Bestselling author George R.R. Martin has donated his life work to Cushing Library.

Most people visit a library and expect to see books—not swords. And most would not expect to recognize some of these swords from the popular television series, “Game of Thrones.” But the Texas A&M University Libraries go above and beyond simply housing volumes of books. Their rooms are teeming with fascinating finds from extensive special collections on literary and historical topics. By offering a wide range of services including lectures on areas of expertise, exhibitions open to the public, hands-on workshops and curating collections of rare and special historical items, the libraries serve the research and study needs of students and faculty across campus.

Established in 1974, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives began with two collections of science fiction books and pulp magazines purchased with the support of the departments of English and engineering. Today, the collection contains 40,000 titles and more than 110 archival collections that are regularly used by visiting international scholars.

The collection includes original manuscripts, letters, and other artifacts from dozens of acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writers such as Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard, Ursula  K. LeGuin, Elizabeth Moon, Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien and H.G. Wells. It also contains many first editions of science fiction classics, such as Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” from 1962, as well as a third edition of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” from 1831. A first edition of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” contains a misprint, making it even more valuable. Even extensive collections of Star Trek memorabilia and a set of linguistic books owned and signed by J.R.R. Tolkien reside in Cushing.

  • Amazing Stories

    The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives began with two collections of pulp magazines purchased with the support of the departments of English and engineering. Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine. The first two issues of Amazing Stories, a science fiction pulp magazine, were published in 1926.
  • Weird Tales

    Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine. This is one of its first issues, published in 1923.
  • A Valuable Misprint

    True first editions of the novel contain a misprint. On page 53, in the list of school supplies that Harry receives from Hogwarts, the item “1 wand” appears twice, once at the beginning and once at the end. This mistake was corrected in the second printing of the book (although it re-appeared in some later printings). This rare mistake values the first editions to be worth thousands of British pounds.
  • First Edition Harry Potter

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J.K. Rowling's debut novel, first published in 1997. This first edition features the original cover artwork when it was printed in the U.K.
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues

    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne, published in 1870.
  • "The Wall"

    Cushing Library stores its massive Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection using compact shelving.
  • Frankenstein

    A third edition of Mary Shelley's classic, Frankenstein. This book was published in 1831 and is showing its age.
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by Madeleine L'Engle. This first edition was published in 1963.

Game of Thrones Archives

Thanks to interest and support from donors over the years, Texas A&M’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection is one of the nation’s finest selections of science fiction and fantasy literature in both quantity and quality. One of this century’s most well-known authors has even donated his life’s work to the collection: George R.R. Martin, author of the popular series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” a series of epic fantasy novels that have been adapted into the HBO hit television series, “Game of Thrones.”

After first depositing his manuscripts in Cushing Library in 1993, Martin has continued to send boxes and packages, expanding his collection even as his own authorial reputation grows. His archives in Cushing total over one thousand personal printed volumes, two hundred boxes of manuscripts and papers, and an ever-expanding assortment of artifactual material that encompasses everything from board games to replica weapons. Martin’s collection is considered one of the “crown jewels” of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Texas A&M.

Since publishing the first installment of his series, “A Game of Thrones” in 1996, Martin’s work has been published in more than twenty languages worldwide with fifteen million copies in print. Named by Time Magazine as one of the hundred most influential people in the world, Martin is a celebrated figure in popular culture and a genre luminary in his own right.

  • A Dance with Dragons

    George R.R. Martin's work has been translated into more than twenty languages. This is the cover of the Japanese printed version of A Dance with Dragons.
  • Game of Thrones Memorabilia

    George R.R. Martin continues to send Game of Thrones memorabilia to his archive collection housed at Cushing Library, including this metal lunchbox.
  • George R.R. Martin

    Best-selling author George R.R. Martin came to campus to celebrate the University Libraries’ acquisition of its five-millionth volume, a rare first-edition of "The Hobbit" featuring illustrations by Tolkien himself.
  • Autographed Book

    George R.R. Martin donated this autographed copy of his novel, A Storm of Swords. This edition is printed in Finnish.
  • Ice

    Ice was a Valyrian steel sword and an heirloom of House Stark, primarily wielded by Eddard "Ned" Stark.
  • Oathkeeper

    Oathkeeper is a Valyrian sword made from Ice, the sword from the House of Stark. Initially given to Jaime Lannister by Lord Tywin, Jamie gives Oathkeeper to Brienne of Tarth to wield.
  • Needle

    Needle is a thin sword wielded by Arya Stark. It was given to her by Jon Snow, who had it made by the blacksmith of Winterfell.
  • Spanish Game of Thrones

    This cover artwork features a direwolf, the sigil of the House Stark. This is the Castilian Spanish version of Martin's novel, A Game of Thrones,
  • George R.R. Martin Archive

    After first depositing his manuscripts in Cushing Library in 1993, Martin has continued to send boxes and packages, expanding his collection even as his own authorial reputation grows. Cushing serves as home to his original manuscripts.

Martin’s Ties to Aggieland

A new exhibit at Cushing Library features maps of the imaginary worlds developed by popular fantasy and science fiction authors and includes Middle Earth, Westeros, Gotham City, Oz, and more. 

Martin visited Texas many times from the early 1970s on, primarily as a regular attendee of AggieCon. The oldest and largest student-led science fiction conference in the world, AggieCon has been held annually in College Station since 1969.

During the 18th annual AggieCon in 1986, Martin was featured as the Guest of Honor. Don Dyal, former head of special collections at Cushing Library, met Martin at the conference and asked him to donate his author’s archive to the library. Martin finally agreed to deposit his materials to Cushing in 1992.

Before donating his papers, Martin was storing them in boxes in his garage. The first truckload of materials to arrive in College Station from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, included the earliest manuscripts of “A Game of Thrones,” some from a dot matrix printer with the perforated edges still attached. Other items included typescripts, appointment calendars, posters, marked-up scripts, board games, memorabilia, and first and later editions of all of his works, as well as copies of magazines and periodicals in which he’d been published.

To share his collection with the public, Cushing Library launched its most popular exhibit to date in 2013: “Deeper Than Swords,” a display celebrating Martin’s life as a writer and his success in storytelling. Martin later visited campus in 2015 to donate the Texas A&M Libraries’ five-millionth volume: a rare first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” featuring illustrations designed by Tolkien himself.

Now, four years later, a second exhibit at Cushing also contains some of Martin’s creations. As a joint project between the Maps and GIS Library and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection, Cushing Library developed an exhibit called “Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection.” The exhibit features maps of the imaginary worlds developed by popular fantasy and science fiction authors and includes J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Martin’s Westeros, Gotham City, Oz and more. The exhibit runs through Oct. 10.

The seventh season of the fantasy drama television series will premiere on HBO on July 16, 2017. Until then, Game of Thrones fans can take advantage of this incredible collection by asking to view these rare items at Cushing Library or by checking out books and DVDs of Game of Thrones.

To support the Texas A&M Libraries, contact Adelle Hedleston at adelle-h@tamu.edu or (979) 862-4574.

You may donate items relating to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection by contacting Jeremy Brett at jwbrett@library.tamu.edu or (979) 845-1951.

Contact:

Adelle Hedleston '88

Development Manager
Texas A&M University Libraries
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