Short for “fanzine” and pronounced “zeen,” zines are do-it-yourself, self-published little pamphlets, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopier or printer (but not always!). Zine creators (or “zinesters”) are often motivated to share knowledge or experience on whatever topics interest them such as going to concerts, politics, making art, journaling, hobbies, roller derby, gardening, poetry, finding the best pizza or ice cream, professional wrestling, science fiction, mental health, equality, etc. There really are no rules or lack of topics with zines! Some could be considered raw or rude, but they are always real. In fact, the idea of having zines in libraries is rather anti-zinelike since they are mostly shared one-to-one and would prefer to be free of such shackles of establishmentarianism.
In the spirit of sharing opinions from all communities, we offer an outlet and a safe space. The items in the Zine Library at the Trenton Free Public Library circulate, although most of them can be read in one sitting in the Poetry Cafe where they are located. Have a seat, read a few, and be inspired to create some of your own. We also have a New Jersey Zines Collection that doesn’t circulate, but can be used in the Trentoniana Department.
Big Mouth Zine
Big Mouth Zine is make-believe (or is it?) – we are just using it as a place holder right now as we catalog our zine collection. We’ll be spotlighting some of our available zines in this space. Stay tuned!
Where to find more
- Anchor Archive Zine Library (Nova Scotia)
- Austin Public Library
- Barnard College Zine Library (New York)
- Collins Library – University of Puget Sound (Washington)
- Denver Zine Library
- Fleet Library – Rhode Island School of Design
- Library of Congress
- Los Angeles Public Library
- Merrick Library – University of Miami
- Monroe County Public Library (Indiana)
- Papercut Zine Library (Massachusetts)
- San Francisco Public Library
- Sherwood Forest [Virtual] Zine Library (Texas)
- Zine Libraries around the world (Barnard)
More stuff about zines you should know
There’s plenty out there if you google “zines”, but here are some links we think are pretty nifty.
- Brief History of Zines (Mental Floss)