Monthly Archives: March 2023

Pandemic Donations Moving Day

Professors Wanett Clyde and Jason Ellis standing in front of the boxes of newly donated material for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, Professor and Collections Management Librarian Wanett Clyde and English Department Professor Jason Ellis moved donated materials acquired during the first phase of the pandemic into the City Tech Science Fiction Collection’s space in the Archives and Special Collections of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library.

During the pandemic, we received a lot of new material for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, including magazines, novels, collections, academic journals, and monographs. These materials were donated by Charlie Seelig (~20 boxes of EVERYTHING), Analog Science Fiction and Fact (~4 boxes of magazines from their old office space), City Tech Professor Lucas Bernard (2 boxes of material that belonged to his father Kenneth Bernard, the experimental playwright and English professor), and Emeritus Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and former president of the Science Fiction Research Association David Mead (1 box of Jack Vance materials), The Special Collections and Archives in the City Tech Library unfortunately were unable to open enough shelf space for these materials, so Wanett and Jason stored everything in their offices–with most of it being in Jason’s office (see below).

Jason Ellis' office space full of donated SF material in boxes.

This semester, however, Wanett was able to work with library staff to open up additional shelf space in the archives for the donated materials (in the photo below, the background stacks are the City Tech Science Fiction Collection).

Four empty stacks adjacent to the City Tech Science Fiction Collection in the Special Collections and Archives Room of the Library.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, Jason coordinated with Wanett to begin moving the materials one cart load at a time into the archives.

It took about two-and-a-half-hours to move 22 boxes of material into the archives. The first few cart loads were successful–an elevator ride from the fifth floor of Namm to the fourth floor, and then walk to the fourth floor of the Library Building to take the service elevator up to the fifth floor of the Library Building and a short walk to the archives room. Unfortunately, the service elevator died before the last load was delivered, so Jason toted those 40 pound boxes one at a time on the last leg of the journey. Now, all of the material has been relocated to the archives room.

22 boxes of donated SF material for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection.

The next phase of integrating the materials will involve unboxing and shelving like materials on the available shelf space, which will be followed by a photographic inventory of each shelf and inventorying the items into the finding aid, which as we know from past experience, will take the most time and energy. However, Jason has plans to bring his Professional and Technical Writing students in his Spring 2023 Information Architecture class to the archives to perform some of the inventorying work as part of a discussion of database construction, categorization, and metadata.