Banned in Australia - Nearly 800 boxes of books were found that the Australian government had banned the people from reading.
- From the dawn of time governments and religions have been frightened to death that people might think for themselves and even read what they want to.
A literary historian has uncovered thousands of banned books buried seven storeys underground in the National Archives of Australia building in Sydney.
It's a prude's nightmare but a book collector's dream: Nicole Moore found 793 boxes filled to the brim with books Australians were never allowed to read. The books were banned by authorities for various reasons between the 1920s and 1980s reports ABC News.
Associate Professor Moore has now written her own book - The Censor's Library - explaining why so many publications were deemed unfit for consumption, including novels that are now highly acclaimed.
The ghostly collection, including copies of the Karma Sutra and first-edition comics from the 1950s, reveals attitudes towards sexuality, politics, birth control, reading, pleasure and race.
Associate Professor Moore says she was astonished to find the confiscated stash in 2005. At the time, she was completing a fellowship at the national archives.
"Some of those archivists knew there was a big collection in the Sydney office that was catalogued under the category of 'miscellaneous', including hard-copy books," she told the ABC's 666 Drive program.
"The Chester Hill archives in western Sydney has seven floors underground - huge amounts of material - and when we started to look there there were 793 boxes of books in fairly good order, all full.
"It was really just astonishing to see them coming out on the trolleys, to think here they all are collected from the late 1920s through to 1988 in its entirety, and just been sitting there for more than 30 or 40 years of people having just forgotten what it was."
She says the books were confiscated for a range of reasons.
"The main reason in Australia for censorship was 'offensive obscenity' as it was classified," she said.
"More than 90 per cent of titles were banned for obscenity and the rest were banned for sedition or blasphemy, although the number of titles banned for blasphemy in Australia has actually been very few.
"We can break that down to all kinds of representations of intimacy and sexuality, that for many contemporary readers now seem like ordinary parts of our lives."(ABC News)