Due South Archive
|Name:||Due South Archive, DSA, Hexwood, Ex-wood|
|Date(s):||1994 to present|
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The Due South Archive, or DSA, was also known as Hexwood for years because of its location at hexwood.org. After it moved to squidge.org, some people began referring to it as "Ex-wood". DSA accepts all Due South fiction: slash, het, and gen.
The archive has had at least eight archivists, including: A.C. Chapin (1994), Amanda Cook (1994-1995), Seah (1995 - 1998), Elaine Walker (1998 - 1999), Anagi (1999 - 2000), Nord (2000 - 2001), Merry Lynne (2001- 2003), and Speranza (2003 - ongoing).
Some of the early turnover in archivists may have been because, like all archives of the time, everything was manual: archivists had to accept submissions (or harvest stories from the fiction lists, either posts by previously archived authors or posts tagged "please archive"), convert them from plain text to html, code them to meet the archive's format, and hand-code all the links on all the navigation pages. There was no search engine, just hand-coded lists of "stories by author", "stories by title", "stories by month", and "stories by category" that had to be kept updated -- both with new stories and with any changes to author name/contact info that an author might request.
Over 1,000 pieces of Fanfic related to Due South. It's one of the coolest sites I have seen, and where I found [out] about slash fiction.
As of October 1998, the archive had reached 1,000+ stories and the job had become time-consuming enough that the archivist instituted several changes, including dropping the "categories" page and harvesting stories from the mailing lists; instead, authors were responsible for emailing their stories to the archive address along with a submission form that included all relevant author information (like more modern story headers).
In late 1998, after a server crash took the archive offline, Elaine and Seah worked together to transfer the entire archive to the Automated Archive software. The new automated archive, up and running by at least late February 1999, had a search engine and allowed authors to upload their own stories. This took some of the day-to-day burden off the archivists, who could then concentrate on more general maintenance.
In spite of the ease of online access, some fans continued to read the archive fan fiction offline, by either printing it out to hard copy or binding it into a custom zine.
cover of a custom zine "Best of the Due South Archives"
- Saved email from archivist Elaine Walker to several DS fiction lists explaining upcoming changes to the archive, dated October 5, 1998. Accessed October 26, 2008.
- Adalisa's Page: Links, links and more links..., via Wayback: 24 August 1999. (Accessed 13 January 2012)
- Saved email from archivist Elanie Walker to several DS fiction lists explaining why the archive was still offline and what would happen next, dated January 1, 1999. Accessed October 26, 2008.
- Saved email from an author discussing how easy it had been to use the new interface, dated February 22, 1999. Accessed October 26, 2008.