Transcribing decades-old science fiction fanzines
October 17, 2017 10:17 AM   Subscribe

The James L. "Rusty" Hevelin Collection contains over ten thousand science fiction fanzines. The library of the University of Iowa is scanning them and has done more than 800 so far. It has set up a page on its DIY History site where people can transcribe old zines to make the computer searchable. For more about Rusty Hevelin, read his obituary, and for more about the collection read these two articles by Jacob Brogan from 2015 and 2017.
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
In addition to the Hevelin collection, University of Iowa Special Collections also has a collection of media-fandom zines (in other words, fanfic). There's been a lot more debate about digitizing those.
posted by praemunire at 10:27 AM on October 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is great, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 11:50 AM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fun tangential fact: Rusty handed me the very first Hugo Award I ever won. It was an honor to receive it from him.
posted by jscalzi at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

I volunteer with Fanlore and have done some of the zine sorting and scanning for the U of Iowa fanzine collection. (They have PDFs of a lot of them, but are still trying to sort out which are shareable and how to manage that.)

The copyright debates are... intense. While anything published before ~1982 without a proper copyright notice is in the public domain, it's (1) not always clear how that applies to a specific document and (2) wow, people will come out of the woodwork to scream about the treatment of 40-year-old fanzines of deceased fans, regardless of whether they personally knew the fan in question.

So far, the U of Iowa and the OTW have been trying to be as considerate as possible of fannish culture while not losing huge sections of our history.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

The bookplate collection in the U of I Special Collections section is yet another reason to visit if you're in the neighborhood. Great stuff. The Szathsmary plates for his culinary books were a delight, as I recall.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:39 PM on October 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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