Friday, March 9, 2007

WHAT, HOW, WHY- an explanation

This resouce was first compiled by Virginia Allison October 26, 2005 for Dr. Jeff Weddle’s Collection Development Class at The University of Alabama


As a fledgling library student I became interested in the validity of zines as quality material worthy of attention and collection in a library setting.

Zines are self published magazines created out of a desire to share information rather than make a profit. They capture the best of contemporary American popular culture; they are artifacts of undocumented America. Zines providing a unique method for resistance, self expression and creative innovation.

The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a concise resource that will equip the novice zine collector with the most direct and helpful zine websites and resources available.

This bibliography is limited in scope and designed to aid in zine acquisition. There are some sources that include information on e-zines by default; the focus of this bibliography is designed to be informant of print zines only. There are dozens of zine websites, and articles varying in quality available in many formats; the sources chosen will aide in the building and defending of a zine collection for your library.

The sources included are on the subject of zine collecting, zine creators, and zine content. Printed and bound zine anthologies are also included as they are a great introduction to the broad span and personality of the zine“scene.” The Websites cited offer particularly helpful information as to the process of zine acquisition and provide links to thousands of reviews and zine distributors. These core authoritative resources are well organized, and will aide in building a solid zine collection whether it be for a public or private collection. All websites are active as of 3/9/07.

Methodology & Maintenance
My initial search for zine collection resources began online using Academic databases such as Academic Search Premier, and Proquest; I used a variety of search terms: zines and libraries, zines and underground publishing, zines and small press. I spent a considerable amount of time chasing down retrieved citations, examining them for their validity pertaining to the topic of this bibliography. I found several fantastic declarations in support of zine collections as well as articles that point to the most authoritative manner by which to collect and organize zines. I also found reviews of libraries and institutions that have begun the challenging work of zine collecting.

I expanded my search to include resources not indexed in Academic databases. I selected articles from bibliographies that specifically involved zine collections in libraries or articles that supported zine collections, these sources are included in the bibliography.

The bibliography also provides access to “distros” (zine distributors), info shops, and onsite opportunities to purchase zines. These links also include zine reviews and zine review zines that are helpful aids in building a zine collection. I chose these websites because they provide the most useful information and links concerning the aspects of zine acquisition. Paring these sites down was a daunting task as the internet is full of zine websites. Although some of the links overlap from site to site, I found that these websites covered the most ground concerning collection development of quality zines and zine related content. It should be noted that these websites will prove to be invaluable resources not only for their site content but for the hyperlinks included within the sites. I found this to be the most economical way to build my bibliography.

The Books I’ve included deal with the impact zines have in our society, specifically how they may do so in a library collection, as well as books that deal with library collection issues pertinent to zine acquisition. They are listed chronologically. The anthologies I’ve included are based on published online reviews. I chose those that cover the broad and best interests of the zine world, including compiled interviews, stories, and illustrations, thus assuring quality, interesting reading that showcases a quality sample of selections from excellent zines. Additional resources found in this bibliography include a film and mailing list are included as they are relevant and helpful tools keeping in line with the purpose of this bibliography.

This bibliography is a work in progress and is certainly not comprehensive. If you have any suggestions or additions to include, please contact me at:

Zines are valid and unique artifacts of culture. Zines perpetuate social, political, and economic awareness in that they provide multiple viewpoints that exist in the world that are overlooked by traditional commercially produced media.

This collection development project was born out of my personal intrigue concerning the existence of zines in librares. My bibliography while innocent in its humble beginnings soon capsized into a monolithic two month project… As the zine world is covered by academia, media, and the prolific youth; finding and narrowing down my sources proved to be an arduous task. I found my self returning to my sources with an iron will, a heavy finger on the delete button, feverishly chanting the purpose of this document as I selected, deselected, and selected some more.

The resulting list is a product of hours of searching; discerning and narrowing of citations based on my criteria. It is not an exhaustive tool but is intended to serve as a primary source for the novice zine collector, or librarian interested in knowing how to go about creating a zine collection, how others have approached this task and exactly what zines and the zine culture is made of. May all who use this tool find it a helpful aide for the greater purpose, and forgive me for any blunders and/or excluded sources… I have already added many very important suggestions and am open to yours!

With gratitude,

Virginia Allison, October 26, 2005.

No comments: