Every year at the ICON Science Fiction convention in Cedar Rapids the organizers collect fan created artwork, crafts, and donated memorabilia which are auctioned off to support charities and projects. Last fall, the chosen project was The University of Iowa Libraries’ initiative to digitize the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Science Fiction collection, an especially meaningful choice to the community, resulting in an outpouring of donations and fast-paced bidding wars.
Rusty Hevelin was a science fiction fan, pulp collector, fanzine creator, huckster (a dealer at conventions), and voracious reader for most of his 89 years. He was also involved with the Iowa Science Fiction conventions ICON and Demicon from the time of their founding. After his death in 2011, his collections came to the University of Iowa Special Collections where a recent unprecedented initiative to digitize around 10,000 of the earliest fanzines from roughly 1930s-1950s has begun.
The University of Iowa Libraries’ Community is deeply grateful for the generosity of the science fiction community and for their support.
The next ICON science fiction and fantasy convention will be at the Cedar Rapids Doubletree on October 16-18, 2015. Details here.