Unknowable Room is Moving to the AO3

Unknowable Room, a Harry Potter fanfiction and fan art archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The Unknowable Room was a Harry Potter archive for fics and fanart focused primarily on Marauder-era works and Lily/James as a primary pairing. The site, founded in 2005 following one of fanfiction.net’s content purges, also hosted a forum, a Harry Potter wiki, and fic challenges.

Activity has now slowed since the site’s early years, and the technical difficulties of maintaining a custom-coded archive have taken their toll. Unknowable Room moderators afterthree, ChristyCorr, Eos, Missers and Oxymora are grateful and excited to be working with Open Doors to import the site’s fanworks to AO3!

Open Doors will be working with the current archivists to import Unknowable Room into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fanart currently in the Unknowable Room will be hosted on the OTW’s servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Unknowable Room to the AO3 after July.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Unknowable Room?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We’ll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Open Doors will then set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Unknowable Room pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You’d like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. you have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Unknowable Room account, please contact Open Doors and we’ll help you out. (If you’ve posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they’re yours, that’s great; if not, we will work with the Unknowable Room mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions…

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We’d also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Unknowable Room on Fanlore. If you’re new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We’re excited to be able to help preserve Unknowable Room!

– The Open Doors team and afterthree, ChristyCorr, Eos, Missers and Oxymora

Open Doors

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