Scope and Content Note
The Queens College Zine Collection contains independent zines from the mid 1980s forward. The collection covers a variety of genres, styles and formats including fanzine, perzines, radical politics, and creative writing. Zines have been collected or acquired from Booklyn, Inc. (also known as the Booklyn Artists' Alliance); Printed Matter; the Brooklyn Zine Fest; and BlackMass Publishing.
- 1986 - 2023
Collection is open for research. Contact Department of Special Collections and Archives. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.
The Queens College Zine Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.
Zines are self-published, independent publications that offer perspectives not typically found in mainstream press and media. Operating with a DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic, zines are often printed in small-scale runs and cover a large variety of subjects. First appearing in the 1930’s in the form science fiction fan magazines. This was eventually shortened to “fanzine,” denoting a type of publication written by a fan of a certain topic. Writers of these fanzines would communicate with other writers, trading copies of their issues and creating a network of like-minded individuals devoted to zine culture. With the rise of punk culture in the 1970’s an emphasis on self-published documents proliferated throughout the scene. Drawing from the politics of underground press, the techniques of fanzines, and the mentality of punk, zines and their many varieties spread through the 1980’s. While the subject matter of zines can vary from political documents to personal reflections to fanzines, the true defining merit of a zine is the ethic, passion, and self-published motives behind them. The result is a subculture movement that focuses on individuality and the sense of community that can be drawn from connecting with other like-minded people. Stephen Duncome in Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture writes, “zines are as much about the communities that arise out of their circulation as they are artifacts of personal expression. People create zines to scream out ‘I exist,’ they also do it to connect to others saying the same thing.” (1997, p. 44) As unique, one-of-a-kind objects, zines are important for providing information about the thinking and motives of radical and underground communities in the late 20th and early 21 centuries. Everything from the media format chosen (print, type, photocopy, etc.) to the topics covered, to the cost of an issue provide insight into the thinking of both the individual creator and the community at large.
2.4 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Queens College Zine Collection documents the wide-ranging styles and tones of underground culture. The collection holds self-published issues from 1986 to the present and covers a variety of topics and formats
Items in the collection are arranged in series based on point of acquisition. Series I: Brooklyn Artist Alliance; Series II: Printed Matter; Series III: Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014; Series IV: Various; Series V: Booklyn Instant Zine Archive; Series VI: BlackMass Publishing.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Series I: Donated by Marshall Weber of the Booklyn Artists Alliance, September 2010. Series II: Acquired from Printed Matter, circa 2010-2014. Series III: Acquired at the Brooklyn Zine Fest, Sunday, April 27, 2014 at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Series IV: Various provenances. Series V: Acquired from Booklyn, Inc., summer of 2023. Series VI: Acquired from BlackMass Publishing, summer of 2023.
- Queens College Zine Collection
- Finding aid by Christopher Arena and Alexandra Dolan-Mescal in 2014. Updated by Annie Tummino in 2023.
- 2014; 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description