In Defense of Aca-Fans

My colleague Candace Benefiel wrote a short piece on Aca-Fans for

The question is still occasionally raised whether the fan academic can function objectively as a scholar while concurrently in an atmosphere of deep engagement with other fans. Is it possible or even necessary to maintain critical distance from a text while simultaneously discussing it with deep affection and even love? If one is tempted to shrug and answer, “Go ask a Trekkie,” we respond with “Go ask a Beowulf scholar.” Both texts involve a language removed from our own, a lengthy history of the text with multiple iterations and exhaustive commentary, and a tightly-knit group of followers who expect a high level of engagement and who will not tolerate sloppy errors or ignorance of the source material.


Mailbox: H.P. Lovecraft and Horror Fanzines

Bill Cunningham kindly donated his collection of horror fanzines to the Library, and this box arrived in my office earlier this afternoon:

An hour or so later, I had them sorted into nice, neat sets on a cart to take to Cataloging:

As I like to say, you don’t have to have OCD to be a librarian, but it doesn’t hurt.

The donation includes a nearly complete run of The Crypt of Chthulhu, and a number of small press pamphlets and zines.

This one is my personal favorite:

It’s the sort of thing that makes me run around with glee to show off to innocent co-workers nearby. “Cait,” one of them said frankly, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’m glad it makes you so happy.”

Luckily, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Curator, Todd Samuelson, understood what an important document we had acquired:

As you can see, there’s never a dull day in Cushing. More later!