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What is a zine?

Zines (pronounced ZEENS, short for "fanzines" or "magazines") are small-circulation self-published works that are normally made by hand and then reproduced with a photocopier. Zines first emerged in the 1930s among fans of science fiction, then caught on as informal, underground publications that focused on social and political activism in the ’60s, becoming popular with the punk rock scene in the '70s, and continuing in the activist tradition with the feminist punk scene in particular in the '90s.

Zines can be about anything; baseball, a rock band, immigration, food, family, a tv show, travel, video games, etc. Zines are not scholarly and do not go through the peer review process, but they often reflect lived experiences and life stories. They can be filled with photos, drawings, poetry, quotes, prose, or whatever the zinester (the person who made the zine) feels like. Zines can often be hard to describe because each one is so different. 

In this guide, you can learn more about how to make your own zine, how to use them in research, and how to find them in our library. If you have any further questions and would like to know more, contact Garrett Traylor to learn more! Their contact information can be found on the left side of this page. 

Want to donate a zine?

Do you have any zines that you think will contribute to the Tredway Library zine collection (either one you've made yourself or one that you've bought in the past)? Our collection has a social justice theme; to learn more about it, please read our collection development policy

We would love to have zines made by Augie students, faculty, and staff. Please fill out the donation form below and include it with your zine!