Paterson Fanzine Library

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Name: Paterson Fanzine Library
Date(s): 1978
Profit/Nonprofit: non-profit
Country based in: USA
Focus: fandom, fanzines
External Links:
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printed in Scoundrel #2 (1984), a roster of what was in this collection

The Paterson Fanzine Library was a collection of fanzines that was once housed at the Paterson Public Library in New Jersey. Roberta Rogow wrote about collecting zines for the library in Interstat #54 in April 1982. The library consisted of zines that were collected for the purpose of putting together the Trexindex.

In a 1978 LoC to The Alpha Centura Communicator, Rogow said it was the "largest fanzine collection in a public library" and that there were 575 items in the collection.

The Paterson Library was a hotbed of Star Trek activity; it was also the home-base for Memory Alpha Star Trek Club in 1976.

The Fanzine Reading Room in 1978

A Piece of the Action #61 issue reported on the Star Trek World Expo Convention had a new feature: the Fanzine Reading Room.
The zines were loaned by the Paterson (N.J.) Public Library from their large collection. Copies of old and current zines were avidly scanned and probably enjoyed. The Paterson Library is unique, as far as we know, in having such a collection. Roberta Rogow of Trekindex is responsible for the Library starting the collection and many zine publishers have generously donated copies for the collection... Hopefully, we will hear of other collections in public libraries in the future, now that fans know it can be done.

A 1978 Account

From an LoC by Roberta Rogow in The Alpha Centura Communicator v.4 n.4 (December 1978):
The Paterson situation for Memory Beta Star Trek/SF club is peculiar. We are part of the Paterson Library's program for young people, which means that we are technically supported by the library's funds. What it really means is that we can't pay anybody anything, because the Paterson Library can't even pay its own staff, let alone guest speakers. If I weren't the coordinator, they couldn't even afford ME! So I tend to put the arm on my friends and local people with outer-space connections. Some of this season's monthly programs have been: ST episodes on film; costume call and demonstration (club members showed off their weird get-ups. A couple of our people had been making money all summer by wandering about at fairs in a Wookiee and Tusken Raider get up. We also had a Vampire and a sexy lady in draperies. The librarians were popeyed) sat the Christmas Party we ran a short film made by our Wookiee friend, Carol Walske and Fern Marder, a pair of New York-based Trek writers, came to talk about their stories ("Nu Ormenel," a series of stories and novels about the Klingon Empire. The best meeting we had all year in my opinion--a great discussion.); convention reports from New York and Boston (a very disorganized meeting); Carolyn Venino, another local New Jersey lady, with her guitar, singing "Songs of Star Trek" (original music, based on the Trek episodes and philosophy. Not filk, but serious stuff. Very nice, and great fun!); Kearny Space Administration's Rocket Show (This is some more local talent—an SF/Rocket club that's going under, due to all the members moving out of New Jersey! Ours is their last show. We've got a couple of model rocket buffs who have been putting up with all the art and literature and music to get to the Good Stuff, the things that go BOOM in the night!); and finally our Annual Picnick and Rockt Launch. That's what we've been doing in the Garden State.

A 1983 Account

In 1983 in Universal Translator #20, Rogow wrote:
Three years ago, I closed out [the second supplement of Trexindex] and vowed never to do another one. Since then, the fanzines have been rolling along, and I've decided there is enough interest left in fandom for me to try once more. However, I cannot do another issue without some input from my fellow editors. Therefore I must ask for help. Those editors who want their fanzine included in the new volume and are in doubt about whether I have information can contact me... Those editors who wish to trade (one copy of the zine for a copy of the Index) may do so. Any fanzine I acquire will become part of the Fanzine Library Collection and will not be sold or otherwise disposed of.
A Piece of the Action #61 reports on the Star Trek World Expo Convention and says it had a new feature: the Fanzine Reading Room:
The zines were loaned by the Paterson (N.J.) Public Library from their large collection. Copies of old and current zines were avidly scanned and probably enjoyed. The Paterson Library is unique, as far as we know, in having such a collection. Roberta Rogow of Trekindex is responsible for the Library starting the collection and many zine publishers have generously donated copies for the collection... Hopefully, we will hear of other collections in public libraries in the future, now that fans know it can be done.

In 1983, Datazine issue 24, a fan wrote that the collection had been moved to Ridgefield Public Library in New Jersey.

Probably Long Gone

It is unclear where the fanzine collection now resides; an email to the library asking for information about these zines in 2011 went unanswered.