Convention History Project

This project was first conceived by Debbie Smith several years ago. It was put aside when planning began on the 2003 San Francisco convention, but the idea never went away. Now, other fans have resurrected it for the next (January 2007) Winterfest Online, as a celebration of twenty years of fan gatherings. However, the organizers quickly realized that the project, to be done right, needs to tap resources throughout fandom to gather the depth of information, photos and memories which will make the results fully "historical" for fans. Further, even though, as a work in progress, it will be posted during Winterfest Online, the organizers plan to make this a lasting addition to Beauty and the Beast fandom's internet presence - ultimately, the information will be placed online permanently, with its own webpage.

What does the convention history project involve?

At its most basic, we envision a convention timeline – a chronological list - of all Beauty and the Beast conventions (local, national and international, fan-run and commercial). That's what fans would see when they first enter the website. Each convention on the list would then have a link to another web page which would contain more information on that con. For instance, there might be scans of con memorabilia - conzines, tee shirts, totes, mugs, con schedules, flyers announcing the convention, con ID tags, banquet centerpieces - all the things unique to that convention. There might also be contemporary fan con reports, photographs taken during the convention, fan-contributed anecdotes and memories, etc.

What does the future hold?

    We see this con history project unfolding to encompass many more aspects of fandom history, to eventually include information on local and international fan clubs, internet-based groups, and fan-produced websites. Again, the ideal is that each item would have a link to a webpage containing information on the history of the club/group/website, whether the group is still active and if so, how to join, etc. Eventually, this project would tie together all Beauty and the Beast convention and fan activities in a timeline and with historical information, to be added to as we move into new activities in the future. This would be a wonderful resource for fans just finding fandom, as well as a "trip down memory lane" for fans lucky enough to have been involved in fandom for many years. And it will be a "one-stop shopping" site to preserve the precious memories of so many wonderful fandom activities throughout the years.

How can you help, you ask?! Let us tell you!

Do you have con memorabilia which you could digitally photograph? Do you have a friend with scrapbooks from early cons? Do you have con memories to share from specific cons? Did you run or attend a local convention or fan club? Do you have newsletters for current or no-longer-extant fan clubs? Did you take personal video tapes of convention moments? Did you do a panel at a convention and still have handouts or notes from it? Did you win a prize or buy something at auction that you can send a photo of with a description? Do you have photos of art room "best of" winners from any of the conventions? Do you have ballots or lists of fan fiction/art winners from the early conventions when such awards were given?

Do you have a scanner and would you be willing to assist in scanning items for this project? Do you have contact information for fans who are no longer active who might have relevant information to share? Do you have ideas for this project?

Please use this form to provide information to us. You can complete it and mail it to us. We'd appreciate any bit of information you might have!