Prof. Jason W. Ellis installed three window displays in the entrance to City Tech’s Ursula C. Schwerin Library, where the City Tech Science Fiction Collection is housed. When entering the library, on the right are two displays: the first is on the upcoming 2nd Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on Extrapolation, Interdisciplinarity, and Learning, and the second is an Author Spotlight on Samuel R. Delany, this year’s keynote speaker for the symposium. On the left side, adjacent to the circulation desk, is a display on the City Tech Science Fiction Symposium. In addition to designing posters for these displays and showing magazine covers from the collection, each exhibit has artifacts from the collection. Samuel R. Delany’s exhibit features magazines in which his fiction appears. These exhibits will be up until January 2018.
On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Prof. Jill Belli held an ENG 2420, Science Fiction class session in the Atrium 543 Archives Classroom for a special introduction of the City Tech Science Fiction Collection to her students. Prof. Keith Muchowski coordinated with Prof. Belli to arrange the visit. Prof. Belli’s class is the first to officially visit and use the City Tech Science Fiction Collection as part of a class discussion. Prof. Jason W. Ellis pulled materials from the collection based on student interests for students to use during an in-class exercise, gave an oral history presentation on how the collection came to be at City Tech, and gave several mini-tours of the collection to groups of four students at a time (this permits students to browse the collection without overcrowding in the archive and makes it easy for the tour guide to respond to questions and talk with the students). One of Prof. Belli’s students exclaimed, “This is a MAGAZINE??!!” Students were able to hold, read, and discuss the magazines with one another. Prof. Belli and Prof. Ellis responded to their questions about the different magazines in the collection, issues with publication and preservation, the magazines’ contents (stories, editorials, letters, advertisements), and the magazines’ smells. When class was over, no one seemed to want to leave!
On Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, Prof. Jason Ellis recorded video footage of the archival space that houses the City Tech Science Fiction Collection. Over the following weekend, he wrote a script describing the video footage, and recorded a voice over for the video footage based on the script. Using Apple’s iMovie, he added titles to the video footage and uploaded the rendered video file to YouTube. You can watch the video embedded below.
Prof. Jason Ellis installed a magazine cover and science fiction artifact exhibit in the front window space of the City Tech Library. He took photos of magazine covers that related to the historical and current work represented by the schools and departments on campus. Then, he compiled these into large collages (standardizing each cover to be 9.5″ tall), which Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Justin Vazquez-Poritz had printed. Prof. Ellis cut the magazine covers out of the collages, and with the help of masonry guide lines, hung nearly 70 magazine cover prints on the exhibit space wall with pushpins. He created the large poster to the left side of the exhibit to describe the collection. In the front of the exhibit space, Prof. Ellis displayed a historical selection of artifacts–magazines from the collection (Amazing Stories, Astounding, Galaxy, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction) and novels/collections from his personal collection (Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ellison’s Dangerous Visions, Sargent’s Women of Wonder, and Sterling’s Mirrorshades). The exhibit will run from the last week of November 2016 until the end of the semester.
Prof. Jill Belli visited the City Tech Science Fiction Collection with Prof. Jason Ellis on Monday, August 22, 2016. Prof. Belli is teaching ENG 2420, Science Fiction this coming semester, Fall 2016. She is planning how to incorporate the collection and access to its materials into her Science Fiction class.
Prof. Jason Ellis met with Chief Librarian Maura Smale and College Archivist Keith Muchowski on August 16, 2016 to discuss the collection’s on-going inventory, protocols for class/student visits to use collection materials, and preservation materials, and coordinate on upcoming initiatives, including a symposium and library display exhibit. There are some exciting things in the works. More to come soon. Stay tuned!
Using the inventory data generated over the past several weeks, Prof. Jason W. Ellis created a temporary finding aid for magazine issues held in the City Tech Science Fiction Collection.
Available in PDF format here (sfcollection-magazines-inventory.xlsx.pdf) and linked on the Library/Collection page, it is organized alphabetically by title, publication date, volume/number (when needed), and shelf location (row.stack–aisle to wall.shelf–top to bottom). This finding aid supplements the photographic inventory of each shelf’s holdings in the collection. It indicates that there are 4,147 magazines on the shelves (the collection’s Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Magazines remain boxed while additional shelf space is found).
In the coming months, Prof. Ellis intends to create other temporary finding aids for the monographs, journals, anthologies, and novels in the collection, and those will be made available here when completed.