About this Site
This site is home to news and information related to the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection. Our collection began in 2011 and consists of print zines. Our primary focus is upon zines created within or about the borough of Brooklyn, although we also collect other work.
For more information, see About the Collection.
Are you a Brooklyn zine maker? Donate your work!
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This week marks the arrival of many new students to the Brooklyn College campus, but also the departure of two amazing students whom I have grown to appreciate very much, and also depend upon: Robin Potter and Devon Nevola, our summer zine interns.
It has been really wonderful to have Robin and Devon here this summer with me–to explore the city’s zine collections with, to chat with about the future of the collection, and perhaps most importantly, to get to know these two really amazing librarians to-be.
Although both ladies will still be nearby, this week was their last here as Brooklyn College Library zine interns–and they both hold a special place as the very first students of their kind. They will be missed!
My hope is that I can continue to offer zine internships–in the starting stages which we are still working through, and then in the future, with special projects and other adventures.
This week also marks another milestone in the life of the Brooklyn College Library’s Zine Collection: we have been allocated a budget! From this, I hope to start thinking about the way that our browsing collection in the library will be displayed and furnished. Stay tuned for more news as it develops!
Well, I can’t believe how fast it has gone by, but this is the the last day of our summer internship with the Zine Collection at Brooklyn College Library! My fellow intern, Devon Nevola, and I have had many great experiences at Brooklyn College Library and on our field trips to other zine collections in the city. I enjoyed processing and reviewing the zines, as well as researching and contacting zinesters to request submissions. So many people have generously donated issues, it is amazing (and their incredible work has inspired me to get back into making my own zine…we’ll see what comes of it)!
Last week we got to participate in the undergraduate orientation by manning the library table and distributing buttons (!) and informational flyers to incoming freshmen and transfers. It was a rollicking good time, and hopefully got many of the newcomers started on the right foot as library users. Our final few days here were punctuated by an earthquake and a hurricane, but luckily both were much less traumatic than they could have been, and we all emerged with stories to tell, but little damage otherwise.
Alycia has been a very supportive mentor to us both, and I really appreciate all the time and effort she spent, introducing us to colleagues, answering our many questions, and just generally letting us in on the culture of the library. She really made the internship experience a two-way street. Alycia is so dedicated to the collection and to the library, and it has been wonderful to get to know her and the other librarians here at Brooklyn College Library. We were really lucky to get to be in on the early stages of this collection and I wish her the very best as it continues to grow.
While the internship will end today, I am looking forward to continuing my relationship with Brooklyn College Library as I will be staying on into the fall semester, as a College Assistant at the reference desk. I look forward to the day, hopefully in the near future, when I can encourage students to explore the Zines in their very own Browsing Collection!
It seems that the end of August is upon us and what that means for us here at the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection is <sigh> the end of our internship. Robin and I have spent several months working under the tutelage of Alycia Sellie which has been, in my humble opinion, a superb experience. This being my first library “job” (though, one would hope, not my last!), I was so privileged to have such an energetic, supportive and knowledgeable guide as Alycia. From the start, I was always encouraged to learn and experience as much as I could, and not merely in reference to library zine collections; from the Brooklyn College library system to the general study of library science, Alycia wanted us to gain the most that we possibly could out of our internship. Plus, she got us a button maker.
And how about those zines?! Having been introduced to zines in the ’90s as the result of listening to underground music (pre-Internet, kids), I was very pleased and somewhat surprised to see what an active and enthusiastic zine scene continues to thrive, all across the US and beyond (little known fact to me: zines are pretty big in Australia!). That is why the work we have done, and that Alycia will continue to do, is so important: these zines are representations of our collective culture in the most personal sense. Being independent, DIY publications, they are not bound by rules, popular opinion, or censors. They are print (gasp!) representations of people’s imaginations and fears and everything in between. And lucky readers that you are, you will be able to view them in perpetuity here at the Brooklyn College Library. Just keep checking up on the progress of the collection here on this very blog – I know I will!
Now that I’ve rambled on long enough, I will say my adieu. So let me end in saying thank you: once again, to Alycia Sellie; to my fellow intern, Robin Potter; to the lovely staff of the Brooklyn College Library; and, to the many zinesters who have donated to the collection – you’ve shown me that people do get excited about the gifts that libraries have to offer and that print will never die.
“I Read it in a Fanzine”
Thursday, September 1st @ 7PM – Bluestockings/172 Allen St. New York, NY 10002 – Free
with Kate Angell, Elvis Bakaitis, Ocean Capewell, Rachel, Sari, & Kate Wadkins
Titled after a Bikini Kill lyric, “I Read it in a Fanzine” features the work of six awesome feminist zine editors – Kate Angell (“My Feminist Friends”), Elvis Bakaitis (“Twinks for Sale!”), Ocean Capewell (“High on Burning Photographs”), Rachel and Sari (“Hoax”), and Kate Wadkins (“International Girl Gang Underground”). Come hear some rad feminist work and pick up some zines to add to your collection!
“Who’d ya lose & How ya Dealin’?”: A benefit show for The Worst: Compilation Zine on Grief and Loss
Saturday September 3, 2011
Death by Audio // 49 S. 2nd St. between Kent & Wythe
L to Bedford or B62 to Driggs/S. 2nd
ALL AGES // NO BYOB
$6-10 Sliding Scale
Doors @ 8pm
Fall into Zines: Pete’s Mini Zine Fest
Saturday and Sunday, September 24 & 25, 2011
Time: September 24, 2011 at 6pm to September 25, 2011 at 7pm
Location: Pete’s Candy Store
Street: 709 Lorimer St
Poking about on the internet, I ran across this article from the Brooklyn Rail and knew that I had to get in touch with Zohra Saed and Robert Booras, or UpSet Press. Two parts of the article really caught my attention:
The first, because it seems that this project started right here at Brooklyn College!
Saed and Booras met at Brooklyn College in the late 1990s when both were pursuing Master of Fine Arts degrees in poetry. “I was doing a ’zine called SPAWN and Zohra was doing a ’zine called RIPE GUAVA. We met in a feminist theory class and said, ‘Gee, we have to link up and join forces,’” Booras begins. “At first we shared networks and I was publishing her in my ’zine and vice-versa. After a few years of being each other’s cheerleaders, we decided to merge efforts and become a non-profit press.”
Then this quote caught my attention because I think it encapsulates a bit of my goals here for the Brooklyn College Library Zine Collection–to make a living archive of works that BC students can use as well as contribute to, and have their work added alongside the items already in the collections:
“I’d go to the elementary school library and doodle poems into the books,” she begins, her smile widening with each spoken word. “The teachers thought I was defacing school property but what I was actually trying to do was put myself up on a library shelf.”
And lickety-split, this week Robert came into the library and donated not only a full run of his zine, S.P.A.W.N. Magazine…
…but also copies of the first four books that have been published by UpSet Press.
When I asked him how his experiences publishing zines influences his current role at the press, Robert wrote:
Quite honestly I don’t think UpSet Press would exist today (or would have existed this long) if it wasn’t for the network of writers and artists that Zohra and I established when we were publishing our zines…! The carryover helped us tremendously in terms of attaining credibility and trust with our authors…
It is an inspiration to see how the work of these two friends has evolved over the years, and I know that these publications will be a wonderful treasure to show students–as part of their own heritage here at Brooklyn College. How wonderful to stumble upon this work, and furthermore, to get to share it!
This week, it is my pleasure to present one of the first zine donations we received here at the Brooklyn College Library: Brooklyn! by Fred Argoff. We have received more than 20 issues from this prolific zinester. Fred is also the brains behind Watch the Closing Doors, a transit zine of which we have a few issues as well.
Brooklyn!, a local history zine, is packed full of historical nuggets and quirky factoids about our borough. Photographs, old and new, grace nearly every page. Many issues have themes such as graffiti, baseball, fables of Brooklyn, art, architecture, bridges, etc. One recurring column is a spotlight series on various neighborhoods such as Greenpoint, Midwood, and archaic neighborhoods such as Plum Beach and English Kills. There are a number of other recurring columns, such as book reviews, street name origins, and the ”Brooklyn Lexicon and Pronounciation Guide,” in which Argoff interprets the mysterious language of Brooklynese, defining for newcomers such terms as “notsaposta” (issue 30), “blizzid” (issue 57), “yooj” (issue 61), and the beloved “fuhgeddaboudit” (issue 60). This informative, tongue-in-cheek zine is an invaluable addition to the locally-focused zine collection here at Brooklyn College Library!
Fall Into Zines at Pete’s Candy Store! The 3rd installation of the Pete’s Mini Zine Fest series.
September 24, zine reading – hear from the zines in the festival. 6:30-7:30pm. free.
September 25, zine fest – peruse zines and comics from over 20 local zinesters. Bands, beer and a kick-ass back yard patio. All ages and free. Time: 2-5pm
We recently received Womanimalistic #1, sent by zinester Caroline Paquita (carolinepaquita.com). Womanimalistic is printed on a risograph duplicator, and the resulting blue hand-written content is homey and refreshing. The richly patterned, adorably illustrated contents are full of animal-lady characters. The issue is bisected by an indulgent centerfold. One-page comics and surreal ads include such themes as: love’s beginning and end, pet peeves, punk medical myths, bee-keeping advice, holistic cures, and much more! It’s great to receive such sweet, unique zines, especially when they are made right here in Brooklyn!
As the steamy, summer days of August whoosh by, we are aiming to make the most of our time here at the Brooklyn College Library. A big part of our realizing how to proceed in the development of our own zine collection is exploring our neighboring NYC collections. Lucky us, we have been granted time from the limited schedules of inspiring zine librarians and luckier still, the opportunities to see the amazing resources – both zine and library related – this fine city has to offer us. Yesterday was no exception as we trekked uptown to the Barnard Zine Library. Minus a minor subway snafu (this is summertime in New York, after all) we found our way to this spectacular collection and to its keeper, the one and only, Jenna Freedman. It was a personal pleasure to finally meet Jenna as I had already read a great deal by her and she is undoubtedly a major figure in the promotion of zines and zine libraries. We were able to pick her brain a bit as she took us through the browsing collection and archives at Barnard. From cataloging to display, we spoke of choices made that have contributed to what I found to be an incredibly successful collection. Afterwards, my fellow intern, Robin, and I were able to browse through the collection ourselves, snapping photos and peering through titles – making note of those that may be of interest to the Brooklyn College community. As I perused zines by subject via CLIO, Barnard and Columbia’s online catalog, I daydreamed of the Brooklyn College zine collection to come, one that will be privileged with all the knowledge that we are gaining from our fellow librarians.