Alfred C. Kinsey was a biologist turned sex researcher of human sexuality with worldwide acclaim. One of his major achievements was to build a library of sex research materials. Kinsey and his followers have collected not only studies of sexuality but also evidence of sexual expressions—all together comprising more than 500,000 items now in the Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. This library of sexual expression constitutes a body of evidence for scholars and researchers to understand sexuality.
In this article, the author, who has more than twenty-five years' collection development experience at the Kinsey Institute and is the head of its collection, will examine three self-documentation collections at the Kinsey, selected from the past fifteen years' acquisitions, to illustrate the range and scope of this type of material. This article is a descriptive case study, primarily of interest to librarians as practitioners of collection development and acquisition of special collections. The first is a collection of journals created by an individual who self-identified as a practitioner of Chinese Confucianism/Taoist principles, and who documented his life-long journey of self-sexual practices. The second is a collection of a man who practiced being crushed. Last, there is a collection of erotic albums created by an individual to document his experience of sexuality and aging.