The Molesworth Institute supports creative research and production in the fields of absurdist informatics, disjunctive librarianship, and word play. It is one of the major sources of library humor, and a repository for various kinds of librariana. Its Archives of Library Humor is the most extensive of its kind. The Institute's collection of over 25,000 library postcards, library ephemera, commemorative and souvenir china, medals, miniatures, and stereographs, is housed in the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Since 1956, The Molesworth Institute has been defined by vocational shenanigans, invented histories, and a refusal to accept definition. It was founded by Francis A. T. Johns and Norman D. Stevens, Director Emeritus. Katie Herzog was appointed Director in April, 2011, and the Institute is currently based in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Herzog represented the Molesworth Institute at the first Cycling for Libraries "unconference" from Copenhagen to Berlin.
Since the first article, "The Molesworth Institute", appeared in the ALA Bulletin (57:756-7, 1963), over 50 articles describing the results of specialized research carried out by the staff of the Institute have appeared in all of the major American professional library journals, as well as in library journals in Brazil, Italy, Russia, and Sweden. Its most recent article, "The First Fully Electronic Library", appears in the January 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries and variant versions have been published in France, Italy, and Sweden. In addition to the research staff, there are now 88 Fellows of the Molesworth Institute who assist in the furtherance of the organization's work. In 2012 Catherine Lord was appointed a Molesworth Institute Fellow for her installation at the One Archive titled To Whom It May Concern.
Other significant collections include a file of prominent individuals who worked in libraries, a file of more than 1,000 quotations relating to librarians and libraries, a collection of more than 1,000 postcards depicting books and reading, a large collection of children's books dealing with books, reading, librarians, and libraries, and a collection of several hundred objects in the shape of books. The children's books are now part of the Northeast Children's Literature Collection (NCLC) in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. The other collections, along with the Archives of the Institute, will eventually be housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center as well.
The Journal of Rejected Research
The Molesworth institute Journal of Rejected Research is an experimental publication falling under the category of disjunctive librarianship and engaging a wide range of approaches to the idea of the journal as a conceptual platform for exchange. All submissions must have been rejected at some point in time. Content of Volume One Issue One was rejected by the Iowa Prison Industries Graphic Arts Department. Content of Volume One Issue Two was collected via open call, through a popup publishing platform in the Quint Gallery restroom in La Jolla, California, from April 21 through July 14, 2012.
The Molesworth Institute is a member of the American Library Association
- "The Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture". The Library History Buff. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Lindskoog, Kathryn (September 1, 1996). "The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing". Discovery Institute (70). Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Herzog, Katie. "Library Aesthetics in an Information Age". Cycling for Libraries. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Librariana defined
- Article citing hoax in Who's Who in Library Service as the source of the name Molesworth
- Archives of Library Research From the Molesworth Institute
- The Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture at the Canadian Centre for Architecture
- The Laughing Librarian by Jeanette C. Smith