The J. Lloyd Eaton collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Utopian Literature began under humble yet controversial auspices when University Librarian Donald Wilson acquired the collection in 1968. Wilson was alone in recognizing the research potential in the modest 7,500 volume personal library of Dr. J. Lloyd Eaton, but it quickly became a significant portion of the materials held here in Special Collections and University Archives. The collection grew in size and significance under the curatorship of George Slusser who began pursuing a wider range of materials including comic books as well as venturing into the world of fandom through the acquisition of fanzines and private collections related to fan groups, cons, and the broader science fiction community.
The Eaton collection has continued to grow in size and scope to include a wide range of materials from movie posters and authors’ papers to artwork and collectible items. The rest of the academic world has likewise caught up with the trailblazing of Donald Wilson and George Slusser and UC Riverside is no longer alone in believing that the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopia have endless richness and depth to offer researchers. Indeed, we are witnessing a flourishing of the worlds of science fiction and fantasy during the early 21st century that rivals any other period since the genre emerged in the late 1800s.
This exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Eaton Collection at the Tomas Rivera Library of the University of California, Riverside. The objects on display here are but a small sample from the wide scale and scope of materials that comprise the collection. Please enjoy this curated journey through the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopia.