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Prostitutes in the archives: problems and possibilities in documenting the history of sexuality.

Authors
  • Gilfoyle, T J
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American archivist
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1994
Volume
57
Issue
3
Pages
514–527
Identifiers
PMID: 11618520
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the past decade, the study of sexuality has proven to be one of the most dynamic academic enterprises. Among the most popular topics has been the history of prostitution. Archivists have been invaluable but largely unsung allies in the explosive growth of a new revisionist literature. Through the preservation of long-ignored and often-discarded records and manuscripts, archivists provided the means enabling historians to answer many new questions, not only about prostitution but about the history of sexuality. Yet some of these sources raise provocative and controversial problems for historians and archivists documenting the history of sexuality. The author acknowledges and thanks Loyola University of Chicago, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Newberry Library in Chicago for providing financial support to complete this article. His appreciation also extends to Mary Rose Alexander, Kenneth Cobb, Phillip Costello, and the anonymous referees of The American Archivist for their criticism and helpful comments on earlier drafts.

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