The Science Fiction and Fantasy (HWK-SFF and HWK-SFF-SP) circulating monograph collection at the Ward Chipman Library contains approximately 15,000 items. The collection is available primarily to members of the UNB community for teaching and research purposes and secondarily to the public through extracurricular library cards and interlibrary loans. The library initially decided to house and maintain a donation of a small general collection of SFF books in 1966. Since that time, the collection has expanded to support and supplement UNB teaching and research, and where possible, extracurricular interests.
In 2006, the SFF collection underwent an evaluation, both of the collection itself and of its housing and maintenance requirements, to determine its viability, relevance, and scholarly value to the UNB community and its users.
The University Commons and the SFF Collection
In preparation for many changes brought about by the construction of the University Commons, a new building that will house the library and other campus services, the SFF collection has been placed in closed storage, though circulation of the collection is possible via the online catalogue and staff access to the storage area.
As the library’s largest, most valuable, and widely known special collection, the SFF collection will be housed and maintained in the new Commons provided the necessary space and ongoing funding to support it can be secured.
Criteria for the SFF collection are based primarily on the collection’s use for teaching and research. Standard book lists and other authoritative selection aids are consulted in the selection process. Areas of interest include SFF and SFF-related works in the fields of literature, film, gender studies, culture studies, psychology, sociology, history, art, philosophy, and other areas of user interest. Generally, the following are collected:
- Reference materials that meet library standards for authority, comprehensiveness, accuracy and currency, including encyclopaedias, dictionaries, indexes and handbooks relevant to the SFF collection;
- Works by winning and nominated authors for the following SFF literary awards: Sunburst, Aurora, Hugo, Nebula, Tiptree, the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category of the Lambda Award, and other awards indicating literary merit;
- SFF works by major Canadian authors;
- Works from Canadian sources when appropriate;
- Literary criticism and other secondary works relevant to the SFF collection;
- Primary works of SFF, including acknowledged classics;
- Material by sub-genre according to teaching and research requirements, including Utopian, Arthurian, and Apocalyptic literature;
- Individual requests and suggestions on a case by case basis based on need, cost, usage, etc.
The SFF collection does not acquire:
- Children's literature other than SFF;
- Mass market series or novelizations based on television series, movies, comic books or other media formats such as comic books, fan magazines, posters or other artwork;