-and-culture-closes-but-dr-carol-queen-looks-to-the-future/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20060702174129/http://www.sexandculture.org/pages/mission.html

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Dorian Katz and the Center for Sex and Culture, 2017 and 2019.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder #, or item name] Center for Sex and Culture Collection, Coll2022-001, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

    Processing Information

    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the California State Library. Collection processed by Beth McDonald and Alex Smith, 2022.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes material dated from 1925-2018, and consists mostly of art, photography, and ephemera, such as posters, postcards, flyers, buttons, and clothing, within the Center's collection policy. It also contains flyers, postcards, and posters for CSC sponsored and hosted events.

    Separated Materials

    The original donation from the Center for Sex and Culture included a large portion of materials created by Larry Townsend. Those materials have been separated to form its own archival collection:
    Larry Townsend Papers, Coll2022-002, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gay erotic art
    Gay erotic photography
    Sex Instruction
    Sexology
    Sexual health
    Center for Sex and Culture (San Francisco, Calif.)