A University of Iowa Special Collections Online Fanworks Exhibit

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A University of Iowa Special Collections Online Exhibit of Fanworks is a 2017-2018 photographic description of only a few of the many fanworks held by the University of Iowa Fanzine Archives.

This online exhibit, a fanwork in itself, was created by TheGempath after their own visit in order to celebrate fan creativity, as well as the physical collection at Iowa.

The Road Trip Leading to This Online Exhibit

I first visited the University of Iowa's Special Collection in September 2017, having learned of it via Fanlore.

While I expected the array of zines, newsletters and such, I wasn't expecting the non-printed material. Make no mistake, this is a library collection - printed material is their focus. But they're also preserving other items that capture and reflect the broader scope of fannish creativity and the history of fandom, anchored in the late 1960's and what grew from and around Star Trek.

Included in the collection are items by names known from the early days of Trek fandom: the dolls sewn by Devra Langsam, the IDIC stringart by Monica Miller, original zine art by Leslie Fish, Leah Rosenthal's humorous write up of the 1977 Star Trek America convention (interesting not only because that was my very first convention but also to see how her art has evolved over the years... yep, her trademark eyebrows are there). Plus a freakin' original set of Spock's ear tips from way back in the days when the studio gave them out (who the heck would want those pieces of foam, anyway?). Then there was the convention program books and T-shirts, the Man from UNCLE "popping" guns and more. Printed material one expects to find in a library collection. But these items...?

Thus the idea was born for this online exhibit in the form of a Fanlore wiki page, with the intent of making more fans, historians and the just plain curious aware of what the University of Iowa's Special Collection holds and what may be held in other institutional collections.

The items below were selected across named collections, fandoms and categories to try and illustrate the scope and range of the collection as well as to highlight unique items. A few zine associated items are included, though zines as a whole are not as they are extensively covered elsewhere in Fanlore. This is only a small sampling of the overall collection of fanworks. The items were photographed in April, 2018.

Other Fan Trips to Iowa

Since the University of Iowa Fanzine Archives Special Collection opened in 2009, many fans have taken road trips (one might even call them pilgrimages) to the Special Collections Fanzine Archives. Three fans, darksnowfalling, Aralias, and Meandthreeandthree have reported on their respective visits.

The Online Exhibit

This online exhibit is organized based on type of work, such as art, needlework, other crafts, or publications. Given with each item's photograph(s) is the 4-digit University of Iowa Special Collection number (MsC xxxx) that refers to the named collection in which the item located.

Original Art Work Housed in the Special Collections

The Girl Who Wanted to Be a Fighter: Original art by eluki bes shahar for Devra Langsam's story "The Girl Who Wanted to be a Fighter" in Masiform-D #13 (MsC1031)

Kwa Heri, Hadiya: Original art by Leslie Fish for Trinette Kern's story "Kwa Heri, Hadiya" in The Other Side of Paradise #2 along with scans of the published story's title page and the page with illo.(MsC ...)

Kerr Bear meets Doctor Pooh: A mash up of bears between Blake's 7 and Doctor Who. Unpublished artwork by Terri Smith (MsC1108)


Sarek, Vulcan child, Andorian dolls: Vulcan child, Andorian and Sarek dolls sewn by Devra Langsam (MsC1031)

BSG insignia coaster: Canvas needlework coaster showing the Battlestar Galactica insignia. Artist is unknown. (MsC 0960)

X-Files fabric zine cover: Useful for covering zines with a NSFW cover. Artist is unknown. (MsC 0403)

McCallum Observer cross stich: Cross-stich showing the logo for The McCallum Observer, a genzine dedicated to the career of David McCallum. Artist is unknown. (MsC 0895)

Other Crafts

Cowrie shell etched with Romulan Ship: Purchased by J. Wenk at a Star Trek convention circa 1976. Artist is unknown. (MsC1031)

IDIC string art: IDIC string art by Monica Miller. (MsC1031)

IDIC stained glass nightlight: IDIC stained glass nightlight. Artist is unknown. (MsC1031)

Fanzine Related

Brinkerian Ice Worm: "Speciman" of the Brinkerian Iceworm (feliocaudus elongatus) found tucked into a copy of The Other Side of Paradise #5 and the cover plus referencing pages in the associated article. (MsC 0430)

JediStarDarkFalconKnight Flyer and Ballots: Flyer for the Star Wars parody zine JediStarDarkFalconKnight and ballots used for voting on the author of said flyer. (MsC 0929)

Convention Related

Equicon 74 Progress Report: Cover and 3rd page of the Equicon 1974 Progress Report #1 (MsC 0403)

ORBIT 90 Convention: A variety of items from the 1990 Blake's 7 convention ORBIT: flyer, cover of the program book, badge blanks, a check-card for autographs from the guests, plus instructions and entry pass for those who contributed to the convention's Guest Fund. (MsC 0400)

ZebraCon 12 T-shirt: T-shirt from Starsky & Hutch convention Zebra Con 12. (MsC 0403)

Haply I Think On Thee bookmark: Bookmark from the 2010 Beauty & the Beast convention Haply I Think On Thee (MsC 403)


Please Stand By cassette tape (1986): A commercially produced and an undated live tape by the filk group Technical Difficulties. (MsC 1108)

Bayfilk III Songbook (1986): Covers and table of contents of the third Bayfilk songbook, songs contributed by attendees of the Bayfilk convention. (MsC 0400)

Other Publishing

A Dialogic Approach to Creativity in Mass Communication: 2001 dissertation by Cynthia W. Walker using The Man from UNCLE as a case study in presenting "a new methodological approach to mass communication that considers the creative as well as the economic." (MsC 0910)

Foodscape: A Farscape-themed fan-made cookbook, alternately titled "What the Frell is That?" (MsC 0371)

Journeys: A Beauty & the Beast fan artwork calendar: Cover plus artwork and calendar for January, 1993 from Journeys, a Beauty & the Beast fan-made calendar.