RLI 283 The Eaton Collection and UC Riverside Libraries 22 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 support for the newly established “designated emphasis” in science fiction studies at the undergraduate and graduate level, the first steps towards a establishing a degree in this area (3) using the Eaton Collection as an asset in attracting two leading literary scholars and an award-winning creative writer to the university to establish the academic program (4) securing support from the Creative Writing Department to implement a Student Science Fiction Short Story Contest with awards announced at the biennial Eaton Conference and (5) serving as the lead institution in developing a national consortium of research libraries with significant science fiction collections. The first revitalized Eaton Conference, held in 2008, was funded by three entities: the libraries, CHASS, and the Office of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. The conferences have been attended by the science fiction scholarly community, scientists, and leading science fiction writers, and regularly attract several hundred attendees. One of the highlights of the revitalized biennial Eaton Conference has been the presentation of the annual J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award to a prominent author. The award was created by the University Libraries to honor luminaries in science fiction and to cultivate fan interest and participation in the conference. Ray Bradbury was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2008. His presence on the program brought in an audience of more than 400 for the presentation event. The other recipients of the Eaton Award to date have been Frederik K. Pohl (2009), Samuel R. Delaney (2010), Harlan Ellison (2011), Ursula K. Le Guin (2012), Ray Harryhausen (2013), and Stan Lee (2013). The libraries view the Eaton Collection as one component of a “three-legged stool,” as described by UC Riverside’s previous chancellor, which includes the collection, the science fiction academic and research program (encompassing faculty researchers and national and international scholars who travel to Riverside to use the collection), and the Eaton Conference. Connecting to Research The Eaton Collection has been a major focus for growth, visibility, and prestige of the libraries and a key component in building bridges with faculty, students, and CHASS. Planning for the future, the libraries have followed trends in publishing and fandom, investing in genres such as manga and role-playing board and electronic games. Faculty have also been heavily involved in requesting materials for their instructional and research needs. As one example of bridge building, the dean of CHASS made a decision one year ago that he would generously fund, from a grant, $30,000 to acquire the media resources needed by a new faculty hire in the science fiction studies program. The current head of Special Collections and Archives is integrated in faculty communications channels, collaborating with creative writing and science fiction faculty on preparation of grant proposals as well as in the planning of the Eaton Conference. One of the most recent and exciting outcomes of the collaboration between the libraries and CHASS is the publication of a new open access and online peer-reviewed journal, the Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction, the first journal published by the college and the libraries. Launched in April 2013, the journal is managed by graduate students with faculty advisors. In addition, both the university librarian and head of Special Collections and Archives are members of the editorial board of this journal.
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