The early history of CUSFS, as related by Thomas Goodey, one of the founders.
I went up in 1963 (St. John's), and of course immediately heard of
the Freshers' Fair (? or some similar name?). Since I was and am a
serious SF enthusiast, I decided to start a society. So I got a table
in the Fair and laid a few old Astoundings out and awaited
developments. Several like-minded souls approached me, and we all
pooled our collections to form the nucleus of the Library.
We found a volunteer, in Caius I believe, to host the books, and we
collected some subscriptions to purchase cheap bookshelves. The
chap's rooms were opened to members twice a week, I think. I
remember that there were about 60 members initially, and I remember
the subscription as being 10 shillings, but this information may be
faulty. Anyway there was enough money left to fill up the collection
of (British edition) Astoundings back to 1952 or thereabouts, and of
Galaxy back to #1. We also bought more and more secondhand
paperbacks, which were pretty cheap. I used to comb Shepherd's Bush
market in London for them. I remember that I actually shelled out
quite a bit for a hardcover "Man in the High Castle" which was an
American edition, impossible to acquire cheaply. It was avidly
consumed by a succession of members.
The Society acquired more and more books, and in my third year (1965-
66) there were about 5000. In that year they were in my rooms (New
Court), and there wasn't much space left! Anyway, when I left in June
1966, somebody - I forget who - volunteered to take the Society
onwards, and there you go - it obviously acquired a life of its own
which will probably outlast mine!