Recognizing that history and literature occur outside of the established canon, the University of South Florida's Science Fiction & Fantasy Collections provides scholars and students the opportunity to explore the development and influence of popular fiction genres.
In 1970, a decade after opening its doors to researchers and students, the Tampa Library at the University of South Florida launched a collection of resources for the study of science fiction and fantasy. Focusing on mass market publications, this early collection provided a window through which scholars and students could watch the maturation of a pop culture phenomenon during the last three decades of the 20th century. Shortly thereafter, Special Collections began collecting materials that illustrate the history of science fiction and fantasy as genres. The department's collection of over 9,000 dime novels includes a number of volumes that cumulatively trace the development of science fiction, while the large collection of 19th and 20th century pulp magazines devoted to science fiction and fantasy illustrate the genre’s breadth.
Today, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Collections are out of this world, consisting of over several thousand circulating volumes of iconic works and literary criticism, 200 linear feet of manuscript materials, a number of first editions and first printings of classic titles, European and Latin American authors, a growing collection of science fiction pulp magazines and dime novels, and a digital archive of the SFRA Review.
In addition to providing access to canonical science fiction titles, authors, and series, Special Collections is also working to develop an unparalleled collection of Latin American science fiction. While their work is often overlooked by readers, critics, and special collections repositories alike, Latin American science fiction authors have nonetheless developed a unique, transnational niche in the global science fiction community, a niche that USF is seeking to document and preserve. Read more about the development of the Latin American science fiction collection here.