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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

HASA Story Rescue Project

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

HASA Story Rescue Project

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[X-posted from silwritersguild. Apologies to those getting it twice, but this is important.]

As you've probably heard by now, HASA will be closing at the end of 2014. My quick count showed that to be just under 6,300 publicly available stories. Since the site is twelve years old, a lot of those authors aren't active anymore and might not get the notice to save their stories, even if they wanted to. Some of those stories are archived nowhere else but HASA. In some instances, it is a fair assumption that their authors may not even have a copy anymore. When HASA closes, we risk a significant loss of both stories and Tolkien fandom history.

HASA Story Rescue Project


The SWG mods along with the moderators of the Tolkienfic archives Many Paths to Tread and Faerie have been working together to identify those HASA stories at greatest risk of being lost, save them, and contact the authors for permission to "rehouse" them on another Tolkien archive.

The mods of the three sites (and a few volunteers who made the mistake of telling me privately that they'd like to help! :) have made a good start on the first phase of this project. However, 6,300 stories is a lot of stories to sift through in just three months, so we could use more help with this. Here is what the current phase of the project involves:

  • Volunteers claim a group of stories to work on. You begin by searching the story and author to see if it is archived elsewhere on the Web. If it is, you record the story information, as well as links to the sites where it can be found.

  • If the story cannot be found elsewhere, you record the story's information (summary, characters, etc.) and make a copy of the story or the story's HTML so that it will be possible to archive the story elsewhere, even if we hear back from the author after HASA closes.

  • All of this material will be shared among all of the volunteers, either on Google Docs or Dropbox. (We will be maintaining shared folders on both.)


It is not difficult work but it is time-consuming, so anyone who is available to help with even a little bit of it will be very much appreciated! :) Please comment here with your email address if you are interested in helping, and I will send you more information to get started. (Comments are screened, and I will not unscreen any comment that contains contact information.) Please also feel free to ask questions here, if you have them. You can also email us at moderator@silmarillionwritersguild.org to be added to the project or with questions.

We have contacted the HASA admins about what we are working on, so they are aware of it and okay with it. They have also contacted the Organization for Transformative Work's Open Doors project but haven't heard back yet and weren't yet committed to that as a solution, even once they do hear back. If they end up going with Open Doors, then we can stop our preservation work, but since three months is not a lot of time for the volume that needs saving, then it is best to start with the expectation that, if we want stories to be saved from HASA, then we will have to do it ourselves.

Other Ways to Help


Please spread the word about HASA closing. The initial announcement went out on the HASA_News Yahoo! group, which has only 47 members; as I and other HASA members can attest, no direct contact has yet been made with authors on the site. Many people have helped spread the word about HASA closing via social media and mailing lists (thank you!), but the more of us that get the word out, the more likely it will be that people who have stories and other content on HASA will have ample time to get their work saved.

Here is a list of links on HASA about the closure and steps being taken by HASA to preserve work there:

HASA News: All Good Things Come to an End: http://henneth-annun.net/about/news_view.cfm?nwid=431&list=yes
HASA Closure Discussion thread: http://henneth-annun.net/forums/messages.cfm?confID=0&forumID=915&messageID=55476
HASA News: Migrating Your Stories: http://henneth-annun.net/about/news_view.cfm?nwid=432&list=yes

The mods of SWG, Many Paths to Tread, and Faerie are all willing to help authors to archive their work on those sites. All three sites can also bring over comments on your stories. If you know an author who is having difficulty getting work saved or re-archived, or if you are having difficulty getting your work saved or re-archived, please contact the admins of these sites for help. You can also comment here, and I will be happy to help you get in touch with the appropriate person(s). All we need is the author's permission to move their work onto the site or sites of their choosing. So, yes, it is as simple as saying, "Please move my stuff from HASA to *site*," and we will do the rest.

I cannot say enough that every work on HASA is important and worth saving.

Finally, the SWG has its Library of Tirion project. (MPTT is working on a similar project, and I will update this post with a link as soon as it is ready.) Through the Library of Tirion, you can request authors that you would like to see archived on the SWG. We will work on contacting that person for permission and archiving their stories on the SWG. Normally, we only accept recommendations from prior to 2007, but in light of HASA's closure, we are accepting any recommendations for Silmarillion authors from HASA. (Thank you to those who have sent their requests already!)

Please signal-boost this post. Again, awareness is key at this point, and the more help we have the more we can save.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/347843.html
  • Thanks so much for providing all this information, Dawn. Unfortunately, I don't remember my old password for HASA or have it written anywhere I can find it. But at least I can print out the stories I want to save, so all is not lost. How sad about this news, though. HASA was the first place I went to read stories all those years ago. It will be sorely missed. :(
    • There is a password recovery box on the righthand side of the site. If that doesn't work, contacting the admins might help; they may be able to manually reset your password. (I'm not a HASA admin so I don't know their policies in this regard. But it can't hurt to ask. :)
  • Are HASA open to giving you a copy of their database? That would be a much faster solution, if they are cool with it.
    • We have been offered limited admin powers. I have to write back to the site developer to see what all that entails.

      So far, based on my first round of searches, only 15% of the stories aren't archived elsewhere. That number will probably go down as I continue to work; I started with the oldest and am working toward the new.
  • Have you considered asking some of the other LOTR tumblrs to post this? It would probably help get the news out to more people.
    • It has been posted to Tumblr with a request to signal-boost.

      http://silmarillionwritersguild.tumblr.com/post/98057637662/hasa-story-rescue-project

      Honestly, I do not have the time to contact people/blogs individually to ask them to do so. I am a full-time teacher and a grad student. This was sprung upon all of us, and I'm doing my best to balance managing it with a very time-consuming RL and a quickly ticking clock. If people find the project important, I hope they will signal-boost it. If they don't ... they don't. That's sad to me, but I really have to put my focus elsewhere right now. :^/
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