If you visit the Mount Saint Vincent University Library, you will notice a modest wooden cabinet with a sign proclaiming Lesbian Pulp Fiction, located beside the main library desk. Many academic libraries have unique special collections, but few display them so prominently. The Library began the collection in 1996 at the request of faculty in the  English and Women's Studies departments. The value of the lesbian pulp fiction novels to the Library lies in its depictions of lesbian life and societal attitudes towards lesbians in the mid-20th century USA, as well as, the impact these books had on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBTQ+) readers of that time. The majority of the books were purchased from a local bookseller, but the library has also been fortunate to receive donations from the public. Please contact us at library@msvu.ca if you wish to donate copies of lesbian pulp fiction.

The scarcity and fragility of individual titles require that this paperback collection is shelved in a locked case and is reserved for in-library use. To ensure that some of the more well-known books can be borrowed, read and enjoyed, the Library has obtained newer editions of a selected number of titles that are shelved in the general circulating collection.

Use the Browse Collections link at the top of the page to read about the books, authors, cover artists and publishers. Use the other links at the top of the page to learn about lesbian pulp fiction, their provocative book covers, and about how the books came under the scrutiny of government and religious groups during the 1950s and 1960s.


I thank the following faculty and librarians for their work with the Mount Saint Vincent Library Pulp Fiction Collection

  • Dr. Rhoda Zuk
  • Dr. Peter Schwenger
  • Dr. Steven Bruhm
  • Terrence Paris
  • Meg Raven

I thank the following colleagues for their assistance with the site.

  • Taí Fernández-Toledo for writing the book cover descriptions.
  • Craig Olsvik for his work scanning the book covers.
  • Emma Craig for her work transcribing the NODL reviews.
  • Lindsey MacCallum for suggesting the Omeka platform and support in the early stages of the project.
  • Renée Hartleib for her work as a writing coach and proofreader.

The following sites inspired this online exhibit.

Site Creator:

Denyse Rodrigues

Elearning and Library Research Services Librarian,
Mount Saint Vincent University
Halifax, NS, Canada