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SFF Collection

The Science Fiction Foundation Collection is the largest archive of English-language science fiction and material about the genre to be held in Europe. It is one of the foremost research collections in the world. Housed and administered in the Special Collections and Archives Division of the Sydney Jones Library, Liverpool, it is supported entirely by the generosity of readers, writers, publishers and fans of science fiction. We work actively to extend our role as a resource for the promotion of science fiction and its use in education, providing consultancy facilities to the media and research opportunities for anyone with a scholarly interest in sf.


The Collection consists of:

  • Over 35,000 science fiction and fantasy novels, collections and anthologies

  • Over 2,500 periodical titles including academic journals, fanzines and magazines – many dating back to the 1920s and 1930s

  • Over 2,500 critical studies, biographies and bibliographies

  • Over 500 volumes of non-fiction with relevance for science fiction, e.g. space-flight, robotics and pseudo-science

  • Manuscripts, correspondence and legal papers from a number of prominent sf writers on deposit with, or on loan to, the Collection. These include the Brian Aldiss Archive (supplementary to the main collection in The Bodleian Library, Oxford), the Stephen Baxter Papers, the Vivian Beynon Harris Papers, the John Brunner Archive, the Ramsey Campbell Archive, the Ellen Datlow Papers, the Colin Greenland Archive, the Eric Frank Russell Collection, the Olaf Stapledon Collection, the David Wingrove Archive and the John Wyndham Archive.

  • A large holding of foreign-language texts including the Myers Collection of Russian SF. This includes a growing and increasingly important collection of sf and fannish material from the countries of Eastern Europe.

  • Material about and from sf conventions, including audio tapes of talks and panel discussions from well-known sf writers

  • Additional collections including the SFF Archive, manuscripts and offprints collections


You can access the Collection online at the following link: The former librarian, Dr Phoenix Alexander, talks about the Collection here and our patron, Neil Gaiman, offers an introduction to the Collection here.




The SFF Collection is particularly interested in filling its gaps of (especially but not solely):

  • First editions of British science fiction novels and collections.

  • Books which have won or been shortlisted for the field’s major awards.

  • Biographical/bibliographical/critical works on science fiction and fantasy.

  • DVDs of the major sf films/tv series.

  • We are also trying to fill gaps in our runs of sf magazines and the major fanzines in the field.

We do not, unfortunately, have the capacity to collect artwork or artefacts.


We rely entirely on the generosity of publishers, writers and fans, and our consultancy work, for money to spend on adding to the Collection. We welcome donations of material on the basis that saleable duplicates may be sold or traded to enable us to acquire other items we need, or (if in better condition) release copies in poor condition: for example, although we have fairly full runs of many magazines, conditions of our early pulps sometimes leaves much to be desired. If necessary, we may pass on material to other collections.


If you are an author of science fiction, or sf-related scholarship, we would be very grateful if you or your publisher would donate a copy of each new book of yours to the SFF library. If you publish in the field, whether as a fiction publisher or as a convention organiser, again, your donations would be extremely welcome.


Dealing with large quantities of material at short notice is always difficult and we would ask potential donors to contact the SFF curator if they are unsure whether we in fact have the material they would like to give us. 


Please note that financial donations also help us to buy material and, importantly, enable us to purchase preservation and storage materials, especially for our growing and increasingly fragile collection of magazines. If you want to support the preservation of our sf heritage in this way, please contact the SFF curator, Tom Dillon at 

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