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Fanlore : The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
morgandawn
morgandawn
Fanlore : The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts
Volunteering on Fanlore has been mind expanding. One of the features Fanlore offers is a general mailbox - the Gardeners mailing list. Email goes to a group of volunteers. No one is assigned to respond to messages, it is "respond as you may." Issues that require the Wiki Committee's input get forwarded to them (Committee members are also on the mailing list which helps speeds things up).

Because Fanlore is open to the public, we often get offbeat inquiries ("I have a copy of X zine. Where can I sell it?" or "I want a copy of X zine where can I buy it?" and "I read this story once - it involved a man and a dog. I think there may have been a parrot with one eye. Can you help me find it?).

Other questions are more on target: pointing out incorrect facts or offering to add images, art or new information. We also get emails from old fans who have found themselves on Fanlore and are thrilled someone is documenting fandom history (although we often hear: "OMG I can't believe anyone would still be interested in what I wrote when I was in my 20s. Ack!" But thank you. Did I mention Ack?!)

In one case, we were contacted by a fanzine writer who noted that her Fanlore page said her well loved novel had never appeared online - and "did we know anyone who could help with that"? (We did..or rather I did, and with the help of  fans like Jan Levine One Way Mirror is now available online and as a PDF with the art here)

Then there was the president of one of the early Star Trek fan clubs who had kept all the club records and flyers and zines in a filing cabinet for 30+ years. He wanted to know if anyone would be interested in the material - and we were able to direct him to Open Doors which helps fans find permanent homes for their zines an other fandom memorabilia.

But on occasions we get messages of a more personal nature, friends looking for lost friends. This week, a former cast member of a TV show who is seriously ill wrote to Fanlore hoping to reconnect with two friends. We of course had no information, but I was able to find a fandom mailing list and I forwarded his message to them. So far no one on the mailing list has responded to his request for help, but he sent me a lovely thank you email.

You never know what will pop up next. Fanlore is not just about documenting history - it is about helping make new connections and new history. And it is often the first point of contact for many of the older fans who are reaching out to the newer fandom communities and the various OTW (and non-OTW) fandom projects.

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