The State Library of Victoria has the largest public collection of zines – independent, not-for-profit, and often hand-made publications – in Australia. Despite fears that the form would fade away under the might of blogging, they have perservered. A search for “zines collection” in our catalogue will bring up a large and ever-growing list of titles available from the Rare Printed Zine Collection, such as this Melbourne-made zine on What it was like to work in a nursing home.

What it was like to work in a nursing home

For a deeper understanding as to the origins and development of the form, track down Stephen Duncombes often referenced Notes from underground.

Notes from underground

And then, for a more visual example of a wide selection of some fine acts of zine-ing, give Chip Rowe’s sampler The book of zines a good flip through.

The book of zines

For a more focussed look at the potential for the extensive exploration of minimalism that the form offers, the retrospectives of Melbourne’s own You zine and the landmark punk fanzine, Sniffin’ glue, are great points of reference for any zinester wanting to learn from their peers.

YouSniffin glue

As zines highly influenced the growing awareness and understanding of both the politics and music of the riot grrrl movement in the early 1990s, an understanding of the history and continuation of this particular approach to contemporary feminist expression, as is seen in Girl zines, would also serve as important zinester education.

Girl zines

And finally, if you want a deeper academic understanding of why people choose to create zines, specifically quite personal ones, the book version of Anna Poletti’s doctoral thesis, Intimate ephemera, would be a good destination.

Intimate ephemera

Be sure to pay close attention to the ‘Availability and location’ section of the catalogue records to find out how and/or where to locate these titles throughout the Library.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Thanks for the shout-out about Girl Zines!

  2. Pingback: Sticky Institute and Melbourne’s Zine Culture – Where the Blue Begins

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