852 Prospect – AO3 Supports our Sentinel*

The OTW is delighted to welcome 852 Prospect — the Sentinel Adult Fiction Archive — to its new home within the Archive of Our Own. The Archivists of 852 Prospect (most recently alicettlg) have worked hard in conjunction with ADT and Open Doors to make this move a reality.

There’s some special history associated with this move. 852 Prospect was the first automated fiction archive on the web. Back in 1997, astolat wrote the first version of the Automated Archive software for 852 Prospect, which made it possible for authors to post their stories simultaneously to a mailing list and to an archive, and which also made it possible for archivists to maintain fic archives without hand-coding every post. The automated archive software is now old and creaky and no longer maintained; we’re delighted to be able to offer 852 Prospect a new home as an integrated collection within the AO3.

Our coders have set up a redirect from the original domain to the stories’ new URLs, to help preserve the validity of old links, rec lists, bookmarks, etc. Because the redirects will be set up to go to the version of each work imported with 852 Prospect, if you have a duplicate on the Archive which has comments / kudos you want to keep, we suggest you keep both versions for now (if you delete the one imported with 852 Prospect, then the redirect will break). Down the line, we’re planning to implement a way of merging two copies of the same work, so you’ll be able to keep the redirects and the comments and kudos.

If you don’t care to keep the comments/kudos of both works, you can ask Open Doors to reset the redirect to point toward the pre-existing copy on AO3, and then delete the imported copy. To do so, please contact Open Doors with your AO3 account name, your account name on 852 Prospect, and links to both the 852 Prospect URL, and the AO3 URL of the fanwork designated for the redirect.

Most of the newly imported works are not yet visible to people who aren’t logged in with an AO3 account. If you’re looking for The Sentinel fic on AO3 that was newly imported as part of 852 Prospect, please search for it while logged into AO3. You can also request an AO3 account by contacting Open Doors or using this page.

If you’re the author of newly imported stories, you can use the ‘edit works’ function to set them all to ‘unrestricted’ at once (if you wish) after you’ve claimed them. For help editing your works, please contact Support. For more information about what happens with imported works, click here for Open Doors’ tutorial on automated imports, or here to contact Open Doors. Please note: If you choose to orphan your works, you will want to check them over first and edit out any remaining identifying data.

And if you want to post new stories to the 852 Prospect collection, you are welcome to do so! The collection will remain open to new entries, but will be moderated according to 852 Prospect’s guidelines.

Several of the OTW founders are Sentinel fans, and many org volunteers count The Sentinel among their beloved fandoms. We’re thrilled to be able to continue preserving and protecting fanworks which are otherwise at risk of disappearing from the internet, and we’re doubly thrilled to be rescuing an archive to which many of us have a longstanding personal connection! Hooray for Jim and Blair, Carolyn, Simon and Rafe and Henri, Megan, Naomi, and the whole city of Cascade finding a safe new home.

*Support Our Sentinel was a 1997 effort by fans to keep the show on the air when it was facing cancellation. The effort succeeded, garnering fans an 8-episode season four which brought fan favorite Blair Sandburg back to life!

Mirrored from an original post on AO3 News.

Announcement, Open Doors
  1. Vera commented:

    I’m so happy about this. The 852 Prospect crash was a formative fan experience and, along with the loss of the Sports Night archive some years later, a big reason for my support of OTW. Congratulations.

    • FishieMishie, Open Doors commented:

      Thank you so much, Vera!

      Open Doors