Playing in the basement with books…

I just had the best fun day! Warning, library AND SF geekery ahead!

The lovely Grant Stone had given me some suggestions to look through for reprints for Australis Imaginarium, and he told me that the Murdoch Library Special Collections housed many of them. I rolled up to the uni today with baby in tow, and the extraordinarily nice and understanding librarians very generously gave me unaccompanied and unrestricted access to the basement! I spent three hours browsing compactuses, um, compactii, er, the big moving shelvey things that were PACKED with old spec fic "stuff"! Not just Aussie stuff, although there’s an astonishing amount of everything there (the oldest Aussie things I found were from the 1950s – publications that talked about the second and third EVER Australian conventions – with attendances of 80 and 135 ish respectively!).

I didn’t have a lot of luck finding anything suitable for Australis Imaginarium (send me your suggestions if you have them – don’t be shy!), although a couple of possibilities presented themselves, and I did come across a few leads to follow up. This is probably because most of the publications focussed strongly on science fiction, and I’m looking at primarily non-science fiction due to the themes I think. VERY few women in those early publications too, although I came across two stories by Norma Hemming.

I found this experience just fascinating, and will hopefully go back for another look soon.

Oh, and if anyone out there has a copy of Aurealis #2 they’d be willing to scan a story from for me, I’d be most grateful – that’s the ONLY issue missing from Murdoch’s journal collection! 


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5 responses to “Playing in the basement with books…

  1. Anonymous

    That is just like a wonderful fiction story. Only, if it was, you’d have found a bookshelf to Narnia, a scroll handwritten by Isildur or instructions for setting your stove to M for Magic.

    • Anonymous

      Ooh! It would have been exciting if it was a portal back through time to the day when those works were new… 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    Grant usually insists I undergo a full body search whenever he lets me at the basement or the other special collections areas.

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