Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection

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Name: Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection located at the Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library & Archives
Date(s): November 2013[1]present
Profit/Nonprofit: non-profit
Country based in: USA
Focus: multifandom, fanzines
External Links: Sandy Hereld Memorial Collection
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Morgan Dawn's Fujitsu Scansnap s1500 on the day it retired from service, Feb 5, 2023. The scanner had been in continuous use on the Sandy Hereld project since 2010.

The Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection is a digital collection of scanned printed media fanzines, the first of its kind. It has been named after slash fan Sandy Hereld with her partner Brie’s and her friend Rachael Sabotini’s permissions. The project is ongoing and is actively accepting submissions and contributions from fans.

The collection is stored at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and was launched in November 2013 with over 500 digitized fanzines. The collection includes all types of fanzines, from fan fiction novels and anthologies, to newsletters, clubzines and letterzines. All genres are represented: gen, het, and slash along with multiple fandoms covering many, many fandoms. More than 200 fanzine publishers, writers, and artists participated in the launch. In 2014, an additional 1000 scans were added to this collection.

In August 2015, the collection began offering a limited selection of items to the public after obtaining additional publisher, author and artist permissions.[2]

Morgan Dawn's Scansnap s1500 scanner, showing its wear and tear after 13 years of scanning. Over 700,000 pages of fanzines, newsletters, letterzines, and songvid playlists were scanned as part of the project.

The collection includes scanning contributions from fans across almost every time zone in the US, UK, Scotland, Europe, and Australia. Dozens of other fans have pooled their fanzine collections together to create a virtual library of over 13,000 hard copy fanzines available to be loaned for future scanning. [note 1]

Funding for the project came from the participants themselves who provided their own scanning equipment, fanzine binding machines, and postage for the mailing of loaned fanzines. Temporary server storage space for the scans was donated by Walter from and the fandom side of the project (communications, logistics, organization) was coordinated by Morgan Dawn.

Naming the Collection

[Martha Wells]
Sandy Hereld, for which the collection is named after, is a living, digital tribute to a popular and prolific fan writer in the 1990s and early 2000s — who was also one of slash fandom’s most visible fans. Hereld lost her battle with cancer in 2011, but her legacy of work continues to touch lives and inspire fans. She was the founder of Virgule-L, the first Internet slash mailing list, began hosting numerous other mailing lists and fan sites, and helped create the annual “Vid Review” panel at the Escapade convention, which is the longest-running slash fan convention and became the model for serious conversations about vidding as an art form.[1]


1. What is the Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Media Fanzine Collection and how are the materials collected and stored? The repository is located at The Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University and is part of their existing Library Collections. It consists of scans of print fanzines containing fan fiction written about modern media (TV or movies) along with newsletters published by fans of modern media. The PDFs are scans of the fanzines as they were originally published. Scans will be in Adobe PDF formats and the content will not be edited. This means that some zines may have wear and tear on them as many of them are over 30 years old and have been handled by many readers. The zine scans were donated by fans who scanned zines from their own or their friends’ collections. A few more recent online e-zines have also been included to showcase the migration of fanzines from print to online formats.

2. What about copyrights? Media based fan fiction has a long and rich tradition having existed in print, and now online format, for over 40 years. Literary fan fiction has existed even longer. The majority of fan fiction qualifies as transformative works which are protected in the United States under the fair use doctrine (For more information about transformative fanworks, see the Organization for Transformative Works). As for the rights to the fanzines themselves, there are many submission paths. Fanzines that are submitted with publisher permission are submitted with the understanding that the authors and artists can contact the repository to request that their fanworks be removed (see #6 below). Authors and artists or their heirs can give their permission. Some older US fanzines were published without the required copyright notices for that time. Many of the recent e-zines have been published under Creative Commons licenses or have been offered freely to the public for downloading without restrictions. In a few instances, material will be included after consulting archival best practices.

3. Who will have access to the fanzines? At this time (2019), access to the majority of fanzine scans is limited to Texas A&M university faculty, staff or students (or those possessing a university-issued NET ID) along with on-site library visitors.[note 2] By restricting access for preservation, research and educational purposes, the university can collect a broader range of fan materials. Starting in August 2015, the university began offering greater access to a limited selection of zines after obtaining additional permissions from the publishers, authors and artists contributing to the selected zines. Over time, the hope is to be able to offer additional online access as TAMU's ultimate goal is to provide the broadest level of access possible. Texas A&M University is a state institution, whose library collections are public, non-profit resources for research, education and historical preservation. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection is a major collecting area at Cushing Library, and the collection is one of the largest in the nation. In addition to the Hereld Memorial Collection, they possess varied materials such as the papers of George R.R. Martin (author of ‘’A Song of Ice and Fire’’), Michael Moorcock, Elizabeth Moon and other authors, as well as many thousands of pulp magazines, other periodicals and monographs.

4. Why are they doing this at all? Fanzines are fascinating examples of popular culture and the ways in which people engage with media. There is a growing interest in preserving these materials and making them accessible to current fans (many of whom have never seen a paper fanzine), future fans and researchers. Digitizing the items will add a new level of access and preservation beyond that obtained from retaining the paper versions. (Also, some of the materials now exist only in digital format, with a limited online life, making their preservation even more important.) Digitization will also enable sight impaired readers to gain greater access to print media fandom history.

5. How will they protect my anonymity, if I so desire it? The names of authors contributing to anthologies will not be listed in the online finding aid. The descriptive information for fanzine novels in the online finding aid will include only the author’s name as given in the original publication itself. If this is an alias, the author’s real identity will not be revealed. If the novel was published under the author’s real name, they can contact the repository and request that the novel be removed. And finally, the names of contributors to slash fanzines have been abbreviated for increased privacy. Currently, fanzines are cataloged in a variety ways in special collections around the world. Most catalogs list the full author and publisher name, as they would any other publication and offer no abbreviations for either gen and slash contributors.

6. What if my material is contained in someone else’s work? They may give permission whereas I may not. What happens then? Access can be restricted for a particular image or PDF file, meaning that TAMU can provide access to the anthology or other work as a whole, while preventing your own work from being seen.

7. What about adult material (slash fanzines, explicit art)? Adult material and explicit art (both slash and het) will be clearly marked.

8. Who was Sandy Hereld and why was the repository named after her? Sandy Hereld was a slash media fan who entered fandom during the period when print fanzines were still the main method of sharing fan fiction. Like many of her peers, she embraced the new Internet medium, helping found one of the earliest slash mailing lists, Virgule-L. A keen lover of fandom history, she searched for a home for her aging print fanzines and, in 2008, donated them to the University of Iowa, paving the way for many other fans to make similar donations. After she died in 2011 from breast cancer, her friends and family decided to honor her passion for fandom, fanzines and fandom history by establishing the Sandy Hereld Memorial Digitized Fanzine Collection at Texas A&M University. As one friend put it: “Where’s the party? WHEREVER SNADY IS RIGHT NOW.”[note 3]

9. Is this an OTW project? No, this is an independent project that is being run by Texas A&M University. Support for the project, in terms of permissions, donations of time and fanzine scans, and coordination is coming from volunteers of the media fandom community, many of whom have been in fandom for over 40 years.

Participants' Thoughts

These are comments from the participants who gave permission for the initial phase (the closed collection). All of the comments are quoted here on Fanlore with permission:

[Maggie Nowakowska]
There is a deep lack of visibility between print and online fandom. A chasm of disinterest exists even between fans who ‘’do’’ know that the other group exists. One reason is the Internet -- print just can’t keep up with instant communication and gets left behind; another is our broad cultural impatience with history. More important are the very real conflicts that develop between first generation fans of a popular idea (say, the Apostles), and subsequent generation(s) whose perceptions of what everyone is really being fannish about are often quite different[3] (say, St. Paul, who never knew Jesus or read the as-of-yet unwritten gospels, or the men who turned epistles and oral history into the New Testament). Preserving fannish continuity isn’t going to change the tendency of a history to morph over the long term, but providing artifacts – the printed zines, art, and commentary – will keep the possibility of future research alive. (Sort of a Dead Scrolls repository.)
[Jean Graham]
All the best with the project. Sounds like a great idea: I'm glad these older zines can be preserved. They are indeed in danger of disintegrating. Some of my oldest are in extremely fragile condition!
[Randall Landers, Orion Press]
Glad to hear someone’s out there trying to preserve the old zines.
[Bruce O’Brien]
And G'day from Downunder. We have no problems with your accessing and using our 'zine in this fashion. Only too happy to be of service to some value to any other ST or sci fi fans out there.
[Wendy Rathbone/Natasha Solten]
I think getting publisher permission with a writer/artist opt out to be deleted from scans later is the way to go simply because you will probably never be able to contact everyone and to contact people even still active in fandom will take so much time…. I still sell copies of my published fanzines to this day and I don't contact every author every time I get an order to make sure it is still ok. Nor do people loaning zines to friends or selling collections on Ebay contact any of those original people. I don't see a huge difference between fans collecting zines and a private library collecting them. So contacting all authors and artists seems almost negligible.
[Julie Bozza]
Thank you again for all you're doing. It's really great to know that the zines - mine and others - will live on! In some ways I miss those days, though there's no denying there are such great opportunities these days.
[Clare Bell]
I would be very pleased to give you permission to include my fanfiction and fanart in the repository, and I thank you for being part of a fanzine preservation project. Writing Star Trek fanfic and getting feedback taught me to write and gave me the courage to do so. Being a Trek fan was a large part of my life and I'm very grateful for the experience. Because of that, I allow and encourage readers of the Ratha series and my other novels to create fanfiction and fanart.
[Jacqui Armitrage]
I think the whole project is a great idea and very exciting!
[Carolyn Golledge]
Glad there are people such as your good self, who are willing to undertake an important and massive job.
[Dyane Kirkland]
Best of luck with the project. I think it's a great idea to keep the fan work alive for the future.
[Judi Hendricks]
Ahhh, every single typo preserved for posterity! Zines produced in the Dark Ages; before Microsoft; before Apple, even! Zines produced BEFORE THE ADVENT OF SPELLCHECK! On TYPEWRITERS! With RIBBONS!!! And printed on MIMEOGRAPH MACHINES!!! (Oh, Mama, say it ain't so! How did people LIVE in those days???)
[Jane Carnall]
What a wonderful idea! ….Thank you very much for your work preserving fanfiction for historians of the future!
[Morgan Dawn]
One of the reasons I found myself pulled into the project is that I had been running into more and more fans who were scanning their zine collections, but many had no idea what to do with the scans. We also started seeing scanned zines appearing online (usually posted by non-fans). Setting up a repository where these scans could be donated not only channeled some of that enthusiasm, it also created a responsible way for the zines to be preserved. And finding a university that had experience with media fandom and people familiar with media fandom culture provided the final spark. As an added bonus, I got to meet many awesome zine publishers, writers and artists, some I had only heard about in awed whispers. My funniest moment was when I phoned one fanzine publisher who said: “Well it’s about time someone called me. I’ve been waiting for thirty years for someone to do this.” And my most moving moments were when I spoke to the sons and daughters of fans who had passed and who were touched that not only did someone remember their mothers but that that their mothers ‘’would’’ be remembered.
[Kimberly FDR]
I would be honored to have my zine included in this project.

Other Reactions: Fans

These are comments posted in 2015 when part of the collection became available online with the creators' permission:

Wow, Sandy would be so happy to see this. This is fantastic. ♥[4]
This is amazing. Sandy would be over the moon. I remember boxing so many of these things up to send off, and there are so many more items than are mentioned in this post. I am so happy her legacy continues in these collections.

#sandy #i miss her like crazy[5]

This is fantastic. And what a great memorial to Sandy. ~ clanwilliam [6]

This is really great news :) The link includes an overview of what zines are and various terminology. ~ bluemeridian [7]

OK the archivist in me is all “woah, awesome” over this.

The fan in me is beyond thrilled. A lot of people, including fans themselves, don’t understand the history of fandom on the internet very well and now there’s a resource to point people to and say “Go, look at this, this is our history, it’s longer and more complex than you know and this is not just some silly phase teen girls go through (it can be but doesn’t have to be) this is a community, with history and traditions and stories. Go learn it, embrace it. ~ drst [8]

This is amazing. Sandy would be over the moon. I remember boxing so many of these things up to send off, and there are so many more items than are mentioned in this post. I am so happy her legacy continues in these collections. ~ dsudis [9]

I have seen some photos of articles in the collection and I am so happy they are becoming available! Also I applaud the library for respecting the author’s rights and only making the works available after permission has been obtained!

I look forward to diving in and seeing these works of fandom past!

This is our history! This is our foresisters/brothers legacy! This is the roots of fandom and the people who carved the place we now live in and take for granted! bravo! [10]

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! This is amazing.

Also, this lady had the Sandy’s ‘Slash Without Consent’ link page, which I spent a huge amount of time in back years and years and years ago when I first found the internet.

Though, I did read she had passed away, which was very sad.

But, still, this is certainly a wonderful achievement and memorial of sorts. ~ palebluebell [11]

Further Reading


  1. ^
    [Morgan Dawn]
    10,000 of these fanzines are in the home of a single fan who has amassed the largest Star Trek fanzine collection in the world.
    – personal notes, accessed June 11, 2019.
  2. ^ While the general public can register to create an online library account, access to the collection is not included in that free account and they will not be able to view the zines online unless those zines were released to public view by the publishers or if they are in the public domain.
  3. ^
    [Morgan Dawn]
    The typo in the name is a long running joke. Sandy's typing was so poor she routinely misspelled her own name. Her friends took it up in solidarity.
    – personal notes, accessed August 9. 2017.


  1. ^ a b marthawells (2015-08-28). "Cushing Library Releases Digitized Media Fanzine... - Martha Wells". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07.
  2. ^ "Cushing Library Releases Digitized Media Fanzine Collection". 2015-08-11. Archived from the original on 2015-08-17.
  3. ^ Camille Bacon-Smith, Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth, University of Pennsylvania Press, December 1, 1991, pp.25-26.
  4. ^ aka-arduinna (2015-08-28). "Wow, Sandy would be so happy to see this. This is fantastic". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05.
  5. ^ teatotally (2015-08-28). "This is amazing. Sandy would be over the moon. I remember boxing so many of …". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
  6. ^
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  10. ^ ~ nannaluna
  11. ^