Roland E. Bounds collection papers and ephemera

Biographical and Historical Notes

Roland E. Bounds (1953-2002) attended Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware, and obtained a B.S. in geology from the University of Delaware in 1975. He pursued graduate studies in mineralogy and applied geology at the University of Delaware and Oklahoma State University. By vocation and avocation, he was a collector. He began collecting rocks at age six, and as an adult became a noted mineral collector and dealer with business partner Eric Meier in Broken Back Minerals. Bounds was a senior research technician with the Delaware Geological Survey, located in Newark, Delaware. He regularly submitted articles to First State Geology and was a longtime editor of Geogram, the newsletter of the Delaware Mineralogical Association. Bounds was also active in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy.

Bounds was equally known as a collector of science fiction, an interest he developed at age thirteen when he “discovered the large amount of material being published but not available in either the local county or school libraries.” Bounds concentrated on collecting vintage (pre-1965) paperbacks and pulp magazines (pre-1953). Thematically, he developed an interest in “the way technological advances have been predicted and the ways that authors of various times have viewed society and its problems.” He also collected with an interest in book and magazine cover art and illustration of science fiction and fantasy. When he was a graduate student at the University of Delaware, he twice won (in 1983 and 1984) first prize in the student book collecting contest sponsored by the University of Delaware Library Associates. His science fiction collection was included in a 1991 exhibition at the University of Delaware Library, Delaware Collects.

The extensive Roland Bounds Science Fiction Collection, containing over 20,000 volumes, is housed in Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library.


“Additions to the Science Fiction Collection.” Newsletter of the University of Delaware Library Associates. April 2004, no. 456. pp. 25-26.

“Roland Bounds, 1953-2002.” Matrix: a Journal of the History of Minerals. v. 10, no. 2 (Summer 2002). p. 91. (See Folder 24)

Scope and Contents

The Roland E. Bounds Collection: Papers and Ephemera includes books, magazines, convention programs, posters, photographs, artwork, and objects related to Bounds’s collecting activities. The bulk of this collection relates to his interest in science fiction and its subgenres, fantasy and horror. This is a random assortment of programs that Bounds got from trade conventions, such as the annual Philcon (Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention), advertising promotions from Kinkos or Burger King for Star Wars or other movies, and odd collectibles and keepsakes varying from Pokemon toys to NASA photographs to U.S. postage stamps. Several items reflect Bounds’s special interest in illustration of science fiction; the collection includes reproductions of artwork by illustrators Kelly Freas, Michael Whelan, Berni Wrightson, and Ralph MacQuarrie. Also included are printed material and photographs related to Bounds’s career as a mineralogist and a few items related to his personal life. The collection is arranged in three basic series: Science fiction, Mineralogical and personal materials, and realia.