Murdoch library: Collection formation, academic transformation, and fannish terrorism?
All collections are a product of their times, the institutions for which they are formed and the individuals that shape them – Murdoch University’s Special Collection is no different.
Formed firstly in part to support the research programme, and in particular the initial PhD candidate in the Humanities, Maureen Smith, SF was at the centre of the Special Collections from the beginning. The founder effect of serving Maureen’s needs in providing materials to research James Blish, John Brunner, JG Ballard and Ursula K LeGuin meant that in roads were made
with fans, and fanzine editors, around Australia by Library Staff in particular a lowly work yet be trained and qualified, as a Librarian.
This impacted on the shape, range and scope of that early collection which affected the shape of the Academic programme with ‘Foundation’ courses, as well as courses in literature and the broader humanities, as well as Sciences (both Biological and Physical), with National ramifications.
Following Special Collections worker, Grant Stone’s attendance at Aussiecon 1, conversations with Ursula Le Guin, and WAfen also in attendance, Stone was part of the group with Anthony Peacey, Wally Blackburn, Cliff Wind and Gary Hoff that facilitated Swancon 1 happening. The nexus between Academic research, collection formation and fannish chaos was made and has not looked back or been undone.
This paper seeks to chart in some detail the web outlined above and look at the consequences for all involved today, and the Collections longevity.