Eros magazine was first published on Valentine's Day of 1962 by Ralph Ginzberg. A lavishly produced quarterly bound in hard covers, only 4 issues of Eros were produced. Ginzberg had initially promoted the magazine by sending three million direct mail circulars. In response to this, Ginzberg received approximately 10,000 unsolicited letters expressing opinions both pro and con with regard to the proposed magazine. In addition, the Postmaster General received 25,000 letters of complaint from citizens who had received the mailer. Soon thereafter (with a 5th issue of Eros in production), Ginzberg was served with an indictment accusing him "sending obscene matter through the mails" in violation of the Comstock Act of 1873. The indictment was based on a book published by an affiliate of Eros magazine though Ginzberg believed it was an indirect attempt to hamper the production of his magazine.
In December of 1963, Ginzberg was sentenced to serve 5 years for sending "obscene" literature through the mail. The trial and subsequent appeals dragged on for another 10 years. On February 17th of 1972, Ginzberg began serving a five-year sentence at the Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. He was paroled eight months later.
The Eros Collection consists of two boxes containing 17 archival folders divided into two series: 1) Correspondence including comments and letters sent to Eros magazine and its publishers in response to the initial Eros mailer; 2) Promotional information and news clippings dealing with Eros magazine and the 1963 trial and subsequent appeals of Ralph Ginzberg (1960's - 1970's). The Kinsey Institute library collection contains Eros magazine vol.1,no.1 - vol 1., no.4 (1962) [call number: J800 Er75].« Return to the archives page
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