The Kinsey Institute, a private, non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Indiana serves as a leader in international scholarship for sexuality, gender and reproduction. Although founded in 1947, the origins of the Institute reach back to 1938 when the "Association of Women Students petitioned Indiana University for a course for students who were married or contemplating marriage." Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, a zoology professor heeded the call and soon became a preeminent figure in the field of human sexual behavior research. Today, the Kinsey Institute's primary mission is to promote interdisciplinary research by collecting, preserving, and providing access to an array of special collections, by developing graduate-level curricula, and by sponsoring exhibitions, workshops and research in the areas of sexuality, gender and reproduction.
This well-designed, award-winning Web site provides "researchers, professionals and the general public" with information about the Institute and other resources for the study of human sexuality. However, the collections themselves are not targeted to the general public. The materials are not digitized, nor are they available to the public except during scheduled public tour dates. Due to the sensitive, often explicit, nature of the collections, they are only available onsite to "duly qualified students of sexuality, including university faculty, other scholars and professionals, and university students at least 18 years old." The stacks are closed and items are non-circulating.
Though not a digital repository, the Web site does serve as a portal to important information about the Institute and its policies, and provides access tools to assist with resource discovery. In addition to offering current, detailed pages about its services, events, research and curricular initiatives, the site dedicates much attention to the description of its collections: "the mundane, the arcane, the exquisite, and the scientific." The wide-ranging collections include art, artifacts, film, books, interview transcripts, data and codebooks. Many of the print and audio-visual items have records in the Kinsey Institute Library Catalog (KICAT).
For all visitors to the site, the Institute does make available the full-text of its newsletter, Kinsey Today, as well as a few codebooks, both in PDF format. "Related Resources" also offers links to an assortment of useful material including online bibliographies, journals, data archives, and Web guides, for anyone interested in sexology. However, the Kinsey Institute site will be most beneficial to those with academic objectives. The site is recommended for students, faculty and professionals engaged in human sexuality research, or curious about the current resources available to them in the expanding fields of sexuality, gender and reproduction.