Today we are highlighting an archival collection at the Kinsey Institute and its donor: Dr. Joanne E. Passet, Professor Emerita of History at Indiana University East. Dr. Passet has spent her career recovering the lost history of lesbian artists, academics, and activists, and celebrating their contributions to American culture and society.
In 2004, Dr. Passet was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for promoting and enhancing diversity on the Indiana University East campus. She has been a Collections Advisor for the Kinsey Institute for many years and was a member of the Kinsey Institute’s Board of Trustees from 2009-2015. Most recently, she was recognized with the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana University LGBTQ+ Alumni Association.
Dr. Passet is the author of several well-regarded histories and biographies including Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women’s Equality (2003) which charts the growth of a grassroots movement of sex radicals and free love in the late nineteenth-century in America, and Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster which was selected as a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir or Biography in 2008 and awarded a Stonewall Book Award in Non-Fiction by the American Library Association in 2009.
Since her retirement from Indiana University East in 2014, Dr. Passet has continued to research and write. Indomitable: The Life of Barbara Grier (2016), a biography of the controversial founder of Naiad Press, was selected as a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir or Biography and received a Golden Crown Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction in 2017.
Dr. Passet has also contributed greatly to growing and preserving the Kinsey Institute collections. Liana Zhou, Director of the Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections says, “Joanne forged a deeply meaningful relationship with the Kinsey collections, as a scholar, advocate, and advisor. She played an instrumental role in our acquisition of the collection of Marie Kuda, a prominent LGBTQ activist and a feminist publisher, and she organized and processed the collection of William Dellenback, an important contributor to the Kinsey Institute history. She assisted us greatly with the Alfred Kinsey Historical Marker project. We are very grateful for her inspirations and guidance. “
The Joanne E. Passet Collection at the Kinsey Institute comprises four boxes of research notes, source materials, photographs, microfilm, period articles, cassette tapes and other materials related to Dr. Passet’s research for her publications, Sex Variant Woman: The Life of Jeannette Howard Foster, and Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women’s Equality.
Later this year, Dr. Passet will be expanding her archival collection at the Kinsey Institute by depositing research files related to Dr. Mary Emma Woolley, a lesbian educator and peace activist who served as the 11th president of Mount Holyoke College from 1900-1937.
For more information about the Joanne E. Passet Collection or the Kinsey Institute Special Collections, please contact Library Director Liana Zhou at email@example.com.