Opened on Saturday, May 26, 2007, on the grounds of Glen Eden Nudist Resort, this important research facility marks the culmination of ten years of dreaming, planning, and dedicated labor, largely due to the efforts of several Glen Eden members, in particular Jeannette DeRosier, Richard Hirst, and Jim Zack.
The first of its kind on a regional level, the facility’s purpose is to serve as a centralized location for collecting, preserving, and displaying materials related to the origin and development of the American Social Nudist movement. It contains the historical archives of all nudist club history in the region back to 1932. As a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, the Library relies solely on financial support from its members.
There has been no shortage of interest where inventory is concerned. Materials have been donated from a variety of sources, and the Library is literally brimming with items that are now catalogued and on display. A core group of volunteers spent countless hours renovating the structure of the vintage trailer originally occupied by Glen Eden founders Ray and Mildred Connett, and donations have been gratefully accepted from various benefactors. Membership dues and contributions from benefactors enabled basic structural improvements to the facility, but much more work needs to be done to do justice to the precious contents contained within the Library.
The mission of the WNRL is to preserve the history of social nudism. It is a nonprofit organization licensed by the state of California, and is considered a private library. However, it is open to all WNRL members, Glen Eden members, and all other researchers interested in social nudism.
Other non-members are invited to the Library for research study and preservation of all material concerning social nudism. The visitor may be required to present proper identification upon first-time arrival.
For more information: https://nudistresearchlibrary.com
The American Nudist Research Library
The library was established in 1979 to preserve the history of the social nudist movement in North America and throughout the world. It is a repository of material rather than a circulating library although we now allow members to borrow books and videos that are in the “Circulating” category for 1 week. Visitors may read or view most of the collections in the Library. The Library is enjoyed most by individuals and groups who treasure on-going nudist activities, and who wish to participate in a sincere effort to preserve the unique history of the movement.
The ANRL is located on the grounds of Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. It is a non-profit organization operated entirely by volunteers. The Library is a clothing optional facility; however, to maintain the integrity of our aging documentation, it is air conditioned to a temperature in the mid to lower 70’s F.
Because of issues associated with putting copyrighted material online, the archive likely will only be available to search at the library itself. The ANRL is currently open Monday through Saturday, except holidays, from 1 PM to 4 PM. Visiting researchers, scholars and students of nudist history are welcome to contact the Library by phone, Email email@example.com to arrange a convenient visiting time which could be any time someone from the Library staff is available.
ANRL has the largest collection of nudist literature, research material, and memorabilia in the world, is in the midst of an ambitious program to digitize the collection. When finished, visitors to the library on the grounds of the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., will be able to search a digital archive of material going back to the earliest days of nudism in North America.
Volunteers have spent the last two years scanning about half of the more than 4,500 magazines in the library with a V-shaped scanner. Still remaining are nudist-related books and folders of newsletters and materials relating to more than 500 nudist clubs, some no longer in existence.
The work is time consuming. Each magazine, book, or document must be placed on the scanner. For each hour of scanning, an addition four hours of post-processing work is required to convert the scans to PDFs. “It’s really picked up in the last six months,” said Bob Proctor, the ANRL Secretary and Technical Committee Chairman, who spends 20 to 30 hours a week on library affairs, mostly from his home at Cypress Cove working on the database, website (anrl.org), and creating reports. With National Library Week taking place on April 12-18, the ANRL is hoping nudists will support the library, whether it’s by becoming a member or volunteering to work onsite. The ANRL is looking to increase its all-volunteer staff with a professional librarian, someone skilled in copyright issues, and anyone who has technical skills in web design or database programs. “It’s a pretty huge effort and with all of our volunteers, everyone is doing a little piece of it,” Proctor said. “But we welcome any and all support.”
The ANRL plays a key role as a research source for journalists and graduate students, as well as AANR clubs. Recently a representative from Colorado’s Mountain Air Ranch contacted the library looking for materials that could be referenced and reproduced for the club’s 80th anniversary.
“We were able to pull up his club’s newsletters, which had been scanned, and we found a folder of 60 pages of articles, brochures, letters, and other odds and ends gathered over the years,” Proctor said. The library was the brainchild of Read and Jayne Schuster, both retired schoolteachers, who saw the need for a full-time nudist research facility more than 35 years ago. The Schusters had collected nudist publications for years and provided much of the original library. The late Jim Hadley, who founded Cypress Cove in 1964 with his wife Lyda “Pete” Hadley, provided space and actively promoted the facility upon its opening in 1979. Read Schuster, who died in 1990, was a prolific writer for nudist publications and served as the first president of ANRL. Before his death, he conducted dozens of taped interviews with nudist leaders, all of which will be part of the digital archive.
The library’s shelves include materials dating back to the 1920s, along with familiar magazines such as The Nudist, Modern Sunbathing, Clothed with the Sun, Sunshine and Heath and, of course, a complete bound collection of the AANR Bulletin, which also will be part of the digital archive. The library’s holdings include nudist memorabilia, photographs of ASA/AANR presidents since 1933, and pictures and plaques of Nudist Hall of Fame inductees. Numerous graduate-level theses are in the library, many researched by students at the ANRL.
Over the years, the library has attracted thousands of visitors, from casual browsers to journalists on assignment from publications ranging from The Orlando Sentinel to The New Yorker. Because of the library’s vast holdings and its clothing-optional status, it has been the subject of numerous articles itself.
From an article by Pete Williams first published in The Bulletin, April 2015