Benjamin Graber Collection
Graber says that his work focused on "how the sexual system was wired,"
When Benjamin Graber retired from his work at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine, he felt that "a chapter had closed" in his life. After some 30 years of research and writing on the neurobiology of sexual behavior, he had amassed an extensive and unique set of materials in the field, and he wanted to make that material accessible to other researchers. The result is the Benjamin Graber Collection, one of The Kinsey Institute's most recent library acquisitions.
Graber says that his work focused on "how the sexual system was wired," and specifically on identifying the neurobiological pathways in the human related to orgasm. He tracked studies and sources "from one bibliography to another, to another" and his wide-ranging searches yielded a wealth of materials, many of which are obscure and difficult to obtain. Graber remarks, "I would not be surprised to learn that no one single individual had as many reprints focused on the neurobiology of sexual behavior as I had collected."
This extraordinary collection spans the 1960s to the 1990s, and comprises
research files with more than 6,000 reprints or copies of papers, as well
as textbooks, graduate theses, conference proceedings, and more than 500
books. The collection also includes Graber's own works. He has "pulled
together research materials from major medical journals all over the world,"
says Liana Zhou, Head of Library. "When someone wants to do research
in the neurophysiological aspects of male and female sexuality, the Benjamin
Graber Collection will be a key resource."
When he handed off this treasure trove to Liana Zhou, he gave The Kinsey Institute something else as well: a database that organized the materials and made them accessible to anyone. "Usually," says Zhou, "integrating new additions into our collections is a challenge, but this one was easily accessed from the start ."
If the Kinsey is happy to receive the Benjamin Graber Collection, the donor himself is just as happy with the disposition of his gift. "I feel that my material is in the right hands," he says. And his life's work will continue to support research in human sexuality.
- Kinsey Today, Fall/Winter 2002
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