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Library receives important gay collection

November 4, 2010

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Several years ago, a Montreal colleague asked Eric Swanick, the SFU Library’s head of special collections and gifts librarian, what sort of collections he was trying to develop at the library.

“I said, ‘well, one of them would be material by and about the gay community,’” recalls Swanick. “And he said he knew someone with a large gay collection who might possibly want to donate it to SFU.”

And that’s how things stayed until last year, “when it all came together,” says Swanick, with discussions between him and the donor Harvey Blackman, a Montreal librarian, freelance writer and editor, and former gay bookstore owner.

Shortly thereafter, 44 large boxes arrived at the library containing well over 2,000 books and many periodicals.

“It’s a very rich and diverse collection with a focus on male gays,” says Swanick. Swanick says all of the publications will go into the general collection.

And at Blackman’s request, the books already held by the library have been donated to the SFU group Out on Campus.

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