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Hopkins Science Fiction Association records

 Collection
Identifier: RG-14-230
The history of the Hopkins Science Fiction Association (HopSFA) starts with the Amber Society, an informal club in the early 1970s. This club was made up of science fiction fans at Hopkins as well as from Baltimore, including famed science fiction writer Roger Zelazny. In 1974, the club was chartered by the University and became known as the Hopkins Science Fiction Association (HopSFA). In its early years, the organization concerned itself primarily with publication. The records range in date from 1974 to 1991. Many of the documents relate to the organization's publications, HopSFAnatic, a fan magazine of original fiction and reviews, and The HopSFA Hymnal, a collection of songs dealing with science fiction, fantasy, medievalism, sex, computers, etc.

Dates

  • 1974-1991

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

All student organization records received prior to 2017 are closed for 25 years from the date of creation to everyone except current members of the student organization, after which they are publicly available for access. Materials intended for public dissemination, such as publications, newsletters, and event flyers, are publicly available for access immediately once processed. If you are a member of this student organization and have questions about our access policy, please contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.76 Cubic Feet (2 letter size document boxes)

Biographical / Historical

The history of the Hopkins Science Fiction Association (HopSFA) starts with the Amber Society, an informal club in the early 1970s. This club was made up of science fiction fans at Hopkins as well as from Baltimore, including famed science fiction writer Roger Zelazny. In 1974, the club was chartered by the University and became known as the Hopkins Science Fiction Association (HopSFA). In its early years, the organization concerned itself primarily with publication. During its first year, the group published five issues of HopSFAnatic, fan magazines (fanzines) containing original fiction, book and movie reviews, quasi-news articles, editorials, etc. HopSFA also published three editions of the HopSFA Hymnal a collection of songs dealing with fantasy, science fiction and medievalism. These fanzines were sold at science fiction conventions and exchanged with other clubs. HopSFA periodically sponsored movies on campus and held regular meetings.

The group decided to hold its own convention, Hopcon, in March 1975. Despite the number of free films advertised, the convention failed. The extent of this failure is described in a subsequent HopSFAnatic. Thereafter, emphasis shifted to medievalism; group members became active participants in two medievalist societies, Markland and the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). Many HopSFA members adopted medieval personae, made appropriate garb, and designed blazons and badges. They also took part in the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. At about the same time, Dungeons and Dragons, a fantasy-medieval role playing game, became a favorite HopSFA pastime. During 1978 the group sponsored games of Dungeons and Dragons every Friday night in the Dorm Snack Bar.

Delays in publishing the fourth edition of the HopSFA Hymnal, due to copyright infringement, led to the club's becoming less active in the late 1970s. Although still in existence, HopSFA attracts fewer members than in earlier years and publishes only one issue of HopSFAnatic each year. One lasting contribution of HopSFA, however, is the Science Fiction Collection in the Hutzler Undergraduate Library. These books were purchased by HopSFA and, after being read by members, were donated to the Hut.

Scope and Contents

The records of the Hopkins Science Fiction Association (HopSFA) range in date from 1974 to 1991. Many of the documents relate to the organization's publications, HopSFAnatic, a fan magazine of original fiction and reviews, and The HopSFA Hymnal, a collection of songs dealing with science fiction, fantasy, medievalism, sex, computers, etc. Also in this record group are issues of The External Internal Newsletter, a publication not sponsored by the group but prepared and financed by a HopSFA member. The group's dealings with the Student Activities Commission (SAC) are reflected in the annual budgets and frequent constitutional revisions. The records document most fully the earliest years of the group's existence, up to approximately 1978.

Arrangement

The record group is arranged in one series and folders are filed alphabetically by file title.

Custodial History

In 2017 a 1991 issue of HopSFAnatic was transferred to this collection from RG.14.001.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records of HopSFA were transferred to the Archives by its president, Deborah Jeffrey (1980) and by Jim Salles of the HopSFA Executive Board (1983).

Accruals

Accession Numbers: 80.52, 83.15

Processing Information

Processed by Sean DiGiovanna and Deborah Jeffrey.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA