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What is Fanlore?

Fanlore is a multi-authored website that any fan can easily contribute to. We want to record both the history and current state of our fan communities - fan works, fan activities, fan terminology, individual fans and fannish-related events. Because Fanlore is based on wiki software, you may edit pages to contribute your own experience, knowledge, and perspective on your community's activities, its members and histories, and the material it has produced.

We have developed a set of policies based on principles of diversity, multiplicity, and on the value of fannish discourse - fans talking on fandom. It is managed by a committee. These policies are here to help contributors and administrators keep Fanlore accessible, tolerant, and diverse. They are flexible so that Fanlore can grow organically: we expect Fanlore to live and thrive and take us in directions that best reflect the communities we aim to serve.

While Fanlore is first and foremost a space both by and for fans, one of our goals is to make its contents accessible and appealing to other parties, like academics, media people, or fans new to online fandom. We hope Fanlore can help these groups learn more about fandom and fan practices; we hope to become a resource and a space where fans are in control of their own representation to more mainstream sensibilities.

See also What Fanlore is not.

Fanlore's Mission

The mission of the Fanlore wiki is to engage fans from a wide variety of communities that create and enjoy fanworks, to provide them with a platform to record and share their histories, experiences and traditions, for both themselves and others.

Guiding Principles & Aims

Fan communities – their practices, products and passions – both past and present, are worthy of both preservation and celebration.

We aim to provide a platform where we as fans can confidently collect & document our diverse experiences, our knowledge & understanding of the fan communities of which we are a part:

  • To preserve our rich fannish heritage and recognise the milestones achieved by those fans who came before;
  • To document our fan communities as they are in the present, in order to record and better understand the scope & diversity of these spaces, and provide a record for future fans

Each fannish voice is valid and valuable; there is no single “truth” or history to fandom, but rather, each perspective contributes to & demonstrates a rich and diverse heritage. This collective history is not dictated or owned by a single person, author or organization: it belongs to fan communities on the whole.

Our aim is to provide an environment where individual fans can share and document their understandings and experiences, so that no account is valued above others. We have a Plural Point of View policy to help Fanlore's diversity along, and we have standards for accuracy, citation and coverage. Our aim is to nurture a group ownership ideal, and we hope that a diverse audience will feel confident and empowered to contribute to Fanlore, to access it easily, to understand its material.

We treasure the unique fannish style of scholarship: self-reflective, articulate, analytic, personal, passionate and tolerant, and also accessible to a diverse audience.

We wish to foster what we call fannish scholarship by providing a space and set of policies which allow fans to articulate their reflections. We also believe this will provide us with a space in which fans have control of our own representation to those outside of fandom.

See also

  • See About the OTW for more information about Fanlore's parent organization.