Fan binding as a method of fan work preservation


  • Kimberly Kennedy Stony Brook University



Archives, Bookbinding, Online communities, Preservation


Efforts in fan work preservation have increased in recent years, both from fan collaboration with institutional archival collections and through fan-run digital archives. Physical archival projects aimed at fan works generally limit their scope to fanzines from the mid- to late 1900s and fandom memorabilia like fan convention programs. Digital preservation in online archives allows for more comprehensive preservation of fan fiction, but fandom's history of content loss online as a result of takedowns, shutdowns, and regulation exemplifies the risks of letting fan fiction exist solely online. Fan binding, the practice of transforming fan fiction into physical books, offers another possible method of preserving fan fiction in the long term. Renegade Bindery, a community of fan binders on the online messaging platform Discord, provides a way to study how these bound fan fictions could fit into the current framework of fan work preservation efforts. Analysis of Renegade Bindery provides insight into fan binder practices and motivations, and permits theorization of how the practice of fan binding could contribute to broader efforts to preserve fan works and fandom culture.