Due South Archive

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Name: Due South Archive, DSA, Hexwood, Ex-wood
Date(s): 1994 to present, now hosted on Archive of Our Own
Archivist: Speranza
Founder: A.C. Chapin
Type: Archive
Fandom: Due South
URL: http://www.squidge.org/dsa/
DSA Collection on AO3
http://www.hexwood.com/dsa (Wayback link)
Due South Fiction Archive.png
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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".[1]

DSA accepts all Due South fiction: slash, het, and gen. It also swung Both Rays, as well as no Rays:

"Is this a slash archive or a gen archive? Which Ray is it?" This is officially a non-partisan archive. All due South fiction is welcome here, slash and gen, featuring any Rays or no Rays, and even, you know, Turnbull. *g* You write it, we archive it. The DSA archive was founded before the Ray Wars, and we're still here.[2]

The page was a member site of the Sam Browne Belt webring.

In October 2016 it was announced that DSA would be moving to the Archive of Our Own as an Open Doors Project.[3] In June 2017, Speranza announced that the import to the AO3 was complete.[4]


The archive has had 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 (2003-2017).


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.[5]

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).[5]

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.[6] The new automated archive, up and running by at least late February 1999,[7] 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.

Speranza added her comments[8] to the OTW's tumblr post about the move to the AO3:

GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS!!! It is I, Speranza your friendly neighborhood archivist, and I am SO HAPPY that this is finally happening for the DSA!!! This was one of my own personal reasons for founding the OTW mumblety-mumble years ago, to protect this archive that dates back from 1994! I am the sixth and last archivist of the DSA and I have stood here, faithfully, in my Stetson, with my horse, waiting for the cavalry to relieve me - and now it has come! If you get an email from the AO3 asking about your stories, please do approve their being adopted into the Due South Archive collection! And please do add your stories TO the collection once it’s established - the DSA database has been wonky for some time, so it has been unreliable as a source for new fic, but Due South is a fandom that people come back to, because lo, it is awesome.

Fan Comments

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.[9]

Description from the Due South Slash Site:

The Hexwood due South Fiction Archive
The master archive of due South Fan Fiction on the web. As of October 1, 1998 there were over 1000 pieces of fiction archived here. The archive contains eight categories of fan fiction. The storie's ratings vary from G to X and are noted with each title. The pieces are cross-refrenced by author, title, category and month archived. A search engine is being added in 1999.[10]



  1. ^ history & philosophy
  2. ^ history & philosophy
  3. ^ Due South Archive is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 21 October 2016)
  4. ^ Tumblr post (Accessed 11 June 2017)
  5. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Saved email from an author discussing how easy it had been to use the new interface, dated February 22, 1999. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  8. ^ Tumblr post, accessed 11 December 2016
  9. ^ Adalisa's Page: Links, links and more links..., via Wayback: 24 August 1999. (Accessed 13 January 2012)
  10. ^ Mitch H. due South Slash Links, via Wayback: 04 November 1999. (Accessed 01 July 2017)