The Nadine Vorhoff Library seeks to acquire and make available resources in Women's Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, as well as those that support the mission of the Newcomb Archives. The circulating collection (15,000 items) includes works focusing on feminist theory, history and literature, Third Wave feminism, women and technology, women and politics, lesbian and transgender history and fiction.
The Vorhoff Library collection currently includes (with some exceptions) all of the Women's Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies periodicals at Tulane University and subscriptions to several related electronic databases.
Two recently acquired collections include the Marla Custard LGBT Collection and the Zine Collection, which serve typically underrepresented members of the student population.
The Library also collects books that relate to endowed lectures of the Center for Research on Women, for example, we collect books and articles by Zale-Kimmerling writers. The Doris Despres Endowment allows us to collect books relating to women artists and Newcomb pottery. We also have two small, but growing, special collections devoted to books on mothering and to the novels of girlhood.
Type of Materials
Monographs, monographic series, reference works, conference proceedings, and anthologies are regularly sought. Media (including software, audio, and visual items) are selectively sought. We are now considering a project to collect women’s studies textbooks. Collections of previously published material are sought in those cases where other access to the materials is problematic.
Format of Materials
Most items are collected as printed text, though other formats are considered.
English, with some exceptions.
We have focused our collection on printed materials from the 19th century to the present.
Out of print materials are often sought.
The Vorhoff Library strives to work with Howard-Tilton Library to find ways we can best complement each other in our collections. The Howard-Tilton Library collects a wide variety of materials on women as seen through different disciplinary perspectives. They have a strong collection of books on feminist theory. The Amistad Research Center Library includes materials relevant to the lives of marginalized groups, notably women of color in the United States, and to a lesser extent, to lesbians. The Tulane Health Sciences Rudolph Matas Library collection is notable for its inclusion of public health materials, and for psychiatric, genetic, and physiological studies that support Women’s Studies.
The Vorhoff Library, as one of the only Southern members of the National Council of Research on Women, undertakes the work of informing the public about resources on women in the region. We have published a number of guides to bibliographic and archival resources and are currently updating the popular 1989 Guide to Collections on Women. We see the chance to link our resources and those of others (electronically), and we believe strongly that cooperation is to our benefit in terms of financial resources. We have had special success in working with the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC), the Amistad Research Center, the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library, and the Southern Foodways Alliance at Ole Miss. A consortium of individuals from the HNOC, the State Museum, the Vorhoff Library,and the community at large recently worked together and published a book on New Orleans Cuisine, and continue to work on creating a bibliography of all cookbooks on New Orleans food and an oral history of New Orleans food.
Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials from Loyola University's J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library through reciprocal agreements. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries through the CALL consortium and at other academic libraries throughout the state through the LALINC consortium. Faculty may in many cases secure temporary borrowing library privileges outside the state through OCLC.
We have three endowed funds for the Vorhoff Library. The General Library Endowed Account supports acquisition and improvements. The DesPres Fund allows for the purchase of books on women in the arts. The Newcomb Authors Fund allows for the purchase of books by people who attended or taught within Newcomb College. We recognize the great need to have more endowed funds.
Principal Sources of Supply
We buy books through bookstores offering discounts (of ten to twenty percent). We buy periodicals directly from publishers.
Major Selection Tools
Standard academic bibliographic tools such as Choice, Booklist, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, and Publisher's Weekly are consulted regularly. In addition, Gender Studies catalogs from major trade and university presses committed to gender studies scholarship are reviewed.
In addition there are helpful reviewing sources that one can refer to online, such as
Women's Studies' Librarian Office at the University of Wisconsin System
Women's Review of Books, Wellesley Centers for Women
London Times Book Review
New York Times Sunday Book Review