Texas A&M Cushing Library Fanzine Collection

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Name: Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library & Archives Fanzine Collections (also known as "TAMU Fanzine Collections")
Date(s): 1970-present
Profit/Nonprofit: non-profit
Country based in: USA
Focus: fandom, fanzines
External Links: Cushing Library - houses both general science fiction and media special collections;
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection Cushing Library
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Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University houses several collections related to media fandom, along with a general science fiction collection that is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the United States. The university originally began collecting SF material in 1970, and opened its archives to media fandom in 2011. Located in College Station, Texas, the university is often referred to as "TAMU".

Major Media Fandom Print Collections:

Digital Media Zine Collection:

Origins

The university maintained a blog through December 2012. In it, Cushing's first SF Collection curator Hal Hall wrote about his decision to start a science fiction collection:
"Any collection starts with an interest: a collector, a fan, or a scholar develops an interest, and buys a book or an artifact. Other items are added over time, until a unique and important collection has resulted. The story at Texas A&M follows this plot, with several actors. In 1970, as the new serials librarian, I was reading a “fanzine” – a newly developed interest of mine. In the “fanzine,” near the back, was a 4-line advertisement: Science fiction magazines for sale, 2000 issues. Since I liked to read science fiction, this caught my eye. I went to the Director of the library, Dr. John Smith, and suggested we buy the magazines and start a “real” science fiction collection, since the cost was reasonable at one dollar per issue. Dr. Smith, being a good librarian, contacted the English Department and the College of Engineering, asking for their thoughts on a science fiction collection. The English Department response was positive, if not overwhelming: this is an engineering school, so that sounds like a good addition. The College of Engineering, on the other hand, was quite enthusiastic about a science fiction collection: “Engineers look good in science fiction!” So the die was cast. We would build a collection.

A Wide Range of Collections

Additional media and science fiction collections can be found inside The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection was developed by librarians at Texas A&M over the past several decades. Now one of the largest collections of its kind, it houses the papers and manuscripts of authors that include Joe Lansdale, Elizabeth Moon, Lisa Tuttle, Martha Wells, Chad Oliver and Michael Moorcock, and is a depository for the books and papers of George R. R. Martin. There are smaller collections of material from writers such as Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Anne McCaffrey, among others.

The monograph collection ranges from Stoker’s Dracula and Wells's Time Machine to current imprints, including both hardbound and paper editions. The periodicals collection is also a major strength. The collection contains over ninety percent of the American science fiction pulp magazines published prior to 1980. The very rare first issue of Weird Tales, dated March, 1923, is present in a virtually complete run, as is Amazing Stories, beginning in 1926 with the very rare April, 1926 first issue. The collection also contains a large run of fanzines spanning decades. An additional treasure in the collection is the personal science fiction and fantasy library of Anne McCaffrey.

Starting in October 2013, the university began looking into collecting filk material, making it the first institution to formally focus on preserving filk material and history. See Interview: Doing A Fandom Archive With Jeremy Brett and Lauren Schiller dated Jan 20, 2014].

Digital Collections

In addition to its paper collection, TAMU offers some special collection material in digital formats. Items are divided between those with public, open access and those that can only be accessed by university staff, students and faculty.

See Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection.