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M. Horvat Science Fiction Convention Materials Collection

Identifier: MsC0884

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials produced for or during various science fiction conventions, including progress reports, advertisements, newsletters, and bids to hold conventions in certain locations.

Also included are examples of various convention ephemera, such as badges and buttons. One of the more unusual items in the collection is a bottle of "bheer"; that is, fan-produced or commercial-but-repackaged beer exchanged and drunk during conventions by fans as part of their particular social bonding. This particular bheer, a Budweiser, was obtained at a Norwescon, date unknown.

The materials in this collection are organized alphabetically by the idiosyncratic name assigned to each science fiction convention (i.e. "Aggiecon", "DeepSouthCon", or "Vikingcon"). World Science Fiction Conventions (Worldcons) are listed first under "Worldcon" and thereunder by the name given to each individual Worldcon (for example, "Chicon" or "Discon").


  • Creation: 1943-2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Biographical Note

Martin M. (Mike) Horvat is a printer and collector in Stayton, Oregon. For many years, his collecting focused on general circulation science fiction magazines and fanzines. Horvat founded the American Private Press Association and, during the 1970s and 1980s, published South of the Moon, a catalog of publications of amateur press associations. Horvat was a significant and prolific figure in the worlds of science fiction and other genre fandoms, and assembled over the years a great deal of material relating to science fiction conventions.

Historical Note

Conventions have been a integral part of science fiction fandom almost since its inception as an organized activity. They served (and continue to serve today) as opportunities for like-minded genre enthusiasts to gather socially, meet and listen to professional SF authors, actors, artists and other personalities, and engage in a number of social rituals and activities peculiar to fans. Convention activities might include, but are not limited to: art shows, book and memorabilia dealers' rooms, filksinging, award ceremonies, notable speakers/Guests of Honor, costume parties, and discussion panels.

Conventions are often denoted by a specific name, often based on the city in which the convention is being held.

Science fiction conventions vary in their scope. The most famous, and venerable, type of convention is the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), a global gathering of fans. The first Worldcon was held in 1939 in New York City; since then one has been held every year (with the exception of the World War II years 1942-1945). Worldcons are generally held in the United States, but, as the name suggests, have been held in other countries as well. The Worldcon is a key event in science fiction because it is there that each year the Hugo Awards are given out for the best science fiction novels, stories and other achievements for the previous year.

However, most genre conventions are more limited in geographic scope. There are national conventions, regional conventions, conventions for a particular city or state, and smaller events as well. Conventions can be devoted to a large, general cultural topic (such as the genre of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, for example), or more focused (such as comic books, Star Trek, Star Wars, or animation).


7.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials produced for or relating to numerous science fiction conventions, including progress reports, advertisements, newsletters, and assorted ephemera.

Method of Acquisition

The M. Horvat collection of convention materials was acquired by the University of Iowa Libraries from Martin (Mike) Horvat in December 2004.

Related Materials

HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Genre Apazines, 1945-2002 (msc0825).

HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat National Fantasy Fan Federation Collection, 1942-2008. 1.5 ft. Collection of materials from the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F), a major and venerable SF fannish organization. Materials include administrative documents, publications, and records from N3F subsidiary bodies (msc0886).

HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Science Fiction Fanzines, 1925-2002. 96 ft. A large collection, stretching across the 20th century, of science fiction fanzines, together with some assorted "genzines" (general issue magazines concerned with SF) (msc0791).

Denise Anderson, 2008, 2009
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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)