Pink Cabinet

Pink Cabinet2019-01-03T13:45:23+00:00

In the Pink Cabinet on the IHLIA plaza, you will find books and films that deal with lgbt topics. We began this project together with the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA), because ‘pink’ books and films – if they were already available – were often difficult to find and simply not visible. This collaboration also enables IHLIA to lend material! 

Ultimately, we would like to see this special cabinet in as many public libraries as possible in the Netherlands. That will open up more possibilities for lending – for example – Ype Driessen’s book.

Text continues after the illustration.

Ype_Willem - foto 1 1    Ype_Willem - foto 22Ype_Willem - foto 33     Ype_Willem - foto 44

1. Monday

Ype, why are you hanging around the letterbox all day?
– I am waiting for a book from Amazon. It should have arrived already!

2. Tuesday

Still no package?
– No! Terribly irritating!

3. Wednesday

Still waiting?
Couldn’t you check the status of the order online?
– Oh yes, dammit.


To: Ype Driessen
Subject: Order 0116716
Dear Mr Driessen,

We regret to inform you that temporarily we will not be able to deliver one or more items of your order under number 0116716.
EAN number:                    Description:

9782707301482 EN ATTENDANT GODOT

The importance of the Pink Cabinet

On Wednesday, 25th of April, 2012, the first Pink Cabinet was officially presented. Hans van Velzen (former director of OBA) and Saskia Keuzenkamp (former chairperson of the IHLIA board) both stressed the importance of a Pink Cabinet in a public library. Although things are generally progressing well with the emancipation of homosexuality, we still can’t sit back and do nothing.

A report published by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP), called Niet te ver uit de kast (Not too far out of the closet) of which Keuzenkamp was co-author, examined the experiences of homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals with regard to acceptance, the extent of openness about their sexual inclination, and to what degree they have to deal with negative reactions. From the report it emerged that negative reactions were not uncommon, especially in public places.

A Pink Cabinet in a public area, such as a library, can be just the right channel for a positive contribution: via a low threshold, anyone can become familiar with or come in contact with pink films and books. Above all, members of the lgbt community (also young ones) will have an easy way to borrow films and books that relate to them.

Ability to find pink books and films

Jack van der Wel (director of IHLIA Collection & Information Services) subsequently gave a specific lecture about the important function of the Pink Cabinet. This is especially relevant when it comes to assigning key words to the film and book collection. He gave a few examples of descriptions of books and films in which the term homosexuality is not even mentioned. So how are people supposed to find ‘pink’ films or books?

Role model

Finally, Ype Driessen* (author of the book Ype + Willem: twee onder één kap (Ype + Willem: two under one roof)) gave a witty presentation about his work as a creator of photo-novellas: how together with Willem he has become a type of role model for other young homosexuals. And that he would have really appreciated a Pink Cabinet had it existed when he was 15 or 16.

Additional Pink Cabinets

Now that we have a Pink Cabinet in IHLIA in Amsterdam, other cities are following suit. The public libraries in Deventer and Groningen now have their own versions. In Friesland, the IHLIA Pink Cabinet pays visits to various libraries.

The Rotterdam Public Library has a Pink Collection.

The Pink Cabinet project is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science (OCW).

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