When we were at the archives, I was shocked to find out what was considered a sci-fi “magazine” back in the day. I expected a magazine much like how they currently are now, and was given a book instead. At first sight, it was anything but a typical magazine, but it did come from an earlier time. I was genuinely confused because it was weird how that’s what passed as a magazine. Pages of straight writing, no images to go along with descriptions and concepts. The book was decently sized too, which makes sense considering that it had multiple articles and stories. I probably wouldn’t read such a thing, but that’s just me.
The archive itself is a different story. Hearing the backstory on how the sci-fi content was acquired was pretty interesting. The generosity one must have to donate their life’s work of collecting is something else. The sci-fi section takes up quite a bit of the archives too. Over 4000 books and “magazines,” a lot of it old too. Just taking in the sight was nice. Some of the books I saw caught my eye, like this one book that talked about the history of gaming (something like that), or another that was on the topic of aliens (yes it sounds generic).
As I looked through some of the many books, I noticed that a lot of them were in very poor condition, likely due to time. I feared that if I so much as poked them, they would just crumble away. They were so wrinkled and…. I guess brownish from old age. It looked kind of decayed in a sense. I also noticed that most of them were all from the same publisher but I don’t exactly remember who, however that isn’t the point. Even if I wasn’t advised not to touch it, I wouldn’t have touched them anyways.
The backstory of the actual archives and the library was interesting as well. I didn’t know that the library used to be below the school, and probably wouldn’t either if I wasn’t told it. It’s a shame that the archives isn’t in a better spot, though it isn’t the college’s fault. It isn’t the best place to properly preserve historical documents and weathered literature. The higher temperature won’t do them any good, and the people with nearby offices suffer too.
My overall experience was at the archives was satisfying to say the least. I learned some interesting facts and got to delve deeper into the history of science fiction. The archive isn’t too big a place, but for what it’s worth, it holds rich history from way before my time. I’m not too fond on most literature, but I can still appreciate as well as see the merit in it. It has to be my specific cup of tea. I patiently await the next time we go back. Maybe I’ll get to skim through some of the books that stood out and caught my eye. That’d be fun to do.