Science Fiction Collections in ARL Academic Libraries

Kevin P. Mulcahy

Abstract

This study assesses the extent to which ARL academic libraries collect science fiction novels. A core list of 200 novels, published between 1950 and 2000, that have either won science fiction awards or been cited on “best” lists were checked against the holdings of 112 ARL libraries. Findings suggest that science fiction is not extensively collected at most libraries studied. The study also assesses differences in how novels are collected by date and by nationality and gender of author. To support in-depth and serious research in a field of increasing scholarly interest, libraries may need to reconsider their collecting practices.

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