Yahoo Groups, which provided mailing lists and online forums for a variety of subjects (including SF/F) announced plans to shut down a large number of their features including deleting archived messages and files, with all groups closing on October 21, 2019. All the archived data in those groups and lists will be deleted by December 14. Writer and historian Ada Palmer says, “This means we have only a few weeks before the archives of numerous online communities are destroyed, including many fan communities, writers’ groups, fanzines, etc.” Fans and writers are working to save these archives from deletion and you can help.
Writer Dusk Peterson is part of the Yahoo Groups Fandom Rescue Project, “an informal group of fans who are working to preserve the archives of fandom mailing lists.” The project has identified almost 30,000 lists at risk of deletion — “comparable to 30,000 multi-issue fanzines being burned” — and need more volunteers to archive material. They’re also urging Yahoo to delay the deletion. Queries may be sent to Peterson at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and more information can be found at <yahoo-geddon.tumblr.com>.
Other organizations are tackling the problem too. Archive Team is uploading mailing lists to the Internet Archive, with a call for help here. The Organization of Transformative Works (which runs Hugo Award-winning fan fiction site Archive of Our Own), has also issued a request for help, with more details here. We will update this post if there is more information made available or other calls to action.