U of Iowa’s Doctor Who Fanzine Collection

The University of Iowa continues to add hundreds of science fiction fanzines to its collection.  This large collection of some 10,000-plus science fiction fanzines is an important accumulation of fan-created work and a significant addition to the fanzine holdings of the University Libraries. The Fanzine Archive Collection contains thousands of fanzines focused on popular media properties such as Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Star Wars and others.  Since the 1960s, when such television series programs as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Star Trek cultivated large followings, fans have produced their own publications which develop stories involving their favorite characters. These fanzines provide a unique perspective on participatory culture. Rather than passively consuming media, fans actively interacted with it and developed complex spin-off works that were distributed at conventions and through the mail, says Greg Prickman, assistant head of Special Collections at UI Libraries. “In many ways, fan culture pre-dates and anticipates our modern remix mash-up Internet culture,” said Prickman. “And there is a great deal of scholarly interest in this type of activity today.”  The above video from 2013 takes a look at some of the collections Doctor Who fanzines in their possession.

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