Open Doors

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Name: Open Doors Project of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW)
Date(s): 2008 - present
Profit/Nonprofit: Nonprofit
Country based in:
Focus: Preservation of at-risk fanworks
External Links:
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The Open Doors project of the Organization for Transformative Works is dedicated to preserving fanworks for the future, particularly fanworks which are at risk of disappearance.

Part of Open Doors is the Fan Culture Preservation Project.

Open Doors strives to preserve both print and hard copy fanworks as well as at-risk online-archives. Some examples: 1) large and small collections of zines and other hard copy fanworks such as vids and convention programs in danger of being thrown out or disposed of due to changing interests, storage problems, moving house, or other circumstances, 2) online fiction archive sites in danger of failing/crashing/abandonment, fans gafiating and abandoning their fanworks) 3) other.

Anyone who knows of fanworks online or print collections that are at risk should contact the Open Doors Committee. Please.

Also see Fannish Estate Planning.


The project provides a point of contact for archivists and others who seek preservation for fanworks they made or are otherwise responsible for. This includes, though is not limited to:

  • Housing collections of extant stories in the Archive of Our Own once it is out of limited beta;
  • Hosting fanworks that are not easily housed in the AO3;
  • Arranging, assisting, or brokering the donation and/or digitization of zines, VHS vids, and other artifacts to major university research collections.

From the time the org was founded, the intention has been that once the AO3 is fully up and running, Open Doors will help maintainers of typical fanfic archives preserve or backup their collections by transferring the contents of their archive into the Archive of Our Own. The OTW plans to collect these stories under the name of the archive from which they came, as well as to set up automatic redirecting from the original URLs if desired and whenever possible. These collections would be listed on the Open Doors project page and linked to the archive/collection/zine's wiki page here on Fanlore.

Fannish projects that cannot be integrated into the Archive at this time may also be preserved as special collections, resources permitting. (A current example is Missed the Saturday Dance by Zoetrope, which, because of its multimedia nature, cannot at this time be hosted by the AO3 and so is hosted as its own project. ) Open Doors is also responsible for the Fan Culture Preservation Project, a partnership with the University of Iowa to facilitate the transfer of analog fanworks and physical artifacts that contribute to the record of fannish history (particularly fan-produced materials made or collected for public consumption) to the university's research collection.

Mass Importer: Test Case - SSA

In early March of 2012, the first archive was imported into the AO3 using the beta mass importer; the test case was the Smallville Slash Archive. The announcement post on the OTW blog read, in part:
Our Open Doors are now opening wide to at-risk archives! The first generation mass archive importer is now ready for testing: this importer will allow us to import archives built on the popular 'Automated Archive' software into the Archive of Our Own. Many archives were built with this software over the last 15 years and some are now slowly sinking into the sea: four years ago, one of the things that brought the initial wave of fans together to work on the OTW was the desire to save these archives from extinction. We're really excited to have finally developed the infrastructure and functionality needed to move this work forward.[1].
Many fans responded to the news with jubilation:
It's taken a lot of time and effort on the part of many people, but the import of the Smallville Slash Archive into an AO3 collection has been scheduled. This should be great news to everyone who's encountered the 'out of bandwidth' error that's been occurring the latter weeks of each month.[2]
I'm really glad this part of my fannish history won't disappear.[3]
To me, the capability of preserving at-risk archives is a net good for fandom. (Honestly, I think it's net awesome.) When an archive vanishes from the internet, all of the love and joy and heart that went into creating those stories and putting them out there to be shared is gone in the blink of an eye. Every time an archive goes belly-up, it's as though a fannish library has burned down.[4]
OTW's Open Doors project is taking on the SSA, which, THANK GOD. I had this up on my recs page, years and years ago: It strikes me that if the SSA ever goes down; this fandom is screwed. In short, SSA, you are *never* allowed to go down. Or I'll be reduced to trading "favors" to people who have these stories saved somewhere, man. / So it is a big relief that all the stories will be maintained.[5]
I am so glad that this is finally happening. Minotaur's passing was a great loss and I value all the fans, the archivists and friends and Minotaur's family, for keeping the Smallville Slash Archive alive while a solution was discussed and planned (and discussed and planned...) with our fandom. I feel this particularly as an author. It will be nice to have access to that public face of some of my stories. [6]
I just wanted to congratulate you all on finally getting to a point where you can put this into practice. I've been worried about the Smallville Slash Archive for years now, ever since I heard that Minotaur sadly died, and it's good to know that all that work will be preserved.[7]
Some fans felt that the whole idea of moving an archive without first seeking permission from the author of each story in the archive was inappropriate:
This is deeply concerning to me. When we put stories on websites we are not entering them into the public domain, and for them to be reposted to another site without our permission or knowledge is deeply troubling. Whether one chooses to use An Archive of Our Own should be the decision of the author, not something decided by the board of the OTW.[8]
You're not talking about rescuing a baby here. You're talking about archiving fanfics. There's no justification for trampling over authors' rights and basic fannish courtesy from an overwhelming need to save these stories. Yes, it's sad when stories disappear from the Internet, but if the options are let them disappear, or take them without asking, the latter is not the right choice. The right choice is to find a middle path and take only the ones the authors agree to let you take.[9]
But others noted[10] that most of the fans crying foul over the archive move weren't actually part of Smallville fandom, and that SV fandom-at-large (or at least Clex fandom-at-large) had been working on the SSA move for two years[11] and had reached reasonable consensus that this was the best way to save their fannish history.

As of March 5, 2012, the SSA move was complete[12] and was received with joy[13].

Archives Imported with the Assistance of Open Doors

Name Fandom(s) Fanworks Type(s) Number of Works in Original Archive Started (Year-Month) Completed (Year-Month)
Smallville Slash Archive[14] Smallville Fanfiction 4,775 stories 2012-03 2012-03
852 Prospect[15] The Sentinel Fanfiction 6,833 stories 2013-01 2013-05
The Good Omens Library‎ Good Omens Fanfiction 288 2013-08 2013-11
German Speaking Slashers United (GSSU)[16] Multifandom Slash Fanfiction 973 stories 2013-11 2014-04
Dannell Lites Archive Multi-Fandom Fanfiction 91 stories 2012-11 2014-09
Leah Adezio Archive Multi-Fandom Fanfiction,
9 stories;
2 fanart
2012-11 2013-01
The Fenspace Collective Multi-Fandom,
Fanfiction 119 stories 2013-11 2013-12
StargateFan[17] Stargate SG-1,
Stargate Atlantis
2,300 stories (approx.);
50 fanart (approx.)
2013-11 2017-08
Yuletide (2003-2008)[18] Multifandom Fanfiction 7,542 stories 2014-05 2014-05
Boys in Chains[19] Multifandom Fanfiction,
474 stories 2014-08 2015-07
Ink Stained Fingers[20] Harry Potter Fanfiction,
3,348 stories;
113 fanart
2015-01 in-progress
Henneth Annûn Story Archive[21] J.R.R. Tolkien Fanfiction 5,340 stories (excludes stories marked by authors as not to be imported) 2015-02 2015-08[22] Lotrips Fanfiction 454 stories 2015-11 2016-08
Table for Three[23] Harry Potter
Fanfiction 169 stories 2015-03 2015-09
The Blake's 7 Library (Hermit Library)[24] Blake's 7 Fanfiction 600 stories announced 2015-07 2015-10
Seamus/Dean Forever[25] Harry Potter (Seamus/Dean) Fanfiction 124 stories announced 2015-08 2015-10
Wolf and Hound[26] Harry Potter (Remus/Sirius) Fanfiction 800 stories announced 2015-11 2016-02[27] Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce) Fanfiction 951 stories announced 2015-12 2016-06
Innocent Lies[28] Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series RPF (Alexis Denisof) Fanfiction 16 stories announced 2015-12 2016-02[29] Horatio Hornblower Fanfiction 141 stories announced 2016-01 2016-03
The Prydonian[30] Doctor Who Fanfiction 1551 stories announced 2016-01 2016-06
Human Nature[31] Doctor Who RPF Fanfiction 91 stories announced 2016-01 2016-06[32] Comics Fanfiction announced 2016-03 in-progress
Dave & Ken's Diner[33] Starsky and Hutch Fanfiction 216 stories announced 2016-07 2016-10
Warp 5 Complex[34] Star Trek: Enterprise Fanfiction 4866 stories announced 2016-07 2016-09
HP Fandom (archive)[35] Harry Potter Fanfiction 8512 stories announced 2016-08 2017-04
The Hex Files[36] Harry Potter Fanfiction, Fanart 3634 works announced 2016-08 2017-07
Sinful Desire[37] Supernatural, J2 Fanfiction 4456 works announced 2016-09 2016-12
The Basement[38] X-Files Fanfiction 3730 works 2016-09 2017-07
ScullySlash[39] X-Files Fanfiction 286 works 2016-09 2017-07
Spooky Awards 2003-2005 [40] X-Files Fanfiction 2027 works 2016-09 in progress
TürkFanfiction.Net [41] multifandom, Turkish language Fanfiction, original fiction 2763 works 2016-09 2017-03
The Quidditch Pitch[42] Harry Potter Fanfiction 5579 works announced 2016-10 2017-05
Due South Archive [43] Due South Fanfiction announced 5440 works 2016-10 2017-06
Born For War [44] Multifandom Fanfiction 751 works announced 2017-01 in progress
Pretty Lights [45] Multifandom RPF Fanfiction 150 works announced 2017-03 in progress
Least Expected [46] J.R.R. Tolkien Fanfiction 900 works announced 2017-04 in progress
Death-Marked Love [47] Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fanfiction 300 works announced 2017-05 in progress
Daire's Fanfic Refuge [48] Highlander and others Fanfiction 300 works announced 2017-05 2017-08
HL Raven's Nest [49] Highlander: The Raven Fanfiction 150 works announced 2017-05 2017-08
Hammer to Fall [50] Blake's 7 Fanfiction 100 works announced 2017-06 in progress
Bang and Blame [51] Blake's 7 Meta Fanfiction 60 works announced 2017-06 in progress
Unknowable Room [52] Harry Potter Fanfiction, Fanart 2,700 stories (approx.);
380 fanart
announced 2017-07 in progress
The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive [53] Queer As Folk US Fanfiction 3,000 works announced 2017-07 2017-09
Fandom Haven Story Archive [54] Multifandom Fanfiction 2040 works announced 2017-08 in progress
The Alpha Gate [55] Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction 3,900 works announced 2017-09 in progress

Meta/Further Reading


  1. Our Doors are Now Opening, accessed February 28, 2012
  2. SSA Migration to AO3 update - Import Scheduled!, 26 February 2012. (Accessed 29 February 2012)
  3. SSA rescue coming!, accessed February 28, 2012
  4. On saving fannish libraries (or: why I'm psyched to see the SSA hosted at the AO3), accessed February 29, 2012
  5. OTHER GOOD THINGS (IMPORTANT SSA NOTE, accessed February 29, 2012
  6. comment from Vera, accessed February 29, 2012
  7. comment from Zellieh, accessed February 29, 2012
  8. Serious concern, accessed February 28, 2012
  9. comment from azarias, accessed February 29, 2012
  10. comment from ciaan, accessed February 29, 2012
  11. comment from tallihensia, accessed March 1, 2012
  12. AO3/SSA = OTP ♥, accessed March 5, 2012
  13. *happy tears*, accessed March 5, 2012
  14. AO3/SSA = OTP ♥
  15. 852 Prospect Moves In With the AO3
  16. German Speaking Slashers United is moving to the Archive of Our Own!
  17. Stargatefan has found a fully charged ZPM and is dialing up the ÅO3!
  18. Yuletide is Coming!
  19. Boys In Chains moves in with the AO3!
  20. Ink Stained Fingers is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 21 December 2014)
  21. The Henneth Annûn Story Archive is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 22 February 2015)
  22. The Archive is Coming to the AO3!. (Accessed 22 February 2015)
  23. Table for Three is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 28 February 2015)
  24. The Hermit Library is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 3 July 2015)
  25. The Seamus/Dean Forever Archive is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 28 November 2015)
  26. The Wolf and Hound Archive is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 28 November 2015)
  27. The Archive and the Innocent Lies Archive are Both Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 2 January 2016)
  28. The Archive and the Innocent Lies Archive are Both Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 2 January 2016)
  29. The Archive is Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 9 January 2016)
  30. The Prydonian and Human Nature are Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 24 January 2016)
  31. The Prydonian and Human Nature are Coming to the AO3. (Accessed 24 January 2016)
  32. Announcement on the offpanel homepage (Accessed March 2016)
  33. Dave & Ken's Diner is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 4 July 2016)
  34. Warp 5 Complex Is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 23 July 2016)
  35. HP Fandom and The Hex Files Are Coming to AO3! (Accessed 4 August 2016)
  36. HP Fandom and The Hex Files Are Coming to AO3! (Accessed 4 August 2016)
  37. Sinful Desire is coming to the Ao3 (Accessed 2 September 2016)
  38. The Basement, ScullySlash, and the Spooky Awards are Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 9 September 2016)
  39. The Basement, ScullySlash, and the Spooky Awards are Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 9 September 2016)
  40. The Basement, ScullySlash, and the Spooky Awards are Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 9 September 2016)
  41. is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 3 October 2016)
  42. Importing The Quidditch Pitch to the AO3 (Accessed 21 October 2016)
  43. Due South Archive is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 21 October 2016)
  44. Born For War is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 4 February 2017)
  45. Pretty Lights is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 4 March 2017)
  46. The Least Expected Archive is Coming to the AO3 (Accessed 10 April 2017)
  47. Death-Marked Love is Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 7 May 2017)
  48. Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest are coming to the AO3 (Accessed 22 May 2017)
  49. Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest are coming to the AO3 (Accessed 22 May 2017)
  50. Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame are Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 20 June 2017)
  51. Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame are Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 20 June 2017)
  52. Unknowable Room is Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 3 July 2017)
  53. The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive Is Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 18 July 2017)
  54. The Fandom Haven Story Archive is Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 14 August 2017)
  55. The Alpha Gate is Moving to the AO3 (Accessed 5 September 2017)