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Guide to the David Wojnarowicz Papers MSS.092

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Marvin J. Taylor

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 13, 2021
Description is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Jacqueline Rider to reflect incorporation of video preservation master and sub-master files Updated by Megan O'Shea to add seven items and prepare 24 others for a move to offsite art storage in September 2017 Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate items treated and rehoused by Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department staff Updated by Megan O'Shea to prepare artwork being sent to offsite art storage in December 2017 Updated by Weatherly Stephan to note deaccessions Updated by Kelly Haydon to incorporate new digital access copies of materials from Series VIII, Subseries C: Sound Materials Updated by Anna McCormick to remove obsolete links.  Edited by Amy C. Vo to revise harmful language regarding suicide and addiction Updated by Anna Björnsson McCormick to note context between art objects.  Updated by Weatherly Stephan to reflect rehousing of objects in Series XIII  , March 2017 , August 2017 , November 2017 , December 2017 , June 2018 , May 2019 , January 2020 , April 2021 , July 2021 , October 2021

Administrative Information


The David Wojnarowicz Papers were purchased in September 1997 from the estate of David Wojnarowicz with the assistance of Tom Rauffenbart, executor of the estate. The collection was transferred from a storage unit on the West side of Manhattan to the Fales Library at New York University.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use materials in the collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; David Wojnarowicz Papers; MSS 092; box number; folder number or item identifier; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Related Material at the Fales Library and Special Collections

John Hall Papers
The Janine Vega Collection of David Wojnarowicz Letters

Separated Materials

Series XII: Library lists the books and other printed items that were in Wojnarowicz's library when it arrived at Fales and were removed from the archive. Most titles have been cataloged and can be retrieved by searching Bobcat, the Bobst library's online catalog.

Processing Information

Collection processed and updated by Marvin Taylor, 1997; Ann Butler, 1998; Camilla Fojas 1997-1999; Tania Friedel, 1999; Phil Lauer, 1999; Jennifer Gotwals, 2000; Jenny Hillyer, Summer 2001; Thomas Beachdel, Fall 2001; Lisa Darms, Spring 2008; Luke Martin, 2008; Brent Phillips, 2008, 2012; John Sapp, 2012. Biographical note revised by Bryan O'Keefe, 2009.

In April 2016, boxes from Series XI and Oversize Series I, VI, VII, XI, XII were renumbered to numerically follow boxes in Series I. Researchers with citations to previous box numbers may contact for assistance with identifying new box numbers.

In August 2017, seven items were retrospectively accessioned into the collection. These items and 24 others were prepared to be moved to offsite art storage in September 2017.

In 2021, narrative description of both parts of the Mary Hayslip interview were edited to revise harmful language used regarding suicide and addiction.

From October 2020 through October 2021, objects in Series XIII were assessed and rehoused as part of the Kress Fellowship in Plastics Conservation. Plastic items were rehoused to group like polymers together in the same boxes and prevent further degradation. Benign plastics are housed in Tyvek or tissue with silicone-coated mylar. Cellulose nitrate and acetate are housed in boxes that allow for air circulation. PVC is stored in non-vented mylar bags to inhibit plasticizer degradation. Rubber and polyurethane are housed in oxygen-free environments with oxygen scavengers inside of bags. Non-plastic objects were also rehoused to consolidate boxes and provide better protection for items within each box. Boxes throughout this series were then renumbered seriatim.


Due to extreme deterioration, Stuffed alligator with rope around its front right leg (item 092.2.0540) was deaccessioned in Fall of 2008.

In May 2018, Coffin with human remains (item 092.2.0539) was deaccessioned and returned to PPOW Gallery.