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COLLECTION Identifier: SF-3133

Science fiction fanzines and prozines


Predominantly English-language international science fiction fanzines, prozines, and convention publications.


  • Creation: 1939-1971

Language of Materials

Materials in English and Dutch.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


4.25 linear feet (13 boxes)

The collection contains over three hundred fanzines, prozines, conference materials, and other related non-fiction items published in the United States with a few from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, and Northern Ireland, from the 1930s through the 1960s with the bulk from the 1950s.

"Associated names" listed with each item represent individuals or groups who assisted in the production of the fanzine or authored original material for the fanzine; contributors of letters to the editor are not listed.

Biographical / Historical

This collection forms part of the Houghton Library Science Fiction Collection.

Science fiction (SF) fandom began in the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s in letter columns in the professional magazines (promags or prozines) such as Amazing Stories in the late 1920s and Weird Tales beginning in 1923. Readers commented on stories, authors, artists, SF clubs, and other fans. This correspondence led to the formation of local SF clubs, the publication of amateur magazines and newsletters (called fanmags, then fanzines), and the organization of local, regional, and national conventions. Some of these early clubs were sponsored by the SF prozines.

In 1941, the National Fantasy Fan Federation (NFFF or N3F) was organized by members of The Stranger Club of Boston, Massachusetts with 64 charter members. N3F member Louis Russell Chauvenet is credited with creating the term “fanzine” in 1940.


Arranged in two series, each of which is arranged alphabetically by title or organization name:

  1. I. Fanzines
  2. II. Prozines and non-fiction material

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Paul S. Clarkson; received: 1957; and gifts from other sources.

Processing Information

Processed by: Anna Krohn and Melanie Wisner.

Science fiction fanzines and prozines, circa 1939-1971: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description
Cataloging of this collection was made possible by the Ruth Miller Memorial Philanthropic Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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