Funny enough, I almost believed that we didn’t have class last Thursday and was quickly informed otherwise. I’m glad that I was wrong about this, however, because I was able to enjoy something well worth not missing. The City Tech Science-Fiction Archive was a sight to see and, with the help of Professor Ellis, I learned a lot about Science-Fiction through it’s history, it’s importance, and just liked getting to see old artwork/readings (since I am such a fan of old stuff after all).

Professor Ellis did a good job talking about the history of Science-Fiction that people got from periodicals. He talked about how he was affiliated with the anonymous donor of this collection, and how the donor had practically every issue from a variety of well known magazines, such as Asimov’s Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Analog. He linked us to a website called isfdb.com, which is a good way to view every magazine digitally at home, but it’s also incredible to actually have the physical copies available to City Tech. It’s very special to have it in physical presence and shows the reverence towards the art (and, taking away from some Science-Fiction ideas, beats viewing the “ersatz” version of the texts via digital copies versus the real thing).

I learned that there is a great deal and interest in preservation of these Science-Fiction texts, and the City Tech library is able to see this as well. It’s incredible how Professor Ellis and his other colleagues were able to work with the library in hosting this collection. More so, the City Tech Library was so gracious enough to accommodate it, which is no small feat for a school that is limited in it’s space. Clearly the City Tech Library sees the value in these books, and hopefully others will as well in order to retain the archive in it’s integrity and not have to be moved out of that area of the library.

Lastly, it was just nice to look at all the old Science-Fiction magazines, they all had so much character and appeal to them, even to this day. I’m usually a classic buff, so I already have a predisposed liking towards vintage stuff of any kind. That, coupled with a love for Science-Fiction, made this day well worth it to look at some interesting pieces of work. I especially liked the detail put into the artwork that was done for the magazines; it shows that there was careful work into making these magazines every two months and added to the texts that would otherwise be left to imagination. Unlike the novels and short stories that we read for class, these pictures helped the average consumer be able to put themselves into those made up worlds, and it shows why they needed such detailed pieces of art to be commissioned for each of these stories that exposed vivid ideas of their writers.

It was a good experience to check out the archive, and hopefully I’ll have the time to visit it again before I graduate from City Tech. And hopefully people will give it enough love and support that it stays there for years to come.