Skip to main content

Science Fiction Fanzines collection

Identifier: MSS 781

Scope and Contents

MSU’s collection includes a handful of zines dating back to the 1940s, modest numbers for the 1950s and 1960s, and a large number from the 1970s. This pattern of distribution reflects an increase in the popularity of fan publishing in the 1970s, as well as donations donations from several MSU alums who were avid science fiction fans and active in zine publishing during that period.

Zine authors discussed much more than science fiction in their publications, reflecting their distribution to a limited group of friends and acquaintances. Many shared personal news, thoughts on current events, and travelogues. Other zines aimed to increase their readership, and evolved to become more like commercial publications. These “semi-pro” (semi-professional) zines might take advertising, sell subscriptions, or use substantial editorial time to compile news from the field.

Like amateur zines, however, semi-pro zines were generally a labor of love: they might generate enough revenue to cover printing and postage, but not enough for the editor to quit their day job.


  • Creation: 1940s to 1980s

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is housed off-site in the library's Remote Storage facility. Please contact Special Collections at least 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Access

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by U.S. copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Fanzines are amateur publications, produced by enthusiasts of some aspect of popular culture to share with other fans. The genre originated in science fiction fandom in the late 1920s, when pulp science fiction magazines began to publish the contact information for fans who had written to the editors hoping to correspond. These dedicated fans began to correspond among themselves instead, sharing their thoughts on science fiction novels, movies, and more. Zines might also be produced on behalf of science fiction clubs or exchanged through amateur press associations (APAs). Club zines and intact APA mailings have separated from the current collection.


1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Zines are organized by author or editor. Within the publications of one author/editor, titles are organized alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Science Fiction Fanzine collection includes materials donated by a number of collectors over a period of 30+ years.

Processing Information

Processed by Ruth Ann Jones from 2016 to 2022.

Finding aid for Science Fiction Fanzines collection
Ruth Ann Jones, Dayna Topalian
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA