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Rare Books and Special Collections At Northern Illinois University: Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature

A brief guide to Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University

Archival Collections of SF Literature at NIU

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection

NIU became a depository for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1979. As part of their Circulating Book Program, we receive copies of items nominated for the Nebula Awards, which honor the best novel, novella, novelette and short stories for each year. These books form the core of our Science Fiction research collection. NIU also holds a collection of H.P. Lovecraft materials, including some manuscript materials, that complements this collection. The Science Fiction Collection numbered over 2,000 volumes at last count. We also hold a significant group of Science Fiction Magazines, which are fully cataloged. Click here to see a sample group of materials that can be used to discuss the history of SF writing.

Recent additions to the Science Fiction Collection include deluxe signed editions of Jack Vance's Strange Notions & The Dark Ocean and Bird Isle & Take My Face, a small group of materials by Cyril Kornbluth, a number of Robert E. Howard titles, and over 200 different titles nominated this year for the Nebula Awards.

As a SFWA depository, we are always interested in adding the archives of SFWA members to our research holdings. We currently hold literary papers from nearly 60 authors. Links indicate listings for fully available collections; for access to unprocessed collections, please contact the Curator.

Alma Alexander, William Alexander, Eleanor Arnason, Robert Asprin, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear, Donald J. Bingle, Alex Bledsoe, Tobias Buckell, Lois McMaster Bujold, Emma BullRichard Chwedyk, Grant Carrington, Circlet Press, Pamela Dean, Lori Devoti, L. Timmel Duchamp, Carol Emshwiller, Philip Jose Farmer, Eric Flint, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Merrie Haskell, Jim C. Hines, Kat Howard, Douglas Hulick, Kameron Hurley, John Klima, Mary Robinette Kowal, E.E. Knight, Ted Kosmatka, Naomi Kritzer, Jay Lake, Ann Leckie, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, David Levine, Maria Lima, Catherine Lundoff, Scott Lynch, Elise Matthesen, Kelly McCullough, Jack McDevitt, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Sarah Monette, Lyda Morehouse, John Morressy, Jaime Lee Moyer, Pat Murphy, Sean Michael MurphyJody Lynn NyeNnedi Okorafor, Rebecca Ore, Tamora Pierce, Tim Pratt, Cherie Priest, Sarah Prineas, Cat Rambo, Mark Rich, Margaret Ronald, Fred Saberhagen, David J. Schwartz, Heather Shaw, Nisi Shawl, Will Shetterly, Sharon Shinn, Steven H Silver, Kristine Smith, Bud Sparhawk, Jennifer Stevenson, Caroline Stevermer, Cecilia Tan, Catherynne M. Valente, Greg Van EekhoutDavid Weber, Michael Z. Williamson, Terri Windling, and Patricia Wrede. We also hold the 20th World Science Fiction Convention Collection, a collection of correspondence related to the 1962 WorldCon.

We continue to add materials to this collection whenever possible. We are especially interested in original editions of early Science Fiction and Fantasy books (especially those published before 1985), and in manuscript materials and archives related to the writing of SF/F books. If you have materials that you feel would be appropriate to this collection, or would like to support an endowment for this collection for future acquisitions, please contact Lynne Thomas, the Curator at (815) 753-0255 or Guidelines for what we're looking for are available on the SFWA blog.

Research in this collection is eligible for financial support through the annual Horatio Alger Fellowship for the Study of American Popular Culture.

The growth, maintenance, and promotion of this collection is supported in part by the Peggy Rae Sapienza Fund. To donate, please visit the NIU Foundation website, and designate your gift in the memo field for the Peggy Rae Sapienza Fund. 

SF Magazines held in RBSC by title













Numerical Titles | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N-O | P | Q | R | S | T | U-V | W | X | Y | Z












Subject Guide

Lynne Thomas
Contact: (Personal Blog)
Website / Blog Page

Interested in Making a Gift?

If you would like to make a gift to RBSC, there are lots of ways to do that.

Our Collection Development Policy explains what kinds of books and manuscripts we are interested in.

A sample of our Deed Of Gift document lays out the agreement when you donate. 

Gifting digital materials? This guide may help.

To make a monetary donation, please contact the Curator (lmthomas AT for more details.

To make an online donation to an existing fund, go to the NIU Foundation website, and enter the fund name in the notes field.

By topic:

  • Children's Series Literature: The Gordon W. & Jeanne M. Huber Endowment
  • Horatio Alger / American Popular Literature: The Horatio Alger Society Endowment
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature & Fandom: The Peggy Rae Sapienza Fund
  • 18th Century Literature: The Martin Kallich Endowment
  • Education, Travel, and Leisure: The Bernadine Hanby Endowment
  • General RBSC materials: The Friends of the NIU Libraries Endowment
  • British Drama: The S. Orville and Adra Baker Library Endowment