Fanhistory (glossary term)

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Synonyms: fandom history, fannish history
See also: Meta, Faan
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Fanhistory is a science fiction fandom term for the history of fandom.[1] Literary SF fandom in particular has a long tradition of fanhistorians writing articles and books, some professionally published, about fandom history. Later fan communities have also recorded their own history, but are less likely to refer to it as fanhistory.

Fans also enjoy discussing their personal histories with fandom.

Early SF Fanhistory

Probably the first fanhistorian was Jack Speer, who wrote a fanzine article called "Up to Now" in 1939. In 1939 there were approximately nine whole years of history to document. The article introduced the numbered fandoms system for identifying distinct periods in the evolution of fandom. Fans frequently used the system to label themselves by the era in which they entered fandom.

Primary Sources

Some sources used by fanhistorians:

Online Sources

The Internet has been hosting fan activity since the 1980s, as well as being a way to share information about both offline and online fandom. Fanworks and discussions hosted on the Web are often a window into the past (for as long as the site stays up).

Print Histories

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


Professional Works

  • Sam Moskowitz. The Immortal Storm: A History of Science Fiction Fandom (1951)
  • Harry Warner, Jr. All Our Yesterdays: An Informal History of Science Fiction Fandom in the Forties (1969)
  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Sondra Marshak and Joan Winston. Star Trek Lives! (1975)

Fandom History Projects

Some of these are more focused on preserving primary sources, while others are focused on writing history.


  1. ^ Fanhistory - Fancyclopedia 3, Archived version (accessed 1 October 2018)