Martin’s Ties to Aggieland
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.
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You may donate items relating to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection by contacting Jeremy Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1951.