Star Trek

Science Fiction Culture in Libraries

Harvard’s Houghton Library — that’s the one with all the serious historical archives — has acquired a mimeographed copy of the Star Trek Guide for writers. This booklet gives insight into how writers were expected to create scripts true to the spirit of the series. For example, Captain Kirk wouldn’t find an attractive crew member to hug in a moment of danger. (He wouldn’t?)

Science fiction culture, at both the professional and fannish level, has produced lots of ephemera, and a number of libraries have made efforts to collect it. SF Fans are a literate and verbose bunch and were engaging in long-distance written discussions before there was an Internet. “Zines” and “APAs” (amateur press associations) carrying news and debates were printed on acid-laden paper and started fading almost before they arrived in the mail.

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