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Mariellen (Ming) Wathne Fanzine Archives Collection

Identifier: MsC0313

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Scope and Contents

This collection contains the holdings of Wathne's Fanzine Archives, a self-proclaimed "Library for the Preservation and Circulation of Fan-created Material". Nearly all of the collection consists of fanzines and fan fiction relating to a number of different science fiction and fantasy media fandoms. The largest of these fandoms are Star Trek and Star Wars, traditional loci of fannish interest; however, the range of media properties extends from popular favorites such as Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and The X-Files, through smaller cult shows like Beauty and the Beast and Stargate: SG-1, to more obscure titles like The Sentinel, Robin of Sherwood, and Highlander: The Series. Most of the fandoms represented concern movies or television shows, although there are a few in the collection devoted to literary properties (such as the Pern novels of Anne McCaffrey or the Darkover universe of Marion Zimmer Bradley).

More general categories include Multifandom, which includes zines or anthologies of stories encompassing multiple fandoms; and Crossover, which describes stories in which characters and universes from different fandoms encounter each other (for example, a cosmic wormhole might suck the U.S.S. Enterprise out of its own universe into that of Star Wars, or Sam Beckett of Quantum Leap might leap into the body of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s Napoleon Solo). Another general category is termed Genzines: the materials in this category are mostly general interest science fiction and fantasy-oriented zines, with a few perzines (personal zines) thrown in.

An additional Assorted category includes stories or zines for various fandoms whose relatively insignificant presences in the Fanzine Archives do not justify giving them their own section here in the collection. (Note that this does not mean that a media property which is underrepresented in the FA does not have a strong following in its own right. For example, there exist vocal fan audiences for the television shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, even though very few publications relating to those shows are present in the FA Collection.)

Most of the collection is composed of fan fiction - short stories, novellas and entire novels. A not-insignificant percentage of this fan fiction is "slash", that is, fiction that concentrates on sexual relationships between two or more characters of the same sex. A particular category, Fan Fiction, is given over to fan fiction that is not concerned with an existing fandom but rather with original stories and characters.

Among the Star Wars materials, there is a large collection of comic books devoted to that film saga. Most of the comics were published by Dark Horse Comics during the release of the Prequel Trilogy of films, but there is a complete run of the Marvel Comics series produced during and after the release of the Original Trilogy.

A smaller section of the collection consists of miscellaneous materials that accrued as part of Wathne's collection. Some of the materials relate to the administration of the Fanzine Archives itself. A large sub-section of the Miscellaneous section consists of scripts for various media properties, including episodes of Star Trek, Miami Vice, and Starsky and Hutch. There are also some scattered items relating to various science fiction conventions.

Note on Star Trek

Researchers will note that, in the box list, many of the entries under the Star Trek category have three-letter designations. These refer to the particular incarnation of the Star Trek series of television shows to which the zine or piece of fan fiction refers.

TOS: Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969), plus the first 6 Star Trek films (1979-1991)

TNG: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), plus the next 4 Star Trek films (1994-2002)

DS9: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

VGR: Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)

All materials predating 1987, obviously, refer only to the Original Series. After 1987, any publication without a three-letter code has material relating to more than one incarnation of the show. The Wathne Collection does not contain any material concerning the series Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005).


  • Creation: 1966-2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. This collection is stored offsite, please allow 2-3 business days for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

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. A group of fans in Seattle, WA, first learned of the impending fanzine discard from Maureen Garrett, who ran the Star Wars Fan Club at the time. These fans agreed to receive the fanzines and to catalog, establish, and run a lending library from the collection for a year. When other obligations interfered with maintaining the library, 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.

Ming Wathne passed away on December 17, 2010.


141.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



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.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was acquired from Ming Wathne and her associates, in cooperation with the Organization for Transformative Works, in April 2009. Thanks are due to fan Pepper Ckua for providing necessary corrections to the boxlist.

Related Materials

For other fannish collections, many of which contain materials relating to Mariellen (Ming) Wathne Fanzine Archives Collection, type "classification_uris: Fandom-Related Collections" in the search term bar.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)