Fan History is a collaborative project like none other currently serving the fandom community. Its core function is as a wiki which allows members of fandom – men and women, young and old – to actively participate in documenting the history of their various fandoms, share current news which may impact their experiences, as well as creating an easily searchable web indice of related communities, projects, and activities. It gives members of fandom a chance to share current fandom news that may impact people’s experiences in fandom. Fan History users can also promote their own creative projects, and share opinions with fellow fans and alert them to scams and questionable practices encountered within fandom. By providing these resources, Fan History allows users to celebrate their activities, whichever corner of fandom they come from: anime, cartoons, comics, movies, politics, science fiction, sports, television, theater, and video games.

History and Future Plans

Fan History is an outgrowth of Writers University‘s history department. Writers University was founded back in 2000 on FanFiction.Net by Laura under the nome de pume Michela Ecks, moved off about six months later, spent several years at writersu.s5.com, on its own domain and otherwise in a state of flux. The site eventually folded, with some of content being moved to FanWorks.Org, a precursor to this wiki found on another site and in an unpublished fanzines. During this period, Laura‘s research into the history of fan fiction and fandom continued. Fan History on its old location was not inviting enough participation on the part of wider fandom, which was the reason for its move to MediaWiki on its own domain in May 2006. In March 2008, FanFictionNetBot was run in order to help Fan History meet the goal of becoming a fandom directory. In July 2008, Fan History became a limited liability corporation known as Fan History LLC.

We’re planning to continue our growth by adding more content, getting more people involved with the project and branching out to other languages.

Fan History is in the process of looking for capital to help facilitate our growth. If you are interested in a copy of our business plan, please contact Laura through LinkedIn or via e-mail at laura @ fanhistory.com. Seriously inquiries only please.


Fan History defines fandom as as a community of fans whose activities involves some one else’s intellectual property or real people. In broad terms, these communities are based off anime, actors/celebrities, books, cartoons, comics, movies, musicians, politicians, sports, and video games. It doesn’t include fans of business or products you can touch because the communities aren’t organized similarly or culturally related to most traditionally accepted fandom activity.

Fan History’s original objectives in writing of fandom history were to increase interest and to provide a more comprehensive secondary source for academics writing on the topic to turn to. Since that time, the mission, while still including those goals, has changed to include:

  • Provide members of fandom a resource to find links to communities in fandom, and explain parts of the culture in those communities to help them adapt to them.
  • Provide a comprehensive directory for fandom that anyone can edit. This is necessary because of increased fragmentation in a web 2.0 world, and as members of fandom transition away from various services because of downtime, problems with policy, etc. It is also necessary because a lot of time in fandom trying to track down authors and artists who disappeared and in trying to locate fanworks that have disappeared.
  • Provide companies that deal with fandom a source to locate fandom communities, understand how fandom functions, identify current issues in certain fandoms, give examples of how certain issues were dealt with, etc. By knowing that information, they can better interact with and cater to fandom’s specific needs.

The Founder

Fan History was founded by Laura Hale.  Laura has an MSEd in Instructional technology from Northern Illinois University.  She has worked in school libraries and computer from 2001 to 2005.  In 2006, she taught high school English at Tinian Jr Sr high School in the Northern Marianas Islands.  In 2007, she took her knowledge of on-line communities and started doing consulting work.

She has been in fandom since 1994 or so. She started with Star Trek: The Next Generation and moved on to Sailor Moon and then Babylon 5 and X-Files. After that, it was Star Trek: Voyager, a brief fandom hiatus, which was followed by involvement in the CSI fandom. She has also been involved in fandom, running a mailing list, being on staff at FanFiction.Net, founding FanDomination.Net, advising other fansites like FanWorks.Org, and doing work towards her MSEd on fan fiction. She has been a fan fiction history junkie since she started Writers University on FanFiction.Net. When Writers University left FanFiction.Net, it moved to a free server, and then to its own domain. The information was then put together on a wiki on schtuff, before moving to its current location, in its current format, in May 2006.  Since that move Fan History has been her primary involvement in fandom.

Laura’s Writings


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This page was last updated on August 19, 2008.

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