Hey, y’all!

As some of you may know, I’m a librarian and finishing my last semester before the Official Decree agrees with that statement (just working in a library, with the job title “librarian”, doing library things, is not good enough for Our Academic Overlords).  Anyway, for one of my final projects, I’m doing a digitization project focusing on Phantom of the Opera - specifically on fan-created works that have not previously been digitized and might not be otherwise, primarily focusing on fanzines and fan publications from back in the Days of Yore (the 80s and 90s, mostly).

Basically, I’m collecting old Phantom of the Opera fanzines and publicly-circulated works that were not digital-native (that is, they were intended to be distributed primarily in paper formats) and digitizing them to create digital versions that can be stored via computer and possibly shared online in the future.

Here are some important notes about this:

1) There are copyright issues involved and they are complicated and murky. The copyright status of things like independently published and publicly circulated fanworks is a massive mess, especially for a lot of ‘zines that were created by volunteer “presses” that no longer exist or contain works published under pseudonyms that can’t be traced, and the issue of digital versions of paper items having their own separate copyright is an ongoing legal and academic argument that probably isn’t getting resolved any time soon.  

This project is hoping to preserve these works so they won’t be lost to time, but it isn’t going to profit off of them, package them for resale, or anything like that.  I will be doing my utmost to contact old content creators for their input and to respect copyright claims and issues when it comes to whether or not to make digitized fanworks available to the community - if you are a fan creator who was involved in the ‘zine business back in the day, please feel free to contact me to talk about it and/or make requests.  If a work’s creator does not want it to be made available, it’ll be digitized for the project grade but not shared with anyone else.

2) There is no money involved. I cannot stress this enough.  Ain’t nobody paying us library students for this kind of stuff, I promise you.  Nobody’s going to be charging anything to anyone for any reason, except possibly me needing to pay for digital storage space and other project necessities (which is on me, don’t worry).  Exception: if you want to donate something and need help with shipping costs, reach out to me and I’ll see if I can help.

3) Once digitized, I do not yet know what the access status will be.  These will definitely not be a situation where the university’s parent library ends up owning things afterward; it’s a student project and they don’t get it unless I decide to give it to them, nor can they transfer or own any copyrights. I do want to make all this awesome stuff available to as many people as possible, because that’s what many of the ‘zines were for in the first place and I’m hoping to carry that forward with the power of library science.  Right now, I’m hoping to possibly get webhosting and provide the digitized works online for the community independently (although, as noted above, copyrights will be respected and not all works may be able to be made publicly available).

4) This has nothing to do with the Phantom Project. I know it is also a “Phantom project” and y’all are used to my side business being yelling at people about bad plotting, but I’m not going to be reviewing or judging any of this material.  This is about preserving fan history and creativity for the community as a whole (and also a grade, but mostly the first thing).  (Also seriously, have you seen how many things the Phantom Project still has in its queue? No thank you, I don’t need to add a whole new selection of periodicals at this time.)

Since some of y’all like to get in on this kind of thing, this post is an open call that if you have ‘zines or other old material you’d like to donate to this project, to hopefully become digitized and thus preserved for the universe, I would love to hear about it!  I know we have some hoary old fans from the dawn of fandom lurking around here who might have been around then and still have some relics tucked away.

There was just as much passion and interest in the Phantom story before the days of the internet boom as there is now, and as we professors of Phantomology know, it’s always awesome to be able to look back at history and see where we’ve come from.  If you want to get involved, you can message me, reblog, or send me an email through the Phantom Project site!

Hey all, its time for you to get out those typewriters, quill pens, and crayons (or whatever you create with) because Issue #6 of Two-Fisted Library Stories* is now accepting submissions!

What can you submit? Stories, comics, drawings, photographs, recipes, knitting patterns, phony letters, fake news items, bogus advertisements, made-up issue blurbs, and whatever else you can think of as long as it contains LIBRARY ACTION. Stories can be about librarians, library technicians, library cats, sentient libraries, etc. As long as your contribution is somewhat library focused and at least a little bit pulpy (mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.) it’s fine! (This TV tropes page on Two-Fisted Tales might help give you some direction.)

Plus, we need COVER ART! If you’re interested in drawing the cover, please get in touch!

Deadline for issue #6 is September 30th!

We’re aiming for a Halloween launch date for this issue, so if you have a scary, terrifying, or otherwise spooOOOOooooky idea, now’s the time to work on it!

Send your submissions, questions, and general accolades to twofistedlibrarians@gmail.com.

For more information on Two-Fisted Library Stories (including back issues), please visit the website.

*“Weren’t you called Two-Fisted Librarians?”

Yes, but we changed the name to be more inclusive of all library workers.