This collection contains fanzines and individual examples of fan fiction relating to the British crime drama The Professionals. Most of the collection is composed of fan fiction - short stories, novellas and entire novels. A large percentage of this fan fiction is "slash", that is, fiction that concentrates on sexual relationships between two or more characters of the same sex.
Series I in this collection is comprised of materials from The Professionals Circuit Library. The Circuit Library (also known as the Circuit Archive) is a singular form of fannish creative association, that for The Professionals fans actually predates the creation of more typical zines. In a standard fanzine distribution, a fan or group of fans will write, edit and publish a fanzine, and the publication will be printed and made available for sale. With The Professionals fandom, things began much more informally. Fans would place their stories 'on the circuit'. That is, they would write their stories and then produce photocopies; the copies would then be circulated among one another via standard mail. In time, certain fans began collecting copies together into 'circuit libraries'. Interested fans could become members of these informal lending libraries, and would receive titles on request, which they could read and /or photocopy and then return to the library. Although, in time, The Professionals fans began producing zines in the same ways that other fans did, much of the fanfiction remained (and remains) on the circuit.
By the late 1980s, two large circuit libraries were in place: one in Great Britain, and another in the United States. They enjoyed considerable overlap in their contents, but because of geographical distance and the informality of circuit distribution did not duplicate each other. In the early 1990s, as zines started entering the electronic era, fans began working to convert the vast number of paper stories into an electronic format that would encourage and increase access (as well as help preserve the much-used paper originals). In 1996, the Circuit Library went online and continues to periodically increase its contents with new stories. The Circuit Library, sprung from humble beginnings, now holds more than 1000 individual stories, which form the backbone of The Professionals creative fandom.
To quote Morgan Dawn, the donor of the collection, "the circuit library in the Professionals fandom is a unique tradition of women writing and sharing fan fiction (often anonymously) without going through the editorial and fanzine publication process. In many ways, it is the precursor to the fan fiction on the Internet where people would read a story, photo-copy it and send it on to someone else, and then write a response story, copy that and mail it on in an endless flow...and because The Professionals was a UK show, you have the unique situation where this communication was crossing both cultural and geographic barriers."
Learn more about the Circuit Library (Circuit Archive) and its contents at http://fanlore.org/wiki/Circuit.
*Note: The materials in Series I are maintained in the same assemblage and order in which Morgan Dawn kept them. Stories from a particular author (or group of authors) or those comprising a particular series were collected in binders by Dawn; each binder was given an informal title which has been retained here. Individual stories for each binder (now each folder) are listed in italics under the general title of each story collection. Other stories, not tied to a particular collection, were individually bound (now individually foldered).
In addition, Series I contains several paper indexes to the various Circuit Library stories. There are also two CD-ROMs on which are stored (arranged in various fashions - i.e. alphabetically by title, author, genre, etc.) electronic versions of the CL's contents. The "Slash Fanfiction Archive 2010", in addition, contains a large variety of supplemental The Professionals reference documents, including episode transcripts, scripts, lists of episode titles and writers, fan-authored articles on the show, and scanned photographs and sound files.
Series II consists of more typical fanzines, although many are photocopies of the originals (suggesting that at least some of them existed originally on the circuit). A few are multimedia anthologies, containing stories that chronicle other media universes as well as The Professionals.