Archive FAQ > Collections

What is a collection?

A collection is a group of works and/or bookmarks compiled together under one theme. For example, it could contain all works that have been created for a challenge, all works you posted in a particular year, or all of your bookmarked recommendations for a specific relationship, character, or fandom. You can also link related collections together by grouping them under a parent collection; check out How do I create a subcollection? for instructions.

Prompt Memes and Gift Exchanges are hosted within collections. You can find more information on these in our Prompt Meme and Gift Exchange FAQs.

For step-by-step instructions on how to create a collection, refer to our Creating a Collection Tutorial.

How do I find collections?

To find a list of all collections, select "Browse" and then "Collections" on the menu at the top of the page in the default site skin (below the site logo). You can then narrow down the list using the fields in the Sort and Filter form which can be found on the right side of the page in the default site skin or by selecting the "Filters" button on mobile. There is also an "Open Challenges" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the Collections in the Archive of Our Own heading on mobile) that allow you to browse through open Prompt Memes and Gift Exchanges.

If you're seeking a particular collection, including one you own or moderate, refer to How do I find a specific collection?

How do I find my works that have been added to a collection?

You can find all your works that are in collections on your Collected Works page. If you are logged in, this page will display your unrevealed and/or anonymous works, but it won't reveal them to other users. To access this page:

  1. When you're logged in, select "My Works" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page.
  2. Select the "Works in Collections" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the "1-20 of # Works by [username]" heading on mobile).

To find all your works that have been added or invited to collections, including those you haven't yet approved and those you've rejected:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. From your Collections page, select the "Manage Collected Works" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [Username]'s Collections heading on mobile).
    • Any works that have been invited but not yet approved to be part of a collection are listed on the Awaiting Approval page.
    • To find works that have been added to a collection, select the "Approved" button. This lists works or bookmarks in any collection(s), including unrevealed and/or anonymous collections.
    • To find works that you've rejected from collections, select the "Rejected" button. For more information on rejected works, check out What is the difference between rejected and removed?

For information on how to remove or reject works from collections, refer to:

How do I find my bookmarks that have been added to a collection?

To find your bookmarks that have been added to a collection:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. From your Collections page, select the "Manage Collected Works" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [Username]'s Collections heading on mobile).
    • To find bookmarks and works that have been added to a collection, select the "Approved" button.
    • To find bookmarks and works that you've rejected from collections, select the "Rejected" button. For more information on rejected works, check out What is the difference between rejected and removed?

You can also see all your bookmarks that have been added to collections, interspersed with your other bookmarks by going to your bookmarks page. For instructions on how to find this page, refer to How can I access my bookmarks?

How do I find a specific collection?

If you're trying to access a collection for which you are an owner or moderator:

  1. Log in and select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. This will take you to a list of all collections you own or moderate, including any challenges and subcollections.
    • If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top in a mobile device.
  2. Select the collection you want to access from the list.

If you're trying to access a collection for which you aren't the owner or moderator:

  1. Select "Browse" and then "Collections" on the menu at the top of the page in the default site skin (below the site logo).
  2. Use the Sort and Filter form to search for a specific collection or challenge. You can find this on the right side of the screen in the default skin, or by selecting the "Filters" button on a mobile device.

You can also search and browse specifically for challenges. Check out Where can I find Gift Exchanges? or Where can I find Prompt Memes? for more information.

If a work is part of a collection, there is also a link to the collection in the work's blurb.

How do I browse within a collection?

A collection's dashboard holds a maximum of five works and five bookmarks. To review other works or bookmarks in the collection, select "Works (#)" or "Bookmarked Items (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device. These pages hold a maximum of 20 items each, and you can use the page navigation buttons near the top or bottom to find more.

What does it mean that a collection is Open or Closed, Moderated or Unmoderated, Unrevealed, or Anonymous?

Open
The collection is open to new content. Works or bookmarks can be added to the collection by anyone.
Closed
The collection is closed to new content. No works or bookmarks can be added to the collection except by the collection's owners or moderators.
Moderated
Only collection members can freely add works or bookmarks without owner or moderator approval. Any other Archive of Our Own (AO3) user can still submit a work or bookmark, but the owners or moderators will need to approve it before it appears in the collection.
Unmoderated
Content submitted to this collection is automatically approved for inclusion.
Unrevealed
All works added to a collection with this setting enabled are hidden from all users except the creator, collection owners and moderators, and Archive site administrators. This is often used for Gift Exchanges where the gift works become available on a particular date, such as a Holiday Gift Exchange. Please note adding a work to an unrevealed collection means your work will be hidden until the collection is revealed, and will display across AO3 with the title "Mystery Work", and the byline "This is part of an ongoing challenge and will be revealed soon!"
Anonymous
All works added to a collection with this setting enabled have their creators hidden from all users except the creator, collection owners and moderators, and Archive site administrators. Please note adding a work to an anonymous collection means your pseuds will be hidden until the collection reveals creators, and will display across AO3, with the byline reading "by Anonymous". For information on finding your anonymous works, refer to How do I find my works that have been added to a collection?

If these settings are changed, the new settings only apply to works added to the collection after the change. The "unrevealed" and "anonymous" options have no effect on works bookmarked within that collection.

How do I create a collection?

To create a collection:

  1. When you're logged in, go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top in a mobile device.
  3. Select the "New Collection" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [username]'s Collections heading on mobile).
  4. Fill out the form with all your collection's details.
  5. Select the "Submit" button.

You can also create subcollections within collections that you own. Check out How do I create a subcollection? for more information.

Please be cautious when choosing to make your collection Anonymous or Unrevealed, and only use these settings if it makes sense for the purpose of your collection. Any work that is added to an anonymous or unrevealed collection is affected not just where it's listed in that collection, but across the entire Archive. Refer to What does it mean that a collection is Open or Closed, Moderated or Unmoderated, Unrevealed, or Anonymous? for full details on all these options and their consequences.

How do I edit a collection?

To edit a collection, navigate to your Collection Settings page. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page? From there, you can change all of the details that you set when creating the collection.

Note that while you can change the collection name at any time, any existing links to the collection will no longer work if you do, since the name is part of the URL.

For more information on each of the options available in your Collection Settings, check out the Tutorial: Creating a Collection.

How do I return to my Collection Settings page?

To get to your Collection Settings page:

  1. Log in and select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Choose the collection from the provided list to go to that collection's dashboard.
  3. Select "Collection Settings" from the menu found at the side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device.

How do I return to my Challenge Settings page?

To get to your Challenge Settings page:

  1. Log in and select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Choose the challenge from the provided list.
  3. Select "Challenge Settings" from the menu found at the side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device.

How do I add images to my collection?

You can add two types of images from your Collection Settings page: a header and an icon.

A header image displays at the top of your collection page, like a banner. The image can be a gif, jpg, jpeg, or png, but can't be hosted on the Archive of Our Own (AO3) itself. Therefore, to put a header on your collection, you'll first need to host it elsewhere on an image sharing site. To add a header, paste the URL of the image into the "Custom header URL" field. The URL must end with the filetype extension .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .gif. The image will display as-is; it will be cut off if the screen width is smaller than the image, and may repeat if the available space is larger than the image.

An icon is a 100 by 100 pixel image that helps to represent your collection visually on AO3. The icon appears on your collection page below the header image, and next to your collection's blurb when users are browsing collections. You can upload larger or smaller images, but they will be resized to 100 by 100 pixels, and images that aren't square will be distorted. Images must be in jpg, jpeg, png, or gif format.

To add an icon, select the button beside, or below, the "Upload a new icon" title. This button's name will depend on your browser; for example, it might be "Browse" or "Find file". Locate the desired icon on your device and select it. Note that the image must be stored on your device; you can't upload or link to an icon hosted elsewhere.

Collection icons also must comply with our Terms of Service User Icons policy, which you can find more information about in our Terms of Service FAQ.

You can also add alt text for your icon. The purpose of alt text is to provide a text alternative to the image. This explains its content if the image is not displayed, or to users of assistive technology. Icon alt text is limited to 250 characters. Please don't use alt text to credit the image creator, as users will be presented with either the alt text or the icon, but not with both.

These changes are not applied until you select "Submit" (when creating a new collection) or "Update" (when editing an existing collection). This button is near the bottom of the page.

Can I create a collection of collections?

You can create one level of subcollections within collections you own, but you can't create subcollections of subcollections. That is, you can create a collection tree like this:

  • Ace Attorney Holiday Fics
    • Original Trilogy Timeline - Valentine's
    • Original Trilogy Timeline - Christmas
    • Second Trilogy Timeline - Valentine's
    • Second Trilogy Timeline - Christmas

You can't create a collection tree like this:

  • Ace Attorney Holiday Fics
    • Original Trilogy Timeline Holiday Fics
      • Original Trilogy Valentine's
      • Original Trilogy Christmas
    • Second Trilogy Timeline Holiday Fics
      • Second Trilogy Valentine's
      • Second Trilogy Christmas

Refer to How do I create a subcollection? for more information.

How do I create a subcollection?

  1. When you're logged in, select "Browse" and then "Collections" from the menu at the top of the page (below the site logo).
  2. Select the "New Collection" button near the top of the page.
  3. Fill out the form with all your collection's details and enter the parent collection's name in the field "Parent collection (that you maintain)".
  4. Select the "Submit" button.

Please note that you must be an owner or moderator of the parent collection in order to make a subcollection. All owners and moderators of the parent collection are added as owners and moderators of its subcollections.

If you leave the Introduction, FAQ, and Rules fields blank when creating the subcollection, they inherit information from the parent collection. If you don't want this to happen, enter other information in these fields, or enter a non-breaking space ( ) to keep the field blank.

The parent collection is linked in the menu on the collection's dashboard.

Who can add a work to a collection?

Your ability to add works to a collection depends on who owns the works, who owns the collection, and the collection's settings. You can always add your own works to your own collections, and you can never invite someone else's work to a collection you don't own or moderate. You may, however, be able to add their work as a bookmark. Check out Who can add a bookmark to a collection? for more information.

Whether you can add your works to a collection you don't own or moderate depends on the collection's settings, which can be found in the collection's blurb or near the top of its dashboard. Check out What does it mean that a collection is Open or Closed, Moderated or Unmoderated, Unrevealed, or Anonymous? for more on these settings.

If you own or moderate the collection:

You can invite works into a collection you own or moderate, even if the collection is closed. You can't add works that don't belong to you to anonymous and/or unrevealed collections.

If the works belong to you, they will be added to the collection immediately.

If the works belong to someone else and their creator has enabled the preference "Automatically agree to your work being collected by others in the Archive" then they will also be added to the collection immediately. If they haven't enabled this preference, they will receive an email notification of the invitation and can then approve or reject it.

If you don't own or moderate the collection:

Anyone can add their own works to any open collection. If the collection is moderated and you aren't an approved member of that collection, the works will require moderator approval. Your works can also be included in a collection if they are invited by a collection owner or moderator. Refer to How do I approve or reject an invitation to include my work in a collection?

You can also allow works to be automatically approved to be added to collections. For information on how to enable or disable this preference, refer to How can I allow others to add my works to a collection without having to confirm every time? Please note that this only works for collections that are not anonymous or unrevealed. Only you can add your works to anonymous and/or unrevealed collections.

Both the work creator and the collection moderator can remove a work from a collection at any time. Refer to How do I remove a work or bookmark from a collection? for more information.

How do I add a work to a collection?

To add your own work to a collection you own or moderate:

  1. Select the "Edit" button from the work's page, and scroll down to the "Associations" section.
  2. Enter the collection name in the "Post to Collections / Challenges" field. You can start entering the collection's name, and the autocomplete list will populate with collections you can choose from. You can add the same work to multiple collections.
  3. Select "Post" to apply your changes. Your work will be automatically added to the collection.

To add your own work to someone else's collection:

  1. Select the "Edit" button from the work's page, and scroll down to the "Associations" section.
  2. Enter the collection name in the "Post to Collections / Challenges" field. You can start entering the collection's name, and the autocomplete list will populate with collections you can choose from. You can add the same work to multiple collections.
  3. Select "Post" to apply your changes.
    • If the collection is unmoderated or you're a member of the collection, your work will be immediately added to it.
    • If the collection is moderated and you aren't a member, it will need to be approved before it's added to the collection.

To add someone else's work to a collection you own or moderate:

  1. Scroll to the end of the work or chapter, and select the "Add To Collections" button.
  2. Enter the collection name in the "Collection name(s)" field. You can start entering the collection's name, and the autocomplete list will populate with collections you can choose from.
  3. Choose the collection(s) you want, and then select the "Add" button. The page will refresh with a message to confirm that the work has been invited or added to your collection.
    • If the work's creator has allowed their works to be automatically added to collections, the work will be added immediately.
    • If they haven't, they will receive an email notifying them that you've invited their work into your collection, and will then need to approve or reject that invitation from their Collection Items page.

Please note that you can't add works that don't belong to you to anonymous and/or unrevealed collections. Check out What does it mean that a collection is Open or Closed, Moderated or Unmoderated, Unrevealed, or Anonymous? for more on these settings.

You also can't invite someone else's work to a collection you don't own or moderate. You may, however, be able to add their work as a bookmark. Check out Who can add a bookmark to a collection? for more information.

For help managing invitations to include your work in collections, refer to How can I allow others to add my works to a collection without having to confirm every time? and How do I approve or reject an invitation to include my work in a collection?

Who can add a bookmark to a collection?

Anyone can add their own bookmarks to any open collection. If the collection is moderated and you aren't an approved member of the collection, the bookmarks require moderator approval. An owner or moderator's submitted bookmarks are automatically added, even if the collection is moderated or closed. Refer to What does it mean that a collection is Open or Closed, Moderated or Unmoderated, Unrevealed, or Anonymous? for definitions of the different collection settings.

Bookmarks inherit the settings of the work, not the collection. For example, a bookmark for an unrevealed, anonymous work in an otherwise revealed collection still appears as a mystery work by Anonymous, and a revealed work in an otherwise unrevealed and anonymous collection displays the work's creator and title.

Bookmarks can be for works hosted on or off the Archive of Our Own (AO3), and don't require approval from the work's creator to be included.

For more information on bookmarks, please refer to the Bookmarks FAQ.

How do I add a bookmark to a collection?

You can add a bookmark to a collection when you're creating or editing the bookmark. You can also add any bookmark on your My Bookmarks page to a collection by selecting the "Add to Collection" button.

Begin entering the name of the collection(s) in the "Add to collections" field and an autocomplete list of collection names will appear for you to choose from. Select the desired collection(s) from the list, and then select "Edit", "Create", or "Add".

For more information on bookmarks, please refer to the Bookmarks FAQ.

How do I approve or reject an invitation to include my work in a collection?

By default, you will need to choose to approve or reject each time someone invites a work you've created to a collection that they own or moderate. You can choose whether or not to automatically allow your works to be added to collections in your preferences. Check out How can I allow others to add my works to a collection without having to confirm every time? for more information.

If a collection owner or moderator invites your work into a collection and you haven't set up automatic approval, you will receive an email notifying you of the invitation, unless you have turned off email notifications in your preferences. For information on how to change your notification preferences, refer to How do I change the way I receive comment notifications?

To review and accept or reject invitations to collections:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. Select the "Manage Collected Works" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [Username]'s Collections heading on mobile). Any works which have been invited but not yet approved are listed on the "Awaiting Approval" page.
  4. Select "Details" to display the work's blurb in full.
  5. Select the menu and choose "Approved" or "Rejected", depending on your decision, and then select the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.

To change a previous decision about a work's approval setting:

  1. Log in and go to your dashboard by selecting the greeting "Hi, [username]!" and choosing "My Dashboard" from the menu, or by selecting your profile image.
  2. Select "Collections (#)" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  3. Select the "Manage Collected Works" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [Username]'s Collections heading on mobile).
  4. Select the "Rejected" or "Approved" buttons towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [Username]'s Collections heading on mobile).
  5. Scroll to the work you want to revise and select its new status from the menu to the right of the "Details" button under the work's title, or check the "Remove" checkbox and then select "Submit".

Refer to What is the difference between rejected and removed? for more information.

How do I remove a work or bookmark from a collection?

If you're an owner or moderator of the collection:

  1. When you're logged in, select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Select the collection you want to manage from the list.
  3. Select "Manage items" from the menu found at the side of the page or at the top on a mobile device.
  4. Use the buttons towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the "Items in [collection name]" heading on mobile) to review items that are awaiting approval, approved, or rejected.
  5. Once you've found the work or bookmark you want to remove in the list, select the "Remove" checkbox.
  6. Select the "Submit" button to apply your changes. The item(s) will be immediately removed from the collection.

You can remove multiple items at once.

If you're the creator of the work:

  1. Select the "Edit" button from the work's page and scroll down to the "Associations" section.
  2. Select the red (×) beside the collection name you want to remove next to "Post to Collections / Challenges".
  3. Select "Post" to apply the change. The work will be immediately removed from the collection.

If you're the creator of the bookmark:

  1. When you're logged in, select "My Bookmarks" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Bookmarks" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Select the "Edit" button below the bookmark's blurb.
  3. Select the red (×) beside the collection name you want to remove the bookmark from.
  4. Select "Update" to apply the change. The bookmark will be immediately removed from the collection.

How do I reveal works or lift their anonymity in a collection that I own?

You can reveal works or creators for the entire collection all at once, or on individual works separately.

To affect all works in your collection:

  1. Navigate to your Collection Settings page and scroll down to the Preferences section. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page?
  2. Uncheck "This collection is unrevealed" and/or "This collection is anonymous" and then select the "Update" button.

Note that if you return to your Collection Settings page and check these options again, all works already in your collection remain revealed and de-anonymized. Only new works added to the collection after the setting is enabled will automatically be unrevealed or anonymous.

To affect works individually:

  1. Log in and select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Choose the collection from the provided list.
  3. Select "Manage Items" from the collection's dashboard found at the side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device.
  4. Select the "Approved" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the "Items in [collection name]" heading on mobile).
  5. Find the work you want to change, then check or uncheck the "Unrevealed" and/or "Anonymous" checkbox. You can do this for multiple works at a time.
  6. When you're done, select the "Submit" button to apply the changes.

What is the difference between rejected and removed?

An item rejected from a collection doesn't appear as part of the collection and can't be resubmitted to the collection. However, its status can be changed by the person who rejected it (whether that's the work's creator or the collection owner or moderator).

An item removed from a collection is no longer associated with the collection at all and can be resubmitted.

If you're an owner or moderator of a collection and would like to review rejected items, check out How do I manage works or bookmarks in a collection that I own or moderate?

If you're a work creator and would like to review invitations you've rejected, check out How do I approve or reject an invitation to include my work in a collection?

What membership levels are available for collections?

Owner:
Has full access over all aspects of the collection.
Moderator:
Has some access to collection settings, including approval of items submitted to the collection.
Member:
Has no access to collection settings, but can submit their own works to the collection without moderator approval.
Invited:
Currently, there is no way for a user to accept an invitation to a collection, so this level is the same as none.
None:
Not a member of the collection. This is the default membership level for anyone who selects "Join" on a moderated collection.

If you want to leave a collection that you joined, but are not an owner or moderator of, select the "Leave" button on the collection's dashboard, towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [collection name] heading on mobile). Check out How do I change my membership in a collection? for more information.

For more specific information on owner and moderator permissions, refer to What is the difference between an owner and a moderator?

How do I add members to my collection?

To add members to your collection:

  1. Navigate to the collection's dashboard:
    • When you're logged in, select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
    • Select the collection you want to add members to.
  2. Select the "Membership" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [collection name] heading on mobile).
  3. Start entering your new member's username or pseud in the field just below the page header. You can select the correct user from the autocomplete, or manually enter their username/pseud in full.
    • You can enter several users at a time
  4. Select "Submit". The users will be added as collection members.

Once someone is a member, you can scroll to their name and change their access permissions. Select the role you want to apply from the menu beside or below their name, and then select "Update" to apply the change.

Adding someone as a member can be particularly useful in a moderated collection, as it allows members to add their works to the collection without requiring moderator approval. Users who are interested in becoming members of your moderated collection can also add themselves by selecting the "Join" button on the collection's dashboard. When a user joins in this way, they are initially given the access level of "None" and their permissions are the same as someone who isn't a member of the collection. To approve them as a member of your collection, you need to change their access permissions to "Member", "Moderator", or "Owner".

Refer to What membership levels are available for collections? or What is the difference between a co-owner and a moderator? for more information.

How do I add or remove moderators or owners to my collection?

Any new owners or moderators must first be members of your collection. Refer to How do I add members to my collection? for help on adding them.

Once you have added them as a member, you can scroll to their name and change their access permissions. Select "Owner" or "Moderator" from the menu beside or below their name, and then select "Update" to apply the change.

Only owners can add new owners or moderators. Owners may also remove other owners and moderators, including the original owner. Moderators may demote, but not add, other moderators. For a full list of the differences between these roles, refer to What is the difference between an owner and a moderator?

What is the difference between an owner and a moderator?

Someone with moderator level access to a collection can:

  • add members
  • remove members with moderator access or below
  • demote moderators (but not promote)
  • invite works to the collection
  • review (accept, reject, or remove) submissions

Someone with owner level access has all the same permissions as a moderator, and can also:

  • edit the collection's settings (including revealing works and creators, and settings for any challenge hosted within the collection)
  • add, remove, and set access permissions for all members (including the original owner)
  • delete the collection

Refer to How do I add members to my collection? for information on changing access permissions.

How do I edit a member's access level, or remove them from my collection?

To edit a member's access level, or remove them from a collection:

  1. Navigate to the collection's dashboard:
    • When you're logged in, select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
    • Select the collection you want to add members to.
  2. Select the "Membership" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [collection name] heading on mobile).
  • If you want to change their access permissions to another level, locate their name and select the role you want to apply from the menu beside or below it. Select "Update" to apply the change. Refer to What membership levels are available for collections? for more information on access levels.
  • If you want to remove them from the collection entirely, select the "Remove" button beside their name and then select "OK" from the confirmation dialog box.
  • You can't remove the sole owner of the collection.

How do I change my membership in a collection?

To join a moderated collection, navigate to the collection's dashboard page and select the "Join" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [collection name] heading on mobile). Your pseuds will be publicly displayed on the People page, linked from the collection's dashboard; however, in order for you to have posting privileges in the collection, the owner or moderator will need to change your access level to "Member". For more information on access levels, refer to What membership levels are available for collections?

Being a member of a collection only grants privileges if you're an owner or moderator, or if the collection is moderated. You can't join an unmoderated collection, but the collection's owner can invite you to moderate it.

If you are a member, you can leave a collection by selecting the "Leave" button on the collection's dashboard, towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the [collection name] heading on mobile).

If you are an owner or moderator, you can always leave the collection or change your membership access to a lower level, unless you are the collection's only owner. Refer to How do I edit a member's access level, or remove them from my collection? for more information.

How do I manage works or bookmarks in a collection that I own or moderate?

To manage works and/or bookmarks in your collection:

  1. Log in and select "My Collections" from the "Hi, [username]!" menu at the top of the page. If you're on your dashboard, you can also choose "Collections (#)" in the navigation sidebar (found at the top of the page when you're using a mobile device).
  2. Choose the collection from the provided list.
  3. Select "Manage Items" from the collection's dashboard found at the side of the page, or at the top on a mobile device. By default, this takes you to a page listing all items awaiting moderator approval to join the collection.
  4. Select the "Invited" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the Items in [collection name] heading on mobile) for a list of all works invited to the collection and currently waiting for the creator's approval.
    • You can also select the "Rejected" and "Approved" buttons to review items you have already made decisions on.
  5. Locate the item you want to revise and select its new status. You can do this for multiple works at a time.
    • To approve or reject a work, select its new status from the menu to the right of the "Details" button under the work's title.
    • To remove a work from the collection, check the "Remove" checkbox
    • To change a work's status in an unrevealed or anonymous collection, check or uncheck the "Unrevealed" or "Anonymous" checkboxes.
  6. Select "Submit" to save your changes.

For more information about whether to reject or remove a collection item, refer to What is the difference between rejected and removed?

How do I know if someone has added an item to a collection that I own or moderate?

You can set up your collection to notify you when a new work or bookmark has been added to it:

  1. Navigate to your Collection Settings page. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page?
  2. In the Header section, enter an email address in the "Collection email" field.
    • Be aware that any email address you enter here is publicly displayed on the collection's pages, so you might want to avoid using your personal email address. If you want multiple people to receive updates, you will need to create a shared email address or mailing list and add its address here.
  3. Scroll down to the Preferences section and check the box for the "Send a message to the collection email when a work is added" option.
  4. Select the "Update" button near the bottom of the page.

Note that you must add an email and check the "Send a message" box. Doing only one of these things has no effect on collection notifications.

Gift Exchange emails are sent regardless of whether an email is provided. To learn more, refer to What happens if I don't provide an email when I'm setting up a new Gift Exchange?

How do I stop receiving notifications of items added to my collection?

If you no longer wish to be notified when someone adds a work or bookmark to your collection:

  1. Navigate to your Collection Settings page. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page?
  2. Scroll down to the Preferences section and uncheck the box for the "Send a message to the collection email when a work is added" option.
  3. Select the "Update" button toward the bottom of the page.

If you delete the email address in the "Collection email" field of your Collection Settings page, you will also stop receiving emails, regardless of whether or not the "Send a message to the collection email when a work is added" option is checked.

Note that collection and challenge notifications are different. If your collection is also a Gift Exchange, you will still receive an email when potential assignments are generated, when assignments are sent, and when a user defaults on their assignments.

How do I delete a collection?

To delete a collection that you own:

  1. Navigate to your Collection Settings page. If you're unsure how to get to this page, refer to How do I return to my Collection Settings page?
  2. Select the "Delete Collection" button towards the top right of the page on desktop (or below the "Edit Collection" heading on mobile).
  3. A pop-up will appear that says "Are you sure you want to delete this collection? All collection settings will be lost. (Works will not be deleted.)" Select "OK" to continue.

Please note that this is a permanent action. There is no way of restoring a deleted collection.

If your collection hosts a Prompt Meme or Gift Exchange, you will need to delete it first. Refer to How do I delete a Prompt Meme? or How do I delete a Gift Exchange? for more on how to do this.

Deleting a parent collection does not delete any subcollections; however, the subcollections will no longer be grouped together. Deleting a collection also does not delete any associated works or bookmarks.

Where can I get more information if my question isn't answered here?

If you need guidance on a particular part of collection or challenge creation, please check out:

Some frequently asked questions about the Archive are answered in other sections of the Archive FAQ, and some common terminology is defined in our Glossary. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. For help with your specific challenge that isn't covered in these FAQs or Tutorials, please add AO3_Support as a co-owner and then contact us and we'll do our best to help you.