On Saturday, Oct. 26, supporters of the UCR Library's Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy gathered to celebrate the collection's 50th anniversary.
The Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy is one of the world's largest, richest, and deepest collections of science fiction, fantasy, horror, utopian literature and related genres. The collection originated with the personal library of Dr. J. Lloyd Eaton, consisting of about 7,500 hardback editions of science fiction, fantasy and horror from the Nineteenth to the mid-Twentieth centuries, which was acquired by the UCR Library in 1969.
“The Library team realized that the 50th anniversary of the Eaton Collection would be an ideal opportunity to reach out to all our Eaton stakeholders and show our appreciation for their support,” Derrick said. “We welcomed distinguished authors whose work resides in this collection, and one noted science fiction scholar came from as far away as the Caribbean to participate.”
University Librarian Steven Mandeville-Gamble greeted guests as they arrived at Rivera Library, along with Assistant University Librarian for Content and Discovery Tiffany Moxham, Director of Distinctive Collections Cherry Williams, Special Collections Processing Archivist Andrew Lippert, Associate Director of Development Jernine McBride, and Senior Director of Development Clyde Derrick.
Mandeville-Gamble gave welcoming remarks, followed by Interim Provost Thomas M. Smith.
The program featured a panel discussion on "Graduate Research and the Eaton Collection at UCR," moderated by Dr. Sherryl Vint, professor of Media and Cultural Studies. Speakers included UC Riverside graduate students Taylor Evans, Brandy Lewis and Josh Pearson.
Pearson noted the fanzines, in particular. “One of the things that really struck me is that the practices and modes of engagement that were fostered in Science Fiction -- the forms of fandom, the forms of community developed in the kinds of fanzines that are enshrined upstairs in the Eaton -- have come to permeate not only American culture in general, but particularly American youth culture,” he explained. “Some of the most important ways that my students are making meaning in the world with Science Fictional images have their origin in some of the things that are collected upstairs. Returning to those and thinking hard about them is a way of thinking hard about some of the most crucial questions that we’re thinking about as educators right now.”
Festivities concluded with Williams and Lippert taking guests on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Eaton Collection in the Special Collections and University Archives department, located on the fourth floor of Rivera Library.
If you are a UCR alumni or community stakeholders who enjoys science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other types of speculative fiction, please consider supporting the Eaton Science Fiction and Fantasy Fund. To learn more, please contact Jernine McBride Williams, Associate Director of Development for the UCR Library.