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Zines at the Library of Congress

A guide to zine collections and research at the Library of Congress

Introduction

Scene from a motion picture showing woman in bed with a typewriter on her lap. 1939. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

"A zine, short for fanzine or magazine, is a DIY & subculture self-publication, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopier or printer. Zine creators are often motivated by a desire to share knowledge or experience with people in marginalized or otherwise less-empowered communities" (Barnard Zine Library External)

The Library of Congress has a growing collection of zines. Additionally, the Library has hosted a Zine-Making Workshop at the National Book Festival annually since 2017. In general, zines are: self-published, self-created, self-distributed, and non-commercial. Zines resist formal definition, so the best way to get acquainted with the format is to start reading or making zines yourself. This guide will provide resources on how to do both! 

This guide serves as an introduction into zines and zine research. Using the sections of this guide, you will be able to learn more about:​