World's Largest Public Archive of SF And Fantasy Receives $3.5-Million

Earlier this month we learned that UC Riverside Library's Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy – the world's largest public reserve of SF/F books and materials – has come under threat by new management. Now, the Eaton Collection is the beneficiary of a $3.5-million gift – the largest ever received by the university's library.

Via Riverside County's Press Enterprise:

The gift comes from the estate of Jay Kay Klein, who worked in advertising for General Electric and Carrier and had a passion for photography and science fiction. Klein began taking photos of science fiction writers and fans at conventions in the 1940s and kept at it for much of his life. He died in 2012 at 80.

By then he already had donated his $1.4 million photo collection to UCR, largely because of the relationship he had established with Melissa Conway, the library's special collections director.

Earlier this month, science fiction author and UC Riverside professor Nalo Hopkinson reported that the library's new administration didn't "seem to appreciate the value of the Eaton Collection or the expertise that goes into it," having driven out staff members and incurring changes to collection policies that reduced the collections holdings, its value to researchers and the community, and "its standing as a world-class archive."

We hope this sizable donation helps the library's new administration see the error of its ways.


[The Press Enterprise]

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Ron Miller

I remember Jay Kay Klein well. A fan's fan who could be spotted at almost any SF convention, large or small, camera in hand. Not only a devoted fan and an awfully nice guy but a superb photographer. Many of his portraits of authors are classics.