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Jay A. Gertzman research collection on censorship

Ms. Coll. 1358

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Gertzman, Jay A.
Title:
Jay A. Gertzman research collection on censorship
Date [bulk]:
1920-1950
Date [inclusive]:
1882-1999
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1358
Extent:
4 linear feet (4 boxes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Jay A. Gertzman is professor emeritus of English at Mansfield University. This collection includes research material collected and used by Jay Gertzman to produce his book Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940;. Documents collected here pertain to the proliferation and censorship of erotic material in the era between the two World Wars.
Cite as:
Jay A. Gertzman research collection on censorship, 1882-1999 (1920-1950), Ms. Coll. 1358, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Jay A. Gertzman, professor emeritus of English at Mansfield University, is the author of four books: Fantasy, Fashion, and Affection: Illustrated and Decorated Editions of Robert Herrick’s Poetry,  Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940;  Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist; and  A Descriptive Bibliography of Lady Chatterley's Lover: With Essays Toward a Publishing History of the Novel.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes research material collected and used by Jay Gertzman to produce his book Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Trade in Erotica, 1920-1940. Documents collected here pertain to the proliferation and censorship of erotic material in the era between the two World Wars. The collection contains examples of erotic work from the time, personal testimony by both booksellers and those who sought to censor them, and scholarly overviews of how erotic work was disseminated and suppressed. The collection is separated into primary source and secondary source documents (the vast majority of which are photocopies), research notes and correspondence, and books.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2018 July 9

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Sam Allingham

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jay Gertzman, 2017.

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Related Materials

Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
  • Reprographic copies
  • Research notes
Subject(s)
  • Book industries and trade
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Booksellers and bookselling--New York (State)--New York
  • Censorship--United States--20th century
  • Literature
  • Sex-oriented periodicals
  • Sexuality

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Primary source documents.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains photocopies of primary source documents used in Gertzman’s research, including legal documents pertaining to obscenity cases, letters exchanged between censorship organizations and politicians, examples of contemporary erotic literature, and personal accounts by erotic publishers and those who sought to censor them. The series is organized at the file level using Gertzman’s original subject classifications and arranged in chronological order.

Box Folder

Data on offenders from the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1882-1930.

1 1

Biographical information on Benjamin Rebhuhn and family, 1911-1997.

1 2

Articles on John Sumner by Frank Harris and others, 1917-1970.

1 3

List of non-mailable periodicals from the National Archives, 1918.

1 4

Data on U.S. income, 1920-1930.

1 5

Photocopied excerpts of erotic literature, 1920-1998.

1 6

Articles by John Sumner on the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1921-1938.

1 7

Legal cases concerning obscenity, 1921-1941.

1 8

Benjamin Rebhuhn diary, 1922-1924.

1 9-10

Articles and notes on the Clean Books Law, 1923.

1 11

Publications on the International Reform Federation, 1923-1937.

1 12

Information and reports from the Watch and Ward Society, 1923-1941.

1 13

Correspondence to and from the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1923-1944.

1 14

Excerpts of work by Frank Harris, 1923-1990.

1 15

H.L. Mencken on censorship, 1923-1993.

1 16

Frank Harris research material, 1923-1997.

1 17-19

Articles on Frank Harris obscenity case, 1925-1936.

1 20

Advertisements for erotic books, 1925-1967, undated.

1 21-22

Incomplete issue of College Life, circa 1926.

1 23

Annual director's report for the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1926-1942.

1 24

Articles on obscenity in popular magazines, 1926-1924.

1 25

Evan Esar (also known as Esar Levine) research information, 1926-1991.

1 26

Catalogs of erotic works, 1926-1992.

1 27

Legal documents and correspondence on concerning obscenity cases, 1927-1941.

1 28

ACLU archives on literary censorship, 1927-1995.

1 29

Legal documents on Sumner v. the Gotham Book Mart, 1928-1929.

1 30

Legal documents and correspondence between the National Council for Freedom from Censorship and the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1928-1930.

1 31

Documents from the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1928-1932.

1 32

Contemporary newspaper and magazine articles on obscenity cases, 1928-1960.

2 1

Reviews of Lady Chatterly's Lover, 1928-1985.

2 2

Photocopies of D.H. Lawrence correspondence from the Harry Ransom Center, 1928-1991.

2 3

Letters from the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1929.

2 4

Magazine articles on censorship in the U.S. Customs Bureau, 1029-1930.

2 5

Incorporation papers for Panurge Press, 1930.

2 6

Primary source documents on the history of censorship in Massachusetts, 1930.

2 7

Information on the Illinois Vigilance Society, 1930-1993.

2 8

U.S. Congressional record on obscenity, 1940-1961.

2 9

Information on Falstaff Press, 1930-1995.

2 10

H.W. Pringle's list of banned books, 1931.

2 11

Correspondence between booksellers regarding censorship and raids, 1931.

2 12

Newspaper articles on censorship by libraries.

2 13

Primary sources concerning prosecution of Ulysses for obscenity, 1931-1941.

2 14

Excerpts from books from Panurge Press, 1932-1939.

2 15

U.S. Post Office annual reports and regulations, 1932-1940.

2 16

Correspondence regarding the publication of Ulysses, 1932-2014.

2 17

Business licenses for erotic publishers, 1934.

2 18

Catalogs from the Anthropological Library, circa 1934.

2 19

Advertisements for Panurge Press, circa 1934.

2 20

Accounts of legal action against Esar Levine, 1935.

2 21

Material related to the Bad Book Bill, 1936.

2 22

Advertisements for books offered by the Argus Book Shop, 1936-1975.

2 23

Correspondence from the Eugenics Publishing Company, 1937.

2 24

FBI information requested by Gertzman through the Freedom of Information Act, 1937-1994.

2 25

Legal documents from USA v. Rebhuhn, 1938.

2 26

Articles on U.S. Postal business, 1938-1947.

2 27

Articles on vice cases, 1939-1969.

2 28

Articles on bookselling, 1939-1999.

2 29

Correspondence and research material regarding obscenity case over the Memoirs of Casanova, 1940.

2 30

Research material on Theodore Schroeder, circa 1945.

2 31

Legal cases regarding obscenity, 1945.

2 32

"Government and Mass Communications, Vol. 1," a report from the Commission on the Freedom of the Press, 1947.

2 33

John S. Sumner papers, circa 1950.

2 34-35

John S. Sumner memoirs, circa 1950.

2 36-38

Biographical information for Clement Wood, after 1950.

2 39

Biographical information on William Jay Schieffelin, 1955-1962.

2 40

Accounts of censorship trial of Lady Chatterly's Lover, 1959-1961.

2 41

Excerpts from books from American Anthropological Society, undated.

2 42

Photos of Panurge Press covers, undated.

2 43

Series II. Secondary source documents.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains photocopies of secondary source documents used in Gertzman’s research. It includes scholarly articles on several areas of censorship in the United States, including the Postal Service, public libraries, and the U.S. Customs Bureau. It also includes scholarly writing on several important figures in erotic publishing, including Charles Harrington, Samuel Roth, Clara Tice, and Anais Nin. The series is organized at the file level using Gertzman’s own subject classifications, and arranged in alphabetical order by subject.

Box Folder

List of American humor magazines, circa 1996.

3 1

Selections from and a review of a biography Richard and Isabel Burton by Mary Lovell, 1998.

3 2

Articles on censorship, Catholic Church, 1934-1992.

3 3

Articles on censorship, Libraries, 1967-1975.

3 4

Articles on censorship, Literary History, 1928-1956.

3 5

Articles on censorship, Massachusetts, 1930.

3 6

Articles on censorship, United States (Day - Minnesota Law Review), 1929-1972.

3 7

Articles on censorship, United States (Northwestern Law Review - University of Pennsylvania Law School), 1940-1970.

3 8

Articles on censorship, United States Postal Service, 1916-1974.

3 9

Articles on legal precedent and societal change, 1991.

3 10

Writing on female erotic artists, 1993-1999.

3 11

Articles on Charles Harrington, 1995.

3 12

Articles on the printing trade, 1932-1980.

3 13

Articles on rental libraries, 1933-1996.

3 14

Writing on Samuel Roth, 1957-1990.

3 15

Articles on sexology, 1934-1996.

3 16

Series III. Research notes and correspondence.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains notes and correspondence produced by Gertzman during his research. It includes documents of database searches he conducted, notes in his own hand (which is often difficult to read), and lists of archives and collections he consulted. It is arranged chronologically, though some of the dating is approximate or uncertain.

Box Folder

Archival searches for Panurges Press by Gertzman, 1991.

3 17

Information from Gertzman visit to Kinsey Institute Library, 1991.

3 18

Modern erotic ads, 1991-1994.

3 19

Correspondence regarding erotic bookselling, 1992-1994.

3 20

Notes and correspondence around Gertzman's visit to the Rosenbach Museum, 1993.

3 21

Miscellaneous notes and corrrespondence, 1993-1997, undated.

3 22

New York Public Library request forms, circa 1994.

3 23

Correspondence regarding censorship research, 1994-1999.

3 24

WorldCat results for Panurge Press, 1995.

3 25

WorldCat results for American Anthropological Society, 1995.

3 26

Gertzman notes on the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, circa 1995.

3 27

Notes on Frank Harris, circa 1995.

3 28

Gertzman request for Sylvia Beach papers at Princeton, 1996.

3 29

Correspondence regarding "The Secret Museum of Mankind", 1997.

3 30

Correspondence with Susan Lane, 1998.

3 31

Gertzman notes regarding obscenity cases, undated.

3 32

Gertzman summaries of correspondence and primary sources regarding obscenity cases, undated.

3 33

Notes on New York City bookshops, 1920-1940, undated.

3 34

Notes on censorship in Boston, undated.

3 35

List of erotica collections in university libraries, undated.

3 36

Series IV. Books.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains books which Gertzman consulted during his research. Most of the volumes are examples of erotic literature produced in the period between the World Wars, while a few volumes were produced in the 1960’s. Some of the volumes, such as Light on Dark Corners (1967) are examples of literature aimed at sex education, while others, such as  My Life and Loves by Frank Harris are personal memoirs of sexual awakening. The books are arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Box Folder

Frank Harris, My Life and Loves, volume one, 1922.

4 1-2

Frank Harris, My Life and Loves, volume three, 1927.

4 3

Frank Harris, My Love Life, 1931.

4 4-5

Various authors, Safe Counsel, or, Practical Eugenics, 1937.

4 6

Various authors, Light on Dark Corners, 1967.

4 7

Anthony Comstock, Traps for the Young, 1967.

4 8