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 non-circulating “Jer-Zines” Collection that can be used in the Trentoniana Department.
We’d love to share your zines – contact us if you’d like to contribute to the collection. We have a simple form here that you can use. You can also reach us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram
Trenton Free Public Zine presents……
The library’s very own zine series!
“TFPZ Presents” topics of Trenton interest straight from the files of the Trentoniana Local History Room! Helper Ned has created mini-zines about the history of the library itself, the Battle Monument, Trenton on the eve of the Revolution, Hedgepath-Williams vs. Board of Ed, the ad man R.C. Maxwell, and of course, Pork Roll! All are free to grab in the Poetry Cafe. What topic would you like to see in zine-form?
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
- Duke University – Sara Dyer Zine Collection
- Factsheet Five Collection – New York State Library
- Fleet Library – Rhode Island School of Design
- Library of Congress
- Los Angeles Public Library
- Maryland Institute College of Art
- Merrick Library – University of Miami
- Michigan State University
- Monroe County Public Library (Indiana)
- New Paltz Zine Library (New York)
- Papercut Zine Library (Massachusetts)
- San Francisco Public Library
- Sherwood Forest [Virtual] Zine Library (Texas)
- Simmons University (Massachusetts)
- 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.
- Book of Zines – Readings from the Fringe
- Brief History of Zines (Mental Floss)
- Grrrrl Zine Network [no longer maintained but good info]
- Intro to Zines (ZineLibraries)
- POC Zine Project
- Queer Zine Archive Project
- Want to Make a Zine? Here are Some Tips
- Zine Collections Showcase Diverse Voices
- ZineWiki [we are TrentonMakesZines]