On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis shifted materials around in the City Tech Library’s Archives to accommodate and foreground as much Science Fiction as possible in the available shelving for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. This Tetrising of materials resulted in each type of collection material being in the same section of the archives instead of being dispersed in different locations, and it made possible the shelving of the last box of science fiction, which included nearly a full shelf of anthologies! Now, there are these key areas of consolidated material in the collection beginning at the back wall and moving toward the Archive’s entrance: monographs, anthologies, magazines, journals, and novels. The Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, and some (but not all) horror novels will have to remain boxed (11 boxes of material) for the time being until additional shelf space is made available.
Of course, City Tech’s archivists and librarians will catalog and organize the collection as needed, but this organization helps us capture the scope of the collection and create a photographic-based finding aid for use while the collection is cataloged and preserved. Prof. Ellis ordered a wide angle lens for more easily capturing a photo of each shelf of books. When it arrives, he will create a new photographic inventory of the collection.
While moving the materials around, Prof. Ellis did some archival research for the NEH-funded Cultural History of Digital Technology project, including locating early stories of 3D printing in the pages of Astounding Science Fiction such as Robert Heinlein’s “Waldo” (Aug. 1942) and Eric Frank Russell’s “Hobbyist” (Sept. 1947). Photos of the collection filling the shelves and magazine/anthology covers are included below.