Preserving Literary Collections

For at least the past twenty years, and maybe even as long as thirty, I've been a party to discussions relating to what could or should be done to help preserve the large number of private science fiction collections in this country. Probably more than any other group of readers and enthusiasts, science fiction and fantasy fans tend to collect and hoard: everything from bookmarks and convention membership badges to club flyers and movie figurines. Some of this ephemera is quite rare and valuable, and helps provide a view of the times in which we have lived. [From somewhere I have this memory of reading a report about a group of Sydney sf fans who were interrogated during the Second World War about the amateur sf magazines they were receiving in the mail from overseas. It seems some of the slang and acronyms were being investigated as possible wartime code.]

So those conversations have continued on and off over the years, generally at sf conventions and generally after a noted sf collector had died. There was nowhere in Australia that allowed for a single point of contact, somewhere to deposit collections where people could be sure they would be looked after. A few universities have taken collections - long-term fan Leigh Edmonds deposited his fanzine collection with a university in Western Australia - but this was haphazard and uncoordinated.

Now, it seems a group in Australia has set up an organisation to work towards this preservation aim. Long-term plans are in place and now all that needs to be done is to raise the capital to achieve their goals. It is possible to join the group to support the cause, and that's something I'll be attempting to do as soon as I can.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 11, 2008 9:00 AM.

A Classic Year: 14.0 The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay was the previous entry in this blog.

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