Access is available on and off campus to current McMaster University students, faculty and staff.
Enfer ("Hell") from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is one of the most storied and sought-after private case collections of forbidden books. The collection was created in the 1830s to protect and isolate works that were considered contrary to the morals of the time. The entire collection was kept in a locked section of the library, accessible only by application to the Director-General of the Bibliothèque and approval by an advisory committee of curators before it was made availabe online. Enfer is made up of more than 2,400 literary works, manuscripts, engravings, lithographs, and photographs. The books in Enfer span from the 1530s to the 2010s, providing a wide perspective throughout time and in different societies on what were considered to be erotic and/or pornographic works. The documents are mainly in French, with some titles also in English, German, Spanish, and a smattering of other languages. Many of the books are beautifully bound and wonderfully illustrated.