The Library’s History

NEARLY THREE DECADES OF DREAM-KEEPING

The Library’s History

NEARLY THREE DECADES OF DREAM-KEEPING

IN THE BEGINNING

~ THE CRYSTAL ROSE FAN CLUB ~

The library grew from one North Carolina fan group’s efforts. The Crystal Rose Fan Club came together in 1991 through the efforts of JoAnn Grant and Vicki Thomas. The circle soon grew to include Sandy P. Shelton, Mickey Sayles, and Carla McRorie. The club published a bi-monthyly newsletter and a series of fanzines – one of the first venues for our cherished Chan (Sandy C. Shelton) and her artwork. The friends pooled their individual fanzines and created a memeber-only lending library, eventually launching a website for the club and its library. The club grew the young collection, purchasing zines when they became available – which in the ‘old’ days was often – eventually offering borrowing privileges to fans across the country.

Luckily the current Crystal Rose Lending Library owns copies of all the zines published by the original fan club. In them you’ll find delicious stories and amazing art penned by our founding members.

IN THE BEGINNING

~ THE CRYSTAL ROSE FAN CLUB ~

The library grew from one North Carolina fan group’s efforts. The Crystal Rose Fan Club came together in 1991 through the efforts of JoAnn Grant and Vicki Thomas. The circle soon grew to include Sandy P. Shelton, Mickey Sayles, and Carla McRorie. The club published a bi-monthyly newsletter and a series of fanzines – one of the first venues for our cherished Chan (Sandy C. Shelton) and her artwork. The friends pooled their individual fanzines and created a memeber-only lending library, eventually launching a website for the club and its library. The club grew the young collection, purchasing zines when they became available – which in the ‘old’ days was often – eventually offering borrowing privileges to fans across the country.

Luckily the current Crystal Rose Lending Library owns copies of all the zines published by the original fan club. In them you’ll find delicious stories and amazing art penned by our founding members.

A MINI-HISTORY

BY SANDY P. SHELTON (2010)

The founding members were JoAnn Grant and Vicki Thomas. They roped me in right after the show went off the air. We started a newsletter with a few other fans in the North Carolina area that JoAnn knew (Mickey Sayles, Carla McRorie, and others) I started off reviewing zines for the newsletter, later started writing stories myself, then began editing and producing zines.

 

JoAnn was the driver in our efforts. She met Chandler (Sandy C. Shelton/Chan) at a convention and she sent her some artwork. I remember JoAnn calling me and saying we might have an artist named Sandy Shelton; I laughed, of course. Anyway, I remember her nurturing Chan during those early days of her artwork. Most of them are in our zines. JoAnn always “mothered” Chan quite a bit and helped build her confidence. The cartoon that appeared in Chan’s interview on our website [and featured here] was of us. She and I were good friends then.

 

As JoAnn’s health became a problem, we couldn’t go to the cons as we once did. Vicki left the group and it came down to JoAnn handling the online site and staying in touch with everyone. Eventually and necessarily, the library changed hands [JoAnn Grant passed away in 2006.]

 

I remember JoAnn sending the books to Jan Sutter in Texas [who took over as librarian]. I’m so glad to hear that those efforts are continuing and the Crystal Rose Lending Library is still in operation.

THE CRYSTAL ROSE OF TEXAS

A MEMORY … BY JAN SUTTER  (2010)

Sandy P. Shelton was one of the three original Crystal Rose Fan Club members, along with JoAnn Grant and Vicki Thomas. I had been a “customer” of the club’s lending library for a while when they decided they could not continue running the service, so I offered to move the collection to Texas and take over as librarian.

 

At the time, I think the library had a listing of about 300 or so zines. The books were boxed up (in about 4 cartons, I think) and I paid to have them air-freighted to me. There were at least 50 missing titles that I worked on replacing over the years. When CABB discontinued their library, they gave me first shot at zines I didn’t have and I got many then. There were a couple of other huge bulk purchases, people getting rid of zines and giving me the first look.

Jan maintained an online listing of available zines and supplied many fans with reading material. Under her care, the collectionmore than doubled in size. Sadly, in January 2011, Jan passed away and our fandom lost a cherished family memeber. We’re grateful to have heard from her during  the transition of the CRLL from Texas to its new home.

THE CRYSTAL ROSE OF TEXAS

A MEMORY … BY JAN SUTTER  (2010)

Sandy P. Shelton was one of the three original Crystal Rose Fan Club members, along with JoAnn Grant and Vicki Thomas. I had been a “customer” of the club’s lending library for a while when they decided they could not continue running the service, so I offered to move the collection to Texas and take over as librarian.

 

At the time, I think the library had a listing of about 300 or so zines. The books were boxed up (in about 4 cartons, I think) and I paid to have them air-freighted to me. There were at least 50 missing titles that I worked on replacing over the years. When CABB discontinued their library, they gave me first shot at zines I didn’t have and I got many then. There were a couple of other huge bulk purchases, people getting rid of zines and giving me the first look.

Jan maintained an online listing of available zines and supplied many fans with reading material. Under her care, the collectionmore than doubled in size. Sadly, in January 2011, Jan passed away and our fandom lost a cherished family memeber. We’re grateful to have heard from her during  the transition of the CRLL from Texas to its new home.

TO TENNESSEE via CALIFORNIA

BY CAROLE WHITEHEAD (2018)

In late 2010, Jan shipped the entire CRLL to JoAnn Baca in California by truck freight, ten tall metal filing cabinets full. Entrusted with the colleciton, JoAnn contacted me, as earlier that year at the San Diego convention, I’d told her I’d love to manage the library one day should a new curator ever be needed. I was very sad to learn of Jan’s illness and that necessity, and I was – and am – honored to be granted this opportunity to safeguard the collection.

 

JoAnn inventoried and boxed up and shipped (at her expense) nearly 100 cartons of zines to me here in east Tennessee. Too many  for the USPS to actually deliver – I had to go pick them up! My postmaster aske me what on earth  these many boxes contained (it’s a very, very small town) and so I told her, and – you guessed it – she said she’d “loved that show”!

 

Where to put it all … We converted a walk-in closet to the library – just the right size with a bit of room left over for expansion. Since, we’ve put in another set of shelves, and that’s a very good thing. It means our collection is still growing.

 

When the library arrived, the CRLL owned about 850 titles. Today, because of some very generous donors and a few purchases, we have over 1000 titles! My goal is to acquire three copies of every title, but nothing thrills me more than to luck up on a zine we don’t yet own at all.

THE CRLL TODAY

BY CAROLE WHITEHEAD, CRLL LIBRARIAN

 How does it feel to have that much beauty so close at hand? I can attest it’s exciting, inspiring, and humbling. The evidence of love and commitment to something more than a story is truly stunning.

 

Before I knew there were others like me who loved the story, others were keeping this dream alive. So much work went into creating the content, then editing the stories and printing the pages in the days before digital software. Then the cost: the marketing and selling, the sending out. Many hundreds of fans were involved in these efforts. And almost all of the work –ALMOST ALL – will never appear online.

 

Some artists and authors have specifically stated they do not want their work posted to the internet or shared digitally. Many zine fly-leafs explicitly state the content is not to be copied and redistributed. But these original zines exists, and they are here for you, waiting, gathering, as Mr. Smythe might say, “the most refined dust” until requested … by you. Borrow a boxful today – you’ll be glad you did.

 

“What does a zine library look like?” “Do you live in there?” “Could I maybe … visit?”  I get there questions all the time. So here is a photo (of a portion of one wall!). And if you’re ever in the area and want to experience our fandom’s great treasure, get in touch with me, for that can surely be arranged.

 

PS: I  do spend some time in there. Lots of it!

THE CRLL TODAY

BY CAROLE WHITEHEAD, CRLL LIBRARIAN

How does it feel to have that much beauty so close at hand? I can attest it’s exciting, inspiring, and humbling. The evidence of love and commitment to something more than a story is truly stunning.

 

Before I knew there were others like me who loved the story, others were keeping this dream alive. So much work went into creating the content, then editing the stories and printing the pages in the days before digital software. Then the cost: the marketing and selling, the sending out. Many hundreds of fans were involved in these efforts. And almost all of the work –ALMOST ALL – will never appear online.

 

Some artists and authors have specifically stated they do not want their work posted to the internet or shared digitally. Many zine fly-leafs explicitly state the content is not to be copied and redistributed. But these original zines exists, and they are here for you, waiting, gathering, as Mr. Smythe might say, “the most refined dust” until requested … by you. Borrow a boxful today – you’ll be glad you did.

 

“What does a zine library look like?” “Do you live in there?” “Could I maybe … visit?”  I get there questions all the time. So here is a photo (of a portion of one wall!). And if you’re ever in the area and want to experience our fandom’s great treasure, get in touch with me, for that can surely be arranged.

 

PS: I  do spend some time in there. Lots of it!