Indiana University Library's collections on gender and sexuality are extensive. We hold numerous books, E-books, journal, periodicals and films on topics like gender, women's studies, masculinity, queer theory, and more. We also subscribe to over 50 databases focused specifically on gender, women's, and sexuality studies. Bloomington is home to multiple world-famous primary source repositories, including the Kinsey Institute. An extensive collection means that you have access to massive amounts of information, which can be overwhelming. This page will help you identify sources that are relevant to your interests/research and help you browse our collections in a way that is most efficient and beneficial for you.
If you are looking to browse our collections, you can do so virtually through IUCAT (our library catalog) or in-person in the East Tower of Wells; see the Research Collections Stacks (Map View) and the Wells Library Building and Collections Directory for more information. For collections related to Gender Studies, see the list of call numbers below. One starting point might be the call numbers HQ 12-449 (located on the 7th floor of Wells), which includes books on sexual orientation, queer theory, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ culture.
Note that the entire collection of our library is not housed on-site. We also have an offsite storage space (the Auxiliary Library Facility, or ALF) with a capacity of 6,400,000 bound volumes. To request books from ALF, sign into IUCAT with your IU account and click on the red "Request This" button in the top right corner of the catalog record for any title of interest. Your book will be available for pick-up in only a few days (and generally much more quickly)! For more information about the various methods for requesting materials owned by IU Libraries, please see our Request Materials service page.
Did you know that you do not need to be affiliated with Indiana University to access our collections? Our libraries are open to IU students, faculty, and staff along with Indiana residents, Big Ten Academic Alliance Scholars, and OCLC Scholars. To borrow materials from our collections, you must present either an IU Crimson Card or a Borrower's Card at the circulation desk in the East Tower of Wells Library.
For more information about obtaining a Borrower's Card, see below:
Learn more on the Library's 'Borrow, Renew, Return' page.
A collection development policy is a document that outlines the goals, objectives, procedures for selecting, acquiring, and maintaining a library's collection, as well as its scope. As such, it provides a roadmap, of sorts, that guides the collection manager's activities within a particular collection or subject area. It is also a living document that is reviewed and updated on a regular basis by your librarian to ensure that our resources reflect emerging trends in the field in addition to canonical works and texts of historical importance, remain inclusive and diverse through representation of marginalized communities and underrepresented perspectives, and continue to meet the needs of our many patrons and users.
To learn more, feel free to review the latest version of the Collection Development Policy for Gender Studies, as well as our Libraries-wide statement on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in collections. For information about contributing to the collection through purchase requests, move to the next tab of this box, Contributing to the Collection.
While one of my primary responsibilities is curating and stewarding the collections in this subject area, I see my role as always one that is complemented by the input and perspectives of the many constituents that our collections support. I welcome suggestions for additions to our collections from anyone working in this discipline and beyond, and I believe taking this collective approach makes the collection better and ensures that we have the resources needed for your research, learning, and scholarship.
To offer a purchase recommendation, please use this form. Due to the volume of these requests, I am not able to respond to them individually but you will be notified when they are available for you to access and use.
Some important notes about purchase requests:
A call number is like an address—it tells you where in a library a book lives. Call numbers are located on a book's spine and are listed in IU's library catalog. Call numbers let you quickly and efficiently locate a physical copy of a book in the library, but did you know that they can also help you browse by topic? Below are some (not all!) call numbers related to Gender Studies which you can use to browse our collection. If you are interested in a topic that is not listed below, consult the Library of Congress Classification Outline and the Library of Congress Classification PDF Files. Ask a reference librarian or consult the signage at Wells Library if you need assistance finding titles.
Class B: Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
Class D: World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
Class E and F: History of the Americas
Class G: Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
Class H: Social Sciences
Class J: Political Science
Class L: Education
Class M: Music and Books on Music
Class N: Fine Arts
Class P: Language and Literature
Sources: Brie Baumert (Gould Library) Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies Call Numbers (2023).
A subject heading is a specific word or phrase used to find and organize books and articles by certain topic. Subject headings can be a great way to easily find things related directly to your topic. Subject headings are different from keywords because they are part of controlled vocabularies assigned to a subject by an organization. While keywords utilize our natural, everyday language, subject headings are assigned to topics. At Indiana University, we use the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Note that some subject headings use outdated language.
There are numerous ways to go about finding subheadings of interest:
For more information on subject headings and utilizing them in your research, see the following articles:
As opposed to subject headings, which are controlled vocabularies, keywords are part of our natural, everyday language. When you search on Google, you are performing a keyword search. Keywords can help you browse but are less specific that subject headings and will often give you results that fall outside of your search. For more information on keyword searching and tips for finding sources, see our Research: Getting Started Guide.
See below for lists of keywords related to Gender Studies research. Remember that, especially in the field of Gender Studies, language used to describe LGBTQ+ people and women may be outdated and/or offensive.
An e-book is an electronic or digital book that is available for reading on your computer (desktop or laptop), tablet, or mobile device. There are many ways to find and access e-books at IU. Check out this e-book guide for more detailed information.
Some e-books include built-in accessibility options which allow patrons to use screen readers, change text size, backgrounds, and/or text color. The University of Exeter Library has compiled an extensive list of accessibility features provided by the major e-book distributors.
Below, we have summarized the accessibility statements of popular e-book distributors:
Formats: Ebook Central offers books in two formats: EPUB and PDF
Sage Publications Online and Print Accessibility Policy "Sage produces all books in Epub2 and Epub3, with only a few exceptions. Our Epub3 content incorporates MathML as well as navigational and structural tagging, indicates reading order, and is compatible with many text-to-speech and magnification tools. It is optimized for performance in the Firefox browser with the free NVDA screen reader. Epub3 files of Sage US College titles published since January 1, 2019, include IDPF-compliant accessibility metadata in addition to alternative text and long descriptions where needed."
Source: Susan A. Vega García (Iowa State University Library, Ebook Publisher Accessibility Statements (2022).