The Pegacorn Press, a “small, queer, feminist, total-art-freaker cornucopia of delight” is raising $$ for their press/copiers and supplies to make zines, comics and artists’ books. You can support Brooklyn print culture over at IndieGoGo. Caroline is seeking not only funding, but also for assistance in spreading the word about her project. Help her out!
Today the zine interns and I feasted on the amazing zine collection at the New York Public Library. NYPL librarian Karen Gisonny laid out a smorgasbord of print delicacies for us this morning at the 42nd Street Library:
Karen showed us part of their phenomenal zine collection and talked with us about alternative publishing, print culture and the changing nature of collection development and library collections–in that we spend much more time than ever before considering digital works, but print objects like zines and comics and literary magazines are particularly important to experience in real life, as we were lucky enough to do today.
I left the library feeling really well nourished. Between chatting with Karen, leafing through the zine collection, and taking a quick jaunt through the amazing centennial exhibition (really–it’s not to be missed–in just a few minutes, I glimpsed rows of delicate cuneiforms, swooned over Richard Wright’s handwritten corrections on three pages of the typewritten manuscript of Native Son, peeked into one of Malcolm X’s notebooks and examined a few amazing artists’ books)
There’s just something about seeing a really vibrant and well-cared for collection of zines that makes me really happy. And a visit to the 42nd Street library always reminds me of why libraries are important. Thank you, Karen, for hosting our second zine excursion!
Today we continued our zine collections of NYC crawl and found ourselves at the glorious Stephen A. Schwarzman branch of the New York Public Library. Here we met with Karen Gisonny, librarian for Periodicals and Journals and keeper of the zine collection. Karen started us off with a brief tour and background of the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room. Because this collection, like all those found at the Schwarzman building, is for research purposes, the stacks are closed. But a quick glance at the NYPL webpage provides patrons with a list of the zine titles included in the collection, a convenient tool to compensate for the inability to browse.
Karen then brought us up to a room to discuss the collection and take a look at some examples of the zines within. Like kids in a candy store, we excitedly perused the table strewn with a large variety of titles Karen had handpicked for us. As we leafed through copies of Constant Rider and Nancy’s Magazine (the later being Karen’s first acquisition in the ’90s), we spoke of the collection at this point, of its past and its future. We also caught her up on what was happening with our own budding collection at Brooklyn College. It was very informative for us to discuss the choices that had been made for a collection that was, at its start, a unique one. We are fortunate to be able to learn from pioneers such as Karen. And with this knowledge we press on – with patience and fortitude – working to find the best ways to make zines accessible to the Brooklyn community and beyond.
Today the whole Brooklyn College zine collection crew went to our first zine field trip to the Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU. Senior Archivist Lisa Darms showed us around the Riot Grrrl Collection, which is totally amazing, inspiring, and also more than a zine collection.
I usually have my head in the world of zine libraries. I think about things like cataloging and circulation, organization and subject headings. Seeing the source material, the flats for zines–with polaroid pictures glued on, or the piece of paper that the handwriter touched before it hit the copy machine–is something else altogether. And when you are able to contemplate the whole life of a zine, from the cutting and the gluing to the copies and the correspondence, all together in one box, instead of just one single issue, then I feel like I have to re-order all the things I think about collecting and sharing zines, as well as studying them.
I left completely impressed by the collection, and truly inspired by the work that is being done at Fales. A big thanks to Lisa for hosting our first zine field trip!
This morning may have felt like a rather ordinary Thursday, on the 21st of July. But here at the Brooklyn College Library, we are joining scores of other librarians, zinesters, teachers and lovers of the zine in celebrating International Zine Library Day. The timing is really quite perfect for us as we progress in the creation of our zine collection – a project, though still in its early stages, which has us perpetually excited (and, hopefully, has you all perpetually intrigued!).
It is quite a privilege and a cause to celebrate to be able to contribute to our library with the generous donations of zines we have been receiving. So while we continue our work this summer, we also wish to reach out to you, dear blog reader, and those you know who might like to bring your zines here to live with us at the Brooklyn College Library. It’s a swell place to live (we swear!) and we promise to take good care of them!
So on this day, July 21st, besides wishing a happy birthday to Don Knotts and Marshall McLuhan, celebrate International Zine Library Day with us: visit one of the many glorious library zine collections around you, read a zine that you love, or even make a zine of your own — and maybe you’ll consider us when you want to find it a home!
…And here is the super spectacular Thank You card we will send you upon donation!:
We’re proud to welcome Devon Nevola and Robin Potter to the Brooklyn College Library as our summer zine interns! Devon and Robin are both LIS students who will serve as instrumental agents of organization, order and documentation for our budding collection!
We’re hoping they will help us get the browsing collection in order and also that they get to make some guest appearances here. Look out for them at zine libraries throughout the city as we plot and plan for good things to come!
Click the link above for the slide show that was presented at Brooklyn College’s 2011 Faculty Day about our new zine collection.
We’re just getting started with the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection–we will have our first intern this summer, we’re beginning to catalog and organize materials for the collection, and zine librarian Alycia Sellie will be presenting her vision for the collection on May 25 as part of Brooklyn College’s annual Faculty Day.
Stay tuned for news and further information!