A Library’s Quest to Save the History of Fandom

(Laura Hampton / University of Iowa)

Okay–this is cool.

The University of Iowa library’s special collections house almost a century of fandom history: everything from 1920s “dime novel” reviews to T-shirts that were auctioned off in protest of the 2002 Farscape cancellation. In 2012, though, it acquired one of the most valuable resources yet: the library of James “Rusty” Hevelin, a lifelong science fiction superfan and prolific collector of books and fanzines dating back to the 1930s. Last year, the Hevelin Collection was chosen as the first target of the university’s Fan Culture Preservation Project, a massive effort to digitize some of the most vulnerable and ephemeral pieces of science fiction history.

The vast majority of the images will stay offline, but an accompanying Tumblr has given outsiders a peek into the roughly 10,000 zines that Hevelin donated — and into the communities that helped create science fiction as we know it, from fandom clashes to fan fiction.

Sounds like an incredible resource for scholars of 20th Century popular culture. Great to hear this stuff is being preserved. Read the full article here.

– S.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply