The Archive of Our Own (AO3) is a noncommercial and nonprofit central hosting site for transformative fanworks such as fanfiction, fanart, fan videos and podfic. The Archive is a wholly fan-created and fan-run space, where fannish creativity can benefit from the OTW’s advocacy in articulating the case for its legality and social value.
The Archive entered open beta in November 2009 and reached 1 million uploaded fanworks in February 2014. In December 2015 the Archive passed 2 million uploaded fanworks, and in 2016 it is used by over 900,000 registered users, and has fanworks in over 22,000 fandoms.
The Archive was entirely built and designed by volunteers from fandom. Many of our volunteers acquired skills in coding, design and documentation through their work on the project. The Archive’s open-source software is currently hosted at GitHub. The Archive’s servers are funded entirely by donations to the OTW. Users do not pay and there are no advertisements on the site.
Some of the Archive’s notable features include:
- one-click downloads of fanworks in multiple formats (ePub, HTML, Mobi, PDF)
- freeform tagging system which allows fanwork creators to define their own tags for classification
- commenting, kudos and bookmarking systems
- options for users to view fanworks chapter-by-chapter or in their entirety, and to link fanworks in a series
- hosting of fanwork collections and challenges
- importing of fanworks previously posted elsewhere