Margaret Young Science Fiction Collection

Photograph of white female student, long hair with glasses, close-up in a library office setting (cubicle & book shelves filled with books visible in the background).

Photograph courtesy of Cassandra.

This blog post was authored by Curation Services Student Writer Cassandra Anderson.

When I was looking for something to write about for this blog post, I found myself scrolling through the Subject Guidelines when I saw the “Rare Books” heading. Recently, I have been working on my applications to graduate school and have found myself to be very interested in the programs that have a “Rare Books and Manuscript” focus, so I thought I would see what we had under the header. That’s when I found the Margaret Young Science Fiction Collection. Now, I have always been a little bit of a nerd, but when I saw that heading I knew what I would be writing about.

Margaret Young was the mother of an Iowa State University Faculty member who decided that she wanted to donate her collection to an repository who would keep her collection together. In total, there are 397 books and 35 serial titles within the collection. The head archivist at the time, Dr. Stanley M. Yates, wanted to protect the cover art of the books, so thankfully the books were brought into special collections. There are wide range of authors within the collection, including famous writers like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Vern, Kurt Vonnegut, and H.G. Wells.

The collection has some familiar names to those who may not read science fiction, like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Other pieces within the collection include Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark, End of Eternity by Isacc Asimov, The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles Finney, and Out of the Silent Planet by C. Lewis. These are just a few of the examples, you can see a larger list of some of the titles here.

The covers of these books are so cool, I wish I could take pictures of all of them to show the world. However, since I can’t show you all of them, I will show you a few of the cool ones that I pulled today! A lot of these books are paperbacks, so they have to be handled with care when you open them. Book weights and cradles are available at the front desk if you wish to view some of these books!

One of my favorite books that I have found from the collection so far has to be The Island of Dr. Moreau. The famous book has had many covers over the years, but the cover art on this one is just so cool!

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If you are interested in looking at the rest of the collection, come see us! There are so many other cool books that I wish I could have listed for you all to see!

Here are the call numbers for the books that I mention above.

The Island of Dr. Moreau PR5774 .I8 1960z

Childhood’s End PR6005 .L36 C54X

The End of Eternity PS3551.S5 E5X

Fahrenheit 451 PS3503.R167 F3X

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