There are worthy causes, and then there’s the latest restoration project taken on by the coolest geeks ever at the University of Iowa.
The University of Iowa Libraries is working with the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to digitize more than 10,000 science fiction fan zines dating back to the 1930s. The pieces are from the James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Collection.
The collection includes everything from the Futurian War Digest to The Science Fiction Fan and The Phantagraph — all representing decades upon decades of classic sci-fi lore. Evelyn has apparently been collecting since he started picking up pulp mags in the 1930s, and attended many of the first science fiction conventions. Havelin passed away in 2011, and the university acquired the collection in 2012.
For all you young’uns, a quick primer: A “zine” is typically defined as an amateur magazine about a topic. In this case, science fiction. This digitization process is an astounding undertaking and will make these insanely rare works available for the masses.
Anyone interested in the project (and who wouldn’t be?) can keep up on a special Tumblr page established for the undertaking. Go ahead and start clearing out your iPads, folks, we’re gonna have some reading to do.