Skip to Main Content

Banned Books & Censorship

Censorship or Selection?

...the librarian's dilemma

"...the selector's approach is positive, while that of the censor is negative ...the selector looks for values, for strengths, for virtues which will over shadow minor objections. For the censor, on the other hand, the important thing is to find reasons to reject the book..." 
Asheim, L.  (Sept 1953).  Not censorship but selectionWilson Library Bulletin, v28 pp. 63-67.(reprinted online by ALA).

"The librarian's responsibility is to identify interests and make judgments with the entire collection and the entire community in mind, not just that part of it with the largest constituency or the loudest voices or the most intimidating threats."
 Asheim, L.  (Nov 1983). Selection and Censorship: A Reappraisal.Wilson Library Bulletin, v58 n3  pp.180-84; pdf through the iSchool at Illinois.

Books Banned in State Prisons

The list below is taken from the American Library Association's Banned & Challenged Classics, and the links take you to records in BU Libraries Search. In many cases books are held by multiple BU Libraries, although only the Mugar location is listed.

ALA's Banned & Challenged Classics

  The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald   PS3511.I9 G7 1995b  
  The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger   PS3537.A426 C3 2001
  The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck  PS3537.T3234 G8 2006
  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee PS3562.E5 T6 F60
  The Color Purple, by Alice Walker PS3573.A425 C6 2003 
  Ulysses, by James Joyce PR6019.O9 U4 1997
  Beloved, by Toni Morrison PS3563.O8749 B436 1998 
  The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding PR6013.O56 L6 F62
  1984, by George Orwell PR6029.R8 N49 1982
  Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov PS3527.A15 L6 1997
  Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck PS3537.T3234 O2 1965 
  Catch-22, by Joseph Heller PS3558.E476 C3 1996
  Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley PR6015.U9 B65 1998
  Animal Farm, by George Orwell PR6029.R8 A63 1993
  The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway PS3515.E37 S8 2006
  As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner  PS3511.A88 A7 F64
  A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway PS3515.E37 F3 1995 
  Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston  PS3515.U789 T539 2013
  Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison  PS3555.L625 I5 1994
  Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison  PS3563.O8749 S6M
  Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell  PS3525.I72 G6 F36 
  Native Son, by Richard Wright  PS3545.R815 N25 1987
  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey  PS3561.E667 O5 2003
  Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut  PS3572.O5 S6 1994
   For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway PS3515.E37 F6 1995
  The Call of the Wild, by Jack London  PS3523.O46 C3 1995
  Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin  PS3552.A45 G6 F53 
  All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren  PS3545.A748 A7 2001
  The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien  PR6039.O34 L6 1965
  The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair  PS3537.I85 J85 2003
  Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence PR6023.A93 L2 1993
  A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess PR6052.U638 C5 1987
  The Awakening, by Kate Chopin PS1294.C63 A9 1964M
  In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote HV6533.K3 C3
  The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie PR9499.3.R8 S28 1989
  Sophie's Choice, by William Styron PS3569.T9 S67
  Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence PR6023.A93 S6 1992
  Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut PS3572.O5 C3 1963
  A Separate Peace, by John Knowles PS3561.N68 S4 2003
  Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs PS3552.U75 N3 2009
  Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh PR6045.A9 B7 F45
  Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence PR6023.A93 W63 1987
  The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer PS3525.A33 N3 F68 
  An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser PS3507.R55 A7 2003
  Rabbit, Run, by John UpdikePS3571.P4 R4 1982