Archive for December, 2009


Hoover Collection of Science Fiction Fanzines

Special Collections announces a new and valuable addition to its growing collections of zines and of science fiction fandom-related materials: the Debbie Hoover Fanzine Collection.  Hoover is a longtime SF fan based in Salem, Oregon who has graciously donated her collection of fan fiction, which spans from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

Fan fiction has long been a popular method by which fans of a particular book, movie, or television series interact with the universes portrayed in those media in a creative way.  Fans frequently will write stories or poems, or create artwork, that chronicle new adventures in the lives of their favorite characters or shine new light on those characters’ inner lives. 

Most of the Hoover Collection’s materials concern the first incarnation of the Star Trek television series (1966-1969). Other significant portions of the collection are based around the cult science fiction TV shows The Sentinel (1996-1999) and Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007). Media with smaller number of zines written about them include the Star Wars movie series (1977-2005), and the TV shows Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993-1997) and Starsky and Hutch (1975-1979). Even smaller numbers of zines involve other movies and television shows.

The Hoover Collection is an important source of information on the social phenomenon of science fiction fandom, which has achieved an important place in American popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. The media chronicled in the Hoover materials (as well as in the Libraries’ other fandom-related archival collections) have been significant in the lives and hearts of many people; the Hoover collection preserves the creative impact that these media have on their fans. – Jeremy Brett, Project Archivist

Below: This zine was produced in 1980, between the release of the first and second Star Wars films.  Star Wars fan fiction began production as early as the late 1970s, as soon as the Star Wars phenomenon exploded into popular culture. SW fiction is interesting as an example of the ways in which dedicated fans try on their own to explore what may only have been hinted at in the original product. Fans enthusiastically expanded on character backgrounds, plot back stories, and other aspects of the SW universe, many of which, of course, were “officially” negated after the release of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005).


“It is a dangerous thing to make presents to poets”

Special Collections has recently acquired a new letter to add to the Brewer-Leigh Hunt Collection.  This letter, written by Leigh Hunt to Vincent Novello in 1816, highlights Hunt’s close relationship with the noted composer and serves as a primary example of Hunt’s early correspondence.  In it, Hunt talks of visiting Novello and of the gifts ladies send him, to which he declares “…it is a dangerous thing to make presents to poets.”  Hunt’s extensive correspondence reveals an intimate knowledge of literary, artistic, political, and religious ideas circulating in the first half of nineteenth-century Britain. Visit the digital collection Leigh Hunt Letters to learn more about Hunt’s life and career, and to take a closer look at this letter as well as over 1600 other examples of Hunt’s extensive correspondence.  The letter is reproduced below.  – Anne Covell, Robert A. Olson Fellow 2008-2010, Special Collections & University Archives




Corkhill Civil War Diary

There are many Civil War diaries throughout Special Collections. Some are part of a collection of papers, while others are bound. There is a guide available that provides some details, and increasing numbers of Civil War diaries and documents are being digitized. Our goal is to have full digital access to all of our Civil War material in time for the Sesquicentennial in 2011.

Recently Special Collections received a donation that adds to this collection of Civil War resources. Through the efforts of Sharon Barker Hannon, on behalf of her family, a diary written by her great-great-grandfather, Rev. Thomas Corkhill, now resides in Special Collections. Corkhill wrote his diary in a commonplace book, and it is filled with religious poetry and commentary in addition to diary entries relating his experiences as Chaplain to the 25th Regiment of Iowa Infantry Volunteers, commissioned September 30, 1862. This diary will also be digitized as part of our ongoing efforts. – Greg Prickman, Assistant Head, Special Collections & University Archives