Way back in the day, before the internet came to dominate my life, I was into zines. Even now, after years of blogging, I still miss the time when a page layout was completed using scissors and a glue stick, and when the chick who could beg, borrow or steal the most alone time with a photocopy machine was the most popular girl in the room. I was excited to learn that Barnard University in New York City has been collecting zines and has been organizing them into a unique circulating collection.
According to their website:
Barnard’s zines are primarily in the area of women’s studies, featuring personal and political publications on activism, anarchism, body image, feminism, gender, parenting, queer community, riot grrrl, sexual assault, and other topics. They are created by women of color from NYC and other urban areas. The term “woman” applies to anyone who self-identifies as such
For those of us not in New York, the Barnard zine librarian has been kind enough to provide links to all sorts of cool stuff, including artists’ websites, web comics, and downloadable pdfs of old issues. Already I’ve spent an afternoon reading Dropping Out, DIY guides to everything from squatting to silk screening, and I Like Girls, a funny and sweet web comic about a young queer girl coming out.
Did you spend considerable amounts of time composing fangirl love notes to your favorite riot grrrls using a busted typewriter with no Q key? The library is accepting donations. Who knows? Maybe one day your zine will be featured in a book or exhibit, or sitting on the shelves of a library for future scholars to peruse.
Also, if you’re a student working on a degree in library science, the collection is also looking for an intern to help with the collection. If you live outside New York, but have a passion for zines and feminism, contact the collection librarian about a possible one to two week full-time internship.
The folks behind The Book of Zines have published a handy directory of other zine libraries around North America. Canadian collections include the Toronto Zine Library and the Edmonton Small Press Association. And this coming week, Toronto will be hosting Canzine 2008, Canada’s Largest Zine Fair and Festival of Alternative Culture.