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James Edwards Library: Four Areas

Asian Sexuality

The most prominent feature of the collection is its holdings on Asian sexuality. As an example Zhou cites the enormous amount of material from China that documents the social and cultural change from the 1970s to the 1990s. "During this time Chinese sexual practices and attitudes were transformed in the wake of economic reform and a loosening of government control over information about sexuality." In honor of this large holding of Asian books on sexuality, the Kinsey Institute has renamed its rich Asian collection the James W. Edwards Asian Collection and is housing these works in a special room.

The History of Contraception

Through his collection Edwards carefully traced the history of birth control movements in Britain and America. A thorough holding of works by and about Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger, key figures in these movements, include Stopes' 1929 Treatise on Birth Control and Sanger's 1930 Happiness in Marriage.


The collection offers an historical perspective on prostitution across the globe. Zhou specifically recalls Chinese, Italian, German, British, and American material on prostitution. She notes sources that "range from the earliest work in the collection as a whole, an 1859 American text entitled The History of Prostitution, to a more recent 1993 report on the sexual behavior of prostitutes, homosexuals, lesbians, and teenagers in contemporary America."

Early Sexology

Finally, the collection explores the origins of the discipline of sexology itself, bringing together an unusual selection of early German sexological works by Magnus Hirschfeld, Iwan Bloch and others that offer anthropological and medical perspectives on the field. It also contains an important 1906 English edition of Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis.

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