Playboy collection arouses interest at UWO

Playboy collection arouses interest at UWO
Despite any embarrassment I might feel, the fact is that Playboy -- the monthly men's periodical started in 1953 by Hugh Hefner -- can offer some fascinating insight into our changing times and culture.

"You have to remember it's not just centrefolds and pictures," says Marnie Harrington, a librarian with UWO's Faculty of Information and Media Studies who worked with the collection after it was donated to the Weldon Library by a private donor about three years ago.

The collection is stored in a "research consultation room" on Weldon's second floor.


really I did.

But that is a great headline. Most library punny headlines are terrible, this one, I loved!

Is this only shocking in Canada or something? UW-Madison has Playboy in its Special Collections department...and WorldCat shows 410 holdings for just the print periodical (never mind the microfiche collection). This includes (for my location, on the first screen of results) UW-Milwaukee and three nearby public libraries. I'm sure some of the locations just mean that a database they have access to indexes the full-text of the articles, but some of the 410 must get--and keep--the print magazine.

That having been said, when I worked in Special Collections in grad school, September would always bring a few male freshmen up to the department after they searched the catalog for "Playboy" on a whim and found to their horny surprise that we did have it. (But no, we were not going to let them into the vault to browse--they had to tell us what they wanted to see and we'd bring it to them in the reading room!)

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