Funds needed to preserve unique science fiction collection

February 24, 2011

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Murdoch University is reaching out to Australia’s science fiction community in a bid to raise enough funds to preserve the state’s most comprehensive collection of speculative fiction material.

The collection, which spans more than 30 years and is housed in the University’s library, includes rare books, comics, fanzines, t-shirts and personal writings that relate to the science fiction community of Western Australia and Australia.

Murdoch University’s Chris Creagh initiated the Murdoch University Science Fiction Foundation to help with the preservation of the material in the basement of the library. She said it was important to ensure these valuable materials were preserved.

“This collection really is the heritage of Western Australia’s speculative fiction community and it’s very unusual to have such a complete collection,” she said.

“We’re looking at a store of knowledge that needs attention and therefore we need the funds to ensure it is stored, catalogued and has good curatorship.”

Dr Creagh said the collection also houses some early works of WA’s well known authors and artists. It includes copies of the Norstrilian News from 1972, Western Australian Science Fiction Association papers from 1977 and the complete personal collection of Leigh Edmonds which includes just about everything pertaining to fandom from 1972 onwards.

Those interested in donating to the Murdoch University Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction Foundation can go to http://library.murdoch.edu.au/forms/donation_scifi_collection.pdf. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Media contact: Pepita Smyth
Tel: (08) 9360 1289  |  Mobile: 0417 171 551  |  Email: p.smyth@murdoch.edu.au
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Comments (4 responses)

Bill Wright February 28, 2011

This is a very worthy project and all power to the Murdoch University Science Fiction Foundation and it's leader, Dr Chris Creagh, who initiated it. The Murdoch Library Collections include some of the most significant items of Australian SF memorabilia, including Leigh Edmonds's fanzine collection from the 1960s and 70s.

I've donated already and will do so again. It would be nice if other East Coast SF fans contributed too, and not leave the entire burden of caring for these collections to be borne by the Western Australian SF community alone. This and future generations of small press publishers, editors, writers, artists and readers will be the beneficiaries and Murdoch University Library's archive should be on the 'must visit' list of every dinkum Aussie SF fan.

Melissa Nile March 2, 2011

I see it as imperative that collections such as this are saved from disintegration and degradation over time. I am curious as to the total amount required to preserve and maintain the collection over a year.

Jay Plester March 3, 2011

Following up on Melissa Nile's comment, do we know if Murdoch will continue to house the collection on a long term basis, and ,if so, what ,if any, curatorial contribution will they make?

ie : Is this a 'one off' exercise to facilitate conservation and organising of the material with Murdoch agreeing to house the collection, or is ongoing funding required to pay Murdoch to house and maintain the material. Either way, what sort of money are we looking at in the short, medium and long terms?

Val McFarlane March 3, 2011

Thanks to all for your comments. The science fiction collections support the research and teaching activities of the University and as such we will continue to house them indefinitely. The materials are stored safely but any income from the current appeal will allow us to make them more accessible. The amount of work we can do on that will largely be determined by how much is raised. We’ve already been encouraged by the positive response from the science fiction community around Australia and are grateful for any donations received.

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