Joan Marie Verba Star Trek Collection, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Collection
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Scope and Contents
This collection contains media fandom materials collected and created by Joan Marie Verba beginning from when she joined fandom in 1969 up until the mid-2010s when the collection was acquired. The materials are primarily related to Star Trek fandom but also include Man from U.N.C.L.E., general science fiction and fantasy, Christian SFF, Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover, and the Mythopoeic Society (Tolkien and C.S. Lewis). The collection also contains a number of zines relating to editing, publishing, and writing, as well as some Minneapolis-centric publications. Despite health problems, Verba attended many fan conventions and collected pamphlets, programs, brochures, name tags, and other papers. There are also a number of cassette tape recordings from conventions. She was part of the Star Trek Welcommittee for 20 years, an avid correspondent, and edited and published a number of Star Trek zines. Masters of her zines can be found in the collection, as well as drafts and notes from her various novels and books, including Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan & Zine History, 1967-1987, Thunderbirds novelizations, and short stories. As of 2021, Verba is still active in fan communities.
- Creation: 1960s-2010s
- Creation: Majority of material found in 1970s-1990s
Biographical / Historical
Joan Marie Verba is a long-time fan of Star Trek. Introduced to the show as a young teen in 1966 and the fandom a couple years later in 1969, she has been an active part of Star Trek fandom almost since the beginning. Over the years she has contributed to many Star Trek letterzines and edited and published Treklink, Salutatorian, and Multi-Species Medicine, as well as her own fixit fan novels, Descent into Darkness and The Genesis Aftermath. She has been described as a veteran fan and was instrumental in welcoming many neofans to Star Trek both on a personal level and as someone involved in the Star Trek Welcommittee since its inception in 1972.
Verba is perhaps most well known for publishing Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan & Zine History, 1967-1987. In it, she describes Star Trek fan history in great detail, including discussing the SF fan vs Star Trek fan divide. Many of her drafts and notes are found within this collection.
A lifelong resident of the Minneapolis/St Paul area, this collection contains most of the 400 issues of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society zine, Minneapa, as well as Stipple-Apa, Tales of the Unanticipated, and others.
Although her intense allergies made it difficult for her to travel, Verba attended many fan conventions, both in the Minneapolis area and further afield. She was co-chair of BlooMN’Con and a guest at Brit Con, and when she could not attend conventions, she would often request that the corresponding pamphlets and programs be sent to her.
While Verba’s involvement in fandom was centered upon Star Trek, she also had an interest in Man from U.N.C.L.E., general science fiction and fantasy, Christian SFF, Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, and Tolkien. Verba was part of the Mythopoeic Society, which celebrated the worlds of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and attended MythCon many times. She was also attached to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover fandom, which had a unique approach to fan involvement. The author encouraged fans to “play” in the world of Darkover and would publish the results in official anthologies, thus supporting and launching many new writers’ careers, including Verba’s. Verba had three short stories published in anthologies: “This One Time” (1985), “Mind Eater” (1990), and “Invitation to Chaos” (1991). Through her involvement in the Thunderbird fandom, she had six official novelizations published. In her collection can be found many zines and articles about publishing, writing, and editing, both within and without the context of fandom. Verba, who received a bachelor of physics from the University of Minnesota and attended Indiana University to study astronomy, is also the author of several non-fiction science books. She is also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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Language of Materials
This collection is comprised of Star Trek fandom materials, various SFF fandom materials, and original writing by Joan Marie Verba.
A note on collection organization: original order has been maintained as much as possible. While the zines and publications have been alphabetized, the personal papers are another matter. If papers (notes, correspondence, advertisements, etc.) were found inside a zine, they have been kept with that zine. Similarly, if papers were found in a box with materials from primarily one fandom and there was no indication they belonged with a different fandom, those papers have stayed with that fandom. This means that if one were searching for, say, correspondence about the Star Trek zine Interstat, it could be found either in Star Trek: Series Correspondence, or within the listing of Interstat zines. In the case of the Star Trek Welcommittee papers, original order has been maintained entirely, except for organizing the correspondence by date. The folder titles in this section were primarily the titles found on Verba’s original folders.
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