If you’re a naturist, and you love books, you may already have your own “naked bookshelf” – no, not a bare bookshelf, but a shelf, or maybe even a whole case, dedicated to books about naturism and nudity. Here’s a photo of part of my collection – not shown are my naturist books on Kindle, a large box of back issues of N that a friend gave me, a briefcase with some Brazilian naturist magazines and ephemera, etc.
This post is a humble shout-out to the folks who have created and maintained many such bookcases, organized and open for perusal – the large naturist research collections here in the United States. I find it reassuring to know that there are several locations striving to conserve everything from naturist magazines to promotional videos, alongside biographies, histories, legal records, academic studies, and many other kinds of interesting archival material including, of course, naturist fiction.
AANR’s principal archive, the American Nudist Research Library, is located at Cypress Cove in central Florida. AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) also maintains a large collection called the Western Nudist Research Library at Glen Eden Sun Club in southern California. The newest, and now the largest, collection is the Naturist Education Foundation Research Library at The Naturist Society headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – they have produced and recently uploaded a video that showcases the facility. Even though these libraries operate on very limited budgets and with lots of volunteer hours, they are moving toward greater online availability of their collections, to be accessible from anywhere. I’d still prefer to visit in person someday – and all three of these major collections allow clothesfree access to their clothesfree collections!
I’m not sure that there are specifically naturist research libraries in other countries, although I strongly suspect that there are (please leave a message if you have information). Certainly there are private collections; I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the naturist collections of friends in Rio and in Manaus, Brazil. Many clubs and resorts maintain their own small libraries, as well, that may or may not have books related to naturism. My co-site operators Robert and Paul tell me from their experience that the following clubs/resorts have small libraries with materials on naturism: Flevonatuur in the Netherlands, Vritomartis in Greece, Oakwood Sun Club in the UK, and Green Haven in Canada, and I can add Oaklake Trails, here in the US, to the list. I was pleased to see that Hidden Beach and Intima, along the Riviera Maya in Mexico, both have small lending libraries. When I visited, I made sure to leave copies of my own books, at least!
There is usually a great amount of research involved in writing fiction, and even in the case of naturist fiction not all of the research has to do with naturism (see Paul’s upcoming post). Having these naturist libraries available, however, is a terrific boon to researchers of all kinds, so we can all be better informed as to the essential human aspects of being nude in our natural environments.