Skip to main content

Wathne, Mariellen (Ming)



The Fanzine Archives, a non-profit organization, was founded by Ming Wathne in May 1988. Wathne operated the FA out of her home in Santa Barbara, California, until her retirement for health reasons in the fall of 2008. The Fanzine Archives was designed to preserve and circulate fanzines and other fannish material through the maintenance of a extensive permanent archive. The archive served as a source of research by interested parties, and complemented the FA's active circulating library of titles. The library collection consisted of copies of original zines (housed in the permanent archive), and were available for borrowing by members, who laid down money deposits to secure borrowing privileges.

Wathne would distribute lists of available titles for borrowing. Once a month, she would mail the zines via UPS or insured priority mail to borrowers. Materials had a 40-day loan period; afterwards a late fee was levied each day until the item was returned. The FA grew through donations of materials from friends and other fans, either to the collection itself or for sale to increase the organization's endowment or otherwise support the FA's activities. Interested parties could sponsor as well; that is, they could pay the fees necessary to copy an item from the permanent archive and move it to the circulating list.

The Star Wars series of films are largely responsible for the existence of the Fanzine Archives. Lucasfilm had made a concerted effort since 1981 to collect copies of every fanzine with Star Wars content, but after a few years it abandoned the attempt and offered the zines it had collected to interested parties. Wathne accepted the collection and stored it in her garage; she named the collection the Corellian Archives and established it as a permanent repository for Star Wars-related zines. By the 1990s Wathne had begun accepting zines and fannish materials from other fandoms as well, and her ever-expanding collection was renamed the Fanzine Archives.

Wathne was herself an active fan writer and editor, producing, among others, the Star Wars zine Bright Center of the Universe.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mariellen (Ming) Wathne Fanzine Archives Collection

Identifier: MsC0313

Large assemblage of fanzines and works of fan fiction relating to multiple media fandoms, including Star Trek, Star Wars, and other movies and television shows. Contains fanzines and fanfiction relating to various SF media properties, including Star Wars and Star Trek.

Dates: 1966-2005