Science Fiction Collection adds Filk as Deeper than Swords Exhibit Closes

Marketing and Communications | January 08, 2014

Fans of Game of Thrones have until February 7, 2014, to visit the George R. R. Martin Deeper than Swords exhibit at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives before it closes. The exhibit showcases objects, editions and manuscripts from the best-selling author’s prolific writing career. The collection forms the capstone of Texas A&M University Libraries’ internationally recognized Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

As the exhibit closes, the Libraries will broaden its dimensions by adding “filk” related materials to its science fiction collection. Filk is best described as a musical culture, genre and community among science fiction and fantasy fans, which is a manifestation of fan labor to create a wide-range of musical styles and topics.

Science fiction conventions, as well as designated filk conventions, have various filk programming that includes concerts and late night filk circles, where music is performed and shared, as well as panels about music and fandom. Most filk conventions put out songbooks with songs submitted by members of the community to share with attending members.

The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids—which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks. Cushing Library is also a depository for many books and materials of famous science fiction and fantasy authors, from the likes of George R. R. Martin to Joe Lansdale, Elizabeth Moon and Ray Bradbury, among others.

The collection features a diverse mixture of materials, including the personal science fiction and fantasy library of Anne McCaffrey, and thousands of science fiction and fantasy-related monographs in hardcover and paperback, which date from the 17th century to the present. The extensive periodicals collection contains over 90 percent of the American science fiction pulp magazines published prior to 1980.

For more information about donating fanworks and filk-related materials, please contact Jeremy Brett, processing archivist, at jwbrett@library.tamu.edu or Lauren Schiller at l_schiller@library.tamu.edu.  

To learn more about the collection itself, please visit the Cushing website at: http://cushing.library.tamu.edu/collections/browse-major-collections/the-science-fiction-collection/index.html