Libraries and Hours Ask a Librarian

Rare and Manuscript Collections

By Appointment - Full Hours /

Finding Transgender & Intersex In the Library

You can find items relevant to transgender studies throughout Cornell University Library, in both the circulating collections and in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, which includes the Human Sexuality Collection.

You may search the online catalog by keywords such as “transgender,” “trans liberation,” “s/he,” “cross dressing,” or “intersex.” However, since these terms are not official subject headings, your results may overlook relevant items. Even if they are not the most obvious or current terms, try searching by some of the following Library of Congress headings:

Gender identity
Gender identity disorders
Hermaphroditism [used for intersex]
Female impersonators
Male impersonators
Sex change [used for sex reassignment and sex change surgery]

Sections on transgender and intersex issues may also be found in books cataloged with some of the following broader subject headings:

Sex differences (Psychology)
Sex (Psychology)
Sex role
Sexual deviation
Gay men
Gays [for lesbians and gay men]

A more complete list of Queer Library of Congress Subject Headings is provided by John DeSantis.

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections contains a growing body of rare and historic materials on transgender issues, including texts from early 20th c. French publisher Select Bibliothèque and photographer Loren Cameron’s papers. Because of our strengths in the history of embryology, we have valuable 16th and 17th century texts of sex differentiation and hermaphrodites. We also collect items aimed at contemporary activists such as the Intersex Society of North America’s Teaching Kit and Paisley Currah and Shannon Minter’s Transgender Equality: A Handbook for Activists and Policymakers. See our Transgender Bibliography.

We especially want to preserve personal papers of trans and intersex activists and the records of organizations working on these issues. Please contact the curator with your suggestions!

Selected Items in the Human Sexuality Collection

  • Eugeni, Lattanzio. De Maris, & Foemellae Generatione Opusculum. Ancone: Per Astulphum de Grandis, 1568.
  • Barbin, Herculine. Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphrodite. Introduced by Michel Foucault; translated by Richard McDougall. New York : Pantheon Books, 1980.
  • Bulliet, C. J. Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators, Celestial and Human. New York: Covici, Friede, [1933].
  • Cauldwell, D.O. Transvestism… Men in Female Dress. New York: Sexology Corp., [c1956]
  • Choisy, abbÈ de. The Transvestite Memoirs of the AbbÈ de Choisy; and, The Story of the Marquise-Marquis de Banneville. London: Owen, 1973; and Paris: J. Gay, 1862.
  • Cowell, Roberta. Roberta Cowell’s Story: An Autobiography. NY: British Book Centre, 1954.
  • International Foundation for Gender Education [networked resource].
  • Intersex Awakening. Decatur, Ga.: American Educational Gender Information Service, 1997.
  • Jacobsen, Ernst Ludwig Harthern. Man into Woman; An Authentic Record of a Change of Sex. The True Story of the Miraculous Transformation of the Danish Painter, Einar
  • Wegener (Andreas Sparre). London: Jarrolds, 1933.
  • Jorgensen, Christine. Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography. New York: Paul Eriksson, 1967. With dustjacket.
  • Leslie Feinberg Audiocassettes, #7572. 1994 readings from a work in progress.
  • Loren Cameron Papers, #7677. Correspondence with galleries, publishers, and others about Cameron’s work, fan mail, viewers’ comments, as well as Cameron’s photographs.
  • Morris, Jan. Conundrum. London: Faber, 1974. 1ST ed. Also, 1982 postcard from Jan Morris to publisher Charles Monteith.
  • Raskin, Lyn. Diary of a Transsexual. New York: Olympia Press, 1971.
  • Star, Hedy Jo. My Unique Change. Chicago : Novel Books, [1965]
  • Vizetelly, Ernest. The True Story of the Chevalier D’Eon. London: Tylston ä, 1895.


  • Intersex Society of North America News.
  • Intimate and Gay Diary.
  • Letters from Female Impersonators.
  • Our Gender Family [computer file]
  • Transgender Tapestry.
  • Transsisters.
  • Your SOFFA Voice.

Collection Highlights