Skip to main content

Day Science Fiction Collection

Identifier: MSS-318-BC

Scope and Content

This collection consists of 101 boxes of science fiction paperbacks from 1926-1950 which amount to over 1,275 issues of the 59 titles covered in the science fiction index authored by Day. Day claims that his collection includes all science fiction and most fantasy magazines published in the United States between the years 1926 and 1950, as well as select British science fiction magazines.

The titles of science fiction magazines included in this extensive collection are Air Wonder Stories, Amazing Detective Tales, Avon Fantasy Reader, Amazing Stories, Amazing Stories Annual, Amazing Stories Quarterly, Astonishing Stories, Astounding Science Fiction, Captain Future, Comet Stories, Cosmic Stories, Dynamic Science Stories, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Fantastic Adventures, Fantastic Novels, Fantastic Story Quarterly, Fantasy -- The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fantasy -- Thrilling Science Fiction, Fantasy Book, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Stories, Future, Science Fiction, Future Fantasy, Future Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction Novels, Imagination, Magazine of Fantasy, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Marvel Science Stories, Marvel Stories, Marvel Tales, A. Merritt's Fantasy, Miracle Science and Fantasy Stories, New Worlds, Other Worlds, Out of this World, Planet Stories, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, Science Wonder Stories, Scientific Detective Monthly, Startling Stories, Stirring Science Stories, Super Science Novels, Tales of Wonder, Tales of Wonder -- Amazing Science Fiction, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Uncanny Stories, Unknown, Worlds Beyond, Wonder Stories, Wonder Stories Annual, and Wonder Stories Quarterly.

Authors whose works are published in these magazines include H.G. Wells (including original publications of The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds), Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Julian Huxley, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, L. Sprague de Camp, L. Ron Hubbard (including his original article on Dianetics), George O. Smith, A. E. Van Vogt, Arthur C. Clarke, George Allan England, Bram Stoker, Jack London, Ray Cummings, Hugo Gernsback (including Baron Muenchhausen's Scientific Adventures), and Stanton A. Coblentz. In many cases, the short stories, novels, mysteries, or articles in these magazines are reprints. In other cases, the magazines in the collection were the original presentations of these classic science fiction writings.

In addition to the science fiction stories, novels, mysteries, and articles contained therein, these magazines may be of interest for their artistic covers, the evolution of their portrayal of women from 1926-1950, and for the types of advertisements (many related to the war effort) inside the covers, representative of the era in which they were published.

The collection also contains one box of Donald B. Day's materials related to the index which he compiled and published. This box includes correspondence with science fiction authors and buyers, advertising for the index, checklists, notes, a list of science fiction authors' pseudonyms, and several copies of the fanzine The Fanscient.


  • 1926-1950

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Due to the fragile nature of the materials in this collection, items may not be dup;icated.


Donald Bryne Day lived from 1909-1978. He resided in the state of Oregon. According to his own writings (present in the collection), he viewed himself as an avid fan of science fiction and it was this interest which inspired him to compile the first published index of science fiction. His own collection of science fiction was quite complete and this served as the source of the information presented in his publication, The Index to the Science-Fiction Magazines 1926-1950, which The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction considers "an essential tool for [science fiction] research." The Science Fiction Reference Book refers to Day's publication as "a pioneer effort which remains the standard index for [science fiction] magazines of the period." Although he is best known for this publication, Day was also the publisher of the fanzine The Fanscient in the 1940s and 1950s. Donald Day died on January 11, 1978, in Portland, Oregon.


111 boxes (41 cu. ft. )


This collection is comprised of Donald B. Day's personal collection of science fiction magazines published in the United States (as well as some from England) from 1926 to 1950. It also contains papers pertaining to his early drafts of The Index to the Science-Fiction Magazines 1926-1950, which he published in 1952.

Related Archival Material

Seder Dime Novel Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. First Issue Periodicals Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Day Science Fiction Photograph Collection.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Day, Donald B. Index to the science-fiction magazines, 1926-1950. Portland, Oregon: Perri Press, 1952.
  • Clute, John and Peter Nicholls, eds. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Griffin,1993.
  • Tymn, Marshall B., ed. The Science Fiction Reference Book. Mercer Island, Washington: Starmont House,1981.
Finding Aid of the Day Science Fiction Collection, 1926-1950
Processed by K. Stocker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 318 BC::Day Science Fiction Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss318bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131