This guide contains information on electronic and print resources for studying banned books, and the history of censorship.
Banned Books Week is celebrated annually, with sponsorship from the American Library Association (ALA), the National Association of College Stores, and many other organizations. According to the ALA, "Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States." You can learn more about Banned Books Week here.
The links below lead to web resources on the history of book banning, the texts of banned books, and contemporary censorship issues.
- American Library Association: Banned and Challenged Books
The American Library Association creates annual lists of the most frequently challenged books in the United States. They are also one of the primary sponsors of the annual Banned Books Week.
- Banned Books Online
This site provides information about a wide variety of banned books, and gives links to online versions of their texts. It also summarizes other information suppression issues, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- Beacon for Freedom of Expression
The Beacon for Freedom project maintains an extensive database of censored publications and publications about censorship.
- Explore Banned Books
This Google page provides access to full or partial texts of 42 20th century novels that have been challenged.
- Banned Books in the US
This website contains information on the legal history of book banning in the United States, and gives information on the court cases related to the banning of Ulysses, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Fanny Hill, Catcher in the Rye, and Tropic of Cancer.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The EFF is a civil liberties advocacy group concerned with first amendment freedoms in the digital environment. They are strongly biased on issues such as copyright and proprietary control of information, but their website is very informative.
- Family Friendly Libraries
This advocacy group is concerned with children's access to certain materials in school and public libraries. They encourage individuals to ask their libraries to restrict access to books they consider inappropriate for children, and to use Internet filters.
Banned books, 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D.
Call Number: Z1019 .H15 1978
This annotated bibliography lists books banned from the 4th through the 20th centuries, and gives the reasons for their suppression.
Freedom of the press; an annotated bibliography
Call Number: Z657 .M3
This extensive bibliography, which has been supplemented several times since its initial publication, describes more than 10,000 books that are about censorship or that have been censored.
Banned Books (series)
Call Number: MC. Z658.U5 K37 1998
This four volume series lists books suppressed on political, religious, social, and sexual grounds.