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“And how shall I think of you?' He considered a moment and then laughed. 'Think of me with my nose in a book!” 
― Susanna ClarkeJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell*
This is the publicly-accessible catalog for the library of the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA). You can contact HRSFA at www.hrsfa.org. The HRSFA library is a large collection of speculative fiction literature, including science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. It also includes the official history of HRSFA, the Apocrypha HRSFAlogicae, as well as a sizable assortment of games, movies, comics, costumes, and miscellaneous objects. It is open to members. For more information, contact the board: board@hrsfa.org. The current librarian is Natasha Abrams ('21).

Search tips: 
  • Text search is not case-sensitive, but it is sensitive to accents. Café is not the same as Cafe, but cafe and Cafe are the same! Punctuation counts. 
  • Tags indicate special categories like "non-circulating" or "shelved with anthologies." There is no way to electronically check whether an item is in paperbacks or hardbacks, even if the description in the catalog claims that a book is "paperback" or "hardcover."
  • Descriptions are included here, because sometimes they're helpful, but since they were automatically sourced from online book retailers, all of them are unreliable, and some are simply descriptions of the condition and provenance of the copy that bookseller was hawking. 
  • The color of the record indicates at a glance whether there are any copies checked in. 
  • If it freezes, just give it a second. 
Physically-finding-the-book tips:
  • The HRSFA office in in Room 328 of the SOCH, at 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. You need a code to get in; email the librarian to receive it. 
  • Most of the books are either in the main paperback section or the main hardback section. These are organized alphabetically by (first) author, or by editor where appropriate. Suppose you wanted to find a novel by, say, Robert Heinlein. You would check whether we have the requisite novel, and, if we did, you'd go to hardback under "Heinlein." If you didn't find it there, you'd check paperback under the same. 
  • Some of the books are tagged "shelved with anthologies." These books are shelved separately, usually in the back of the room on the sides near the windows. Anthologies are subdivided into "hall of fame" type anthologies, named series like Firebirds, and themed anthologies.** 
What's not cataloged? 

Some types of fiction are not cataloged or inconsistently cataloged, including corporate shared-universe fiction (eg. Dragonlance) or heavily serialized mass market paperback short fiction collections (a real example escapes me, but they have names like Atom #4 or Nexus #28). Best just to look in person. Softcover anthologies, comic books, DVDs, video games, etc. are also not cataloged; these can mostly be found on the shelves to your immediate right as you enter the door, except for comic books, which are in bins in the alcove at the back. Magic cards are in a brown box, costumes on the far shelf by the fresh-faced window, games next to that; four-and-twenty-blackbirds were baked into a pie circa 2002, and at this point it may be best to just leave them in there. The old king still sleeps, surrounded by his men, under the broken futon. His sorrows are not cataloged either. 

How do I check books out? How do I return them? 

Email the librarian with the list of books you're borrowing! Email them again when you return them. Place returned books in the reshelving bin under the anthologies, or just reshelve them yourself. 

An Incompleat Cattalogue


Credits/History

The HRSFA library began as a book-swap consisting of a few small boxes. Then, Mike Ciaraldi donated around a thousand books, and soon afterwards, James McCarthy donated almost as many books as Mike Ciaraldi did. Alozie Nwosu '95 began the comic book collection. By 1999, most of the present (3,000+ volume) collection was already in place, and a card catalog had been made. In 1995, Mike Gleeson '96 obtained the Pamela Trigg Jimenez Reading Room in PfoHo (which was then called North House) to store the books. The scattered novels were put in order by Elisabeth Cohen '06 in early 2003. The disarrayed comic books were organized by Vincent Yeh '06 in April 2003. The first HRSFA online library catalog, done circa 1999, was coded by Marshall Perrin '00; data entry was done by Bryn Neuenschwander '02. Here is the link to the now dead database. [Text adapted from the old HRSFA website.] 

Some time after 2004, probably 2009, the books were moved to their current location in the Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH). While they were still in Pfoho, another cataloging effort was undertaken by Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman and Rachel Storch (now Faulkner) with help from Library SIG members including Alison Miller, Sara Kate Heukerott (now Lerer), Kevin Carde, Kathy Zhang, and others possibly including Nora Moseman/Kristen Hendricks/Elena YudovinaThe most recent librarian before Natalie Chew '17 was Ben Klug '14.  

In summer 2015, a new catalog was made by Natalie Chew '17, Kit Eginton '16, Jess Rhodes '17, and Ari Tyler '18. We used the Libib app for data entry. The library was also somewhat reorganized right about then. This website was put together, and the catalog finally made public, in June 2016, by Kit Eginton '16. As of 2016 it uses Google Sheets to store the data and the Awesome Table gadget for Google Sites to display it. We made a blog of silly book covers here. Hopefully nobody will forget about this catalog's existence. 

*I was looking for a quote about libraries and labyrinths from that book, but I think I'm conflating two scenes. This one will do.
**Unclear if anthologies of scary stories count as hall-of-fame-type collections (because horror is a genre) or themed anthologies. We don't have a lot of horror, so I believe I put them with themed anthologies. 

P.s. If you download the spreadsheet backing this catalog, by pressing the download icon below the search results, you can safely delete all columns east of "Q" and the entire second sheet: these are just configuration. All the real data is in the first 17 columns.