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Zines & Alternative Press: A Guide to Historical Research


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Advanced Reference, Pratt Institute

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Zines & Alternative Press: A Guide to Historical Research

  1. 1. ZINES, ARTISTS’ BOOKS, + UNDERGROUND / ALTERNATIVE PRESS a guide to historical research Sara Grozanick| LIS 620 Advanced Reference | Pratt Institute
  2. 2. alternative press •origins in early 20th century underground and radical newspapers •take a viewpoint counter to mainstream media •publication motivated by non-commercial reasons
  3. 3. ZINES… “scruffy, homemade little pamphlets”†d.i.y. ethic + aesthetic self-published, unedited, uncensored low-budget not motivated by profit†Duncombe, S. Notes from underground: zines and the politics ofalternative culture. New York, NY: Verso, 1997.
  4. 4. fanzines literary zines diy zines art + design zinesperzines (a.k.a. personal zines) etc.
  5. 5. zines as historical artifacts? potential to offer “a series of voices and experiences often lacking in the public historical record.” “represent a covert type of life narrative […] ephemeral yet powerful documents of personal testimony.” --Red Chidgey, feminist historian + zine-maker
  6. 6. how to find + access zines inlibrary collectionsOR-- it takes more than Google
  7. 7. start: library catalog University X Libraries catalogs our zines. subject heading: Zines.
  8. 8. refining your search: subject headings
  9. 9. when in doubt… try a keyword search
  10. 10. catalog search: LCSH + Worldcat alternative press zinesUnderground press Zines publications Little magazinesRadicalism – Periodicals FanzinesCounterculture – Periodicals Self-publishingSubculture – Periodicals Underground press publicationsRadicalism – Periodicals Subculture – Periodicals
  11. 11. enter—bibliographies, directories +indexes tools for discovering titles APC Directory of Periodicals check out the wiki for more
  12. 12. database searching: AltPressIndexexercise: pick a topic “expert” searching to searchutilize some of these expert searching strategies
  13. 13. questions, comments? for in-depth individual assistance make an appointment with the alternative press librarian for a research consultation