The OTW’s central mission is to preserve and promote fanworks and fannish histories of all sorts. At a time when other platforms are restricting and hiding user-generated content, this mission is more important than ever. We keep this mission alive through the work of our strong volunteer force and the support of your generous donations.
How does the OTW work to preserve fanworks and fannish histories? Here are a few examples:
Our Open Doors project is dedicated to preserving at-risk fannish content. Through the Online Archive Rescue Project, digital archives are imported and their content hosted at the Archive of Our Own. In 2018, Open Doors completed the import of 11 archives. For non-digital fanworks, there’s the Fan Culture Preservation Project, a joint venture between the OTW and the Special Collections department at the University of Iowa, which preserves fanzines, fan art, and other physical documents.
Fanlore is a fandom wiki dedicated to documenting all aspects of fannish history. All its content is created by a variety of fans from around the world. Documenting things on Fanlore—whether fan communities, fannish discussions, individual fanworks, or anything else—ensures that they will be remembered, even if the originals are lost.
The OTW’s Legal Advocacy project helps protect fanworks from commercial exploitation. Our Legal team helps obtain Fair Use exemptions from copyright laws for fanworks, allowing fans to create and share content without it being monetized or taken down by corporations. They submit policy comments and letters to governments around the world, advocating for fans and fanworks during the creation of laws. They also create educational materials about developments in fandom-related law, such as last year’s news post explaining how changes to Tumblr’s Terms of Service affect fanworks.
Without your support, none of this would be possible. As our recent budget post shows, our projects require funding for things like servers, software, and legal fees. Please donate today to help us continue our work.