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Morgan Dawn Fanzines and Fanvids Collection

Identifier: MsC0403

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of numerous science fiction and other media fanzines collected by longtime fan writer, editor and vidder Morgan Dawn. The fanzines and fanvids in the collection describe a number of different media fandoms.

Most of the items are pieces of fan fiction. Fan fiction is defined as stories, novellas, novels, or poems written by fans about the characters, situations or general universe of the original work. Much of the fan fiction is of the "slash" variety. "Slash" refers to fan fiction that is sexually explicit, and same-sex in nature. In slash sex and sexuality are often the centers of the story, rather than the more conventional adventures featured in more traditional fan fiction.

The collection also contains some additional fan-related items, including some original cover art, materials from fan conventions, and other items of fan interest.

Note: Several of the zines in this collection are defined as "custom zines". These are special zines consisting of stories and artwork that Dawn or other fans assembled/edited into a print publication for specific purposes (i.e. as personal gifts or as loans for fans to read during conventions). In many cases, the contents of these zines may no longer exist online, making the custom zines the only remaining source of the stories and art contained therein. The custom zines in this collection are identified by the code 'CZ'.

While the majority of the items in this collection are items that Dawn actively sought out and acquired, many were deposited with her by other fans. Dawn pays tribute to these fans by commenting "I owe my collection to the many women who were happy to have me hold their zines and fan fiction until I could find them a forever home."

Unique to this collection is the Media Fan Oral History Project. This ongoing project began with interviews conducted at the Escapade convention in February of 2012, first donated as part of the Spring 2014 Addendum. Interviews are available at the Iowa Digital Library.


  • Creation: 1964-2014


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. This collection is stored at an off-site location, please allow two-three business days for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

A Note on Vidding:

The Morgan Dawn Collection is marked particularly by the presence of a large number of DVD-based fanvids, reflecting Dawn's own interest in vidding. Vidding is defined as weaving together footage and clips from TV shows, movies, or other media into a new visual and aural whole. A fanvid is generally set to music or another type of audio, so the final production looks much like a traditional music video. The first fanvids were created in 1975 by fan Kandy Fong and shown at Star Trek conventions - they consisted of film clips shown on a slide projector, synced to music from a cassette player. The rise of VCRs in the late 1970s/early 1980s allowed vidders to start creating more dynamic vids, which could then be distributed among multiple conventions and multiple fans. The development of digital media and video editing software has further expanded the potential development range of fanvids, as well as making them easier to create.

Fanvids are particularly interesting creative constructions. They use a variety of media clips from one or multiple fandoms that, when placed with an emotionally or thematically appropriate song, allow for many different interpretations of the original 'text'. A fanvid might explore the development of a particular character or theme of a movie or TV show; celebrate, satirize or mock a character, plot, or an entire fandom; highlight the various roles of a particular actor; or bring to light a particular aspect of a fandom in which the vidder is interested or feels has been neglected. Fanvids that use clips from two or more fandoms highlight similarities and differences between characters and themes from different media universes. Fanvids should not necessarily be considered mere tributes or random assortments of clips, but, as vidder and fan scholar Francesca Coppa says, "(are) primarily trying to make an argument about the source text." Vidders use fanvids as analytic devices to explore more deeply (and often, more emotionally) the media productions that touch and move them.

Vidding has become increasingly popular among fans, to the point where there now exist media conventions devoted solely to vidding. Fans of vidding often do not tie themselves to any particular content, but are interested more generally in vidding as its own art form.

The practice of vidding has been and remains legally controversial, due to the use of copyrighted songs as well as film and TV clips. Vidders and other fans argue, in response to claims of copyright violation, that fanvids by their nonprofit nature constitute a practice of fair use. The controversy is ongoing, and has resulted in many vidders wishing to restrict their products to small audiences and forums.

The vids in the Morgan Dawn Collection are all stored on DVDs. Some DVDs constitute the work of a single vidder, while the contents of others are comprised of fanvids shown at various media conventions.


44.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection of fanzines and fanvids (fan-created montages of video clips from assorted media fandoms set to music) relating to numerous media fandoms, assembled by long-time fan writer and vidder Dawn.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Morgan Dawn, through the cooperation of the Organization for Transformative Works, in September-October 2010. It was processed in November-December 2010. It is added to continuously.

Related Materials

DAWN, MORGAN. Morgan Dawn The Professionals Circuit Library and Fanzine Collection, 1982-2010. 7.5 ft. Collection of fanzines and items of fan fiction relating to the British crime drama The Professionals, including the print and digital contents of the fan-assembled 'Circuit Library'. MsC0439.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)