Texas A&M University wants to archive your filking songbooks

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If you've ever been at a science fiction or fantasy convention late at night, you've heard people singing ballads based on their favorite stories and characters. That's the magic of filking, and at last a university library will be collecting materials related to this time-honored custom.


Top image: Danger Woman, Disabled but Able to Rock.

Texas A&M University's Cushing Library — which hosts a George R.R. Martin exhibition called "Deeper Than Swords" until Feb. 7 — is adding "filk-related materials" to its science fiction collection, according to a press release. Which adds:

Science fiction conventions, as well as designated filk conventions, have various filk programming that includes concerts and late night filk circles, where music is performed and shared, as well as panels about music and fandom. Most filk conventions put out songbooks with songs submitted by members of the community to share with attending members.

The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids— which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks. Cushing Library is also a depository for many books and materials of famous science fiction and fantasy authors, from the likes of George R. R. Martin to Joe Lansdale, Elizabeth Moon and Ray Bradbury, among others.

The collection features a diverse mixture of materials, including the personal science fiction and fantasy library of Anne McCaffrey, and thousands of science fiction and fantasy-related monographs in hardcover and paperback, which date from the 17th century to the present. The extensive periodicals collection contains over 90 percent of the American science fiction pulp magazines published prior to 1980.

More details, including how to donate your own filk-related materials, at the link. [TAMU]



For some years HopSFA (the Johns Hopkins University SF Association) put out the "HopSFA Hymnal". Copyright issues brought that to a screaming halt in the 1980's. Hope the Cushing Library can find one, though, they were great.