The Women's Library continues to document the development of feminism in the UK, and examples of '3rd wave' activity can be found within our Zine Collection. The Zine Collection began with a donation of 50 zines by Ladyfest London in 2002. This Collection comprises self-published magazines reflecting contemporary feminism and the attitudes and concerns of young women in the UK today. It currently includes over 150 indexed zines on topics ranging from music, feminism, art, fashion, food, politics, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, popular culture, travelling, relationships, parenting and much more. The Women's Library aims to collect and preserve women's zines from the 1970s to the present day.
DEFINITION AND HISTORY
'Zines' (produced "zeens") are non-commercial, hand-made magazines and booklets. Written, designed and published by their creators, these grass-roots publications are made simply and quickly on photocopiers and home computers. They fuse original artwork with images appropriated from the mainstream media and include writing that is creative, critical, personal and humourous.
Produced in small print runs from 10 to 10,000 copies, zines are ephemeral publications written on any number of topics. Due to their eclectic natures and amateur production values, zines exist on the fringes of popular culture, journalism, art practices, life writing, and academia. They are distributed by their creators through local, postal and internet-based networks and at events such as Ladyfest.
Whilst the history of zines dates back to the mimeo-graphed science fiction fan magazines (fanzines') of the 1930s, it was the fusion of punk culture and cheap photocopying rates in the late 1970s which saw a 'zine explosion' of DIY (do-it-yourself) cultural expression.
Traditionally, zine cultures are dominated by young men. However, the 'girl zine movement' of the early 1990s saw many young women and girls explore their experiences and voices within zines for the first time; inspired by the rise of the feminist and personal zines of the Riot Grrrl movement.
Young women make zines for a number of reasons: to explore their creativity, to make friends, to overcome isolation, and to think critically about the world around them. They blur genre boundaries by mixing together stories, essays, photography, rants, collages, lists, doodles, reviews, diary entries, and autobiographical confessions.
Zines are historical primary sources documenting women's everyday lives and cultural opinions. Zines are also a key tool in analysing 'third wave feminism', as young women explore their self-identities and redefine feminism in these publications.
The Women's Library collects zines and comics which reflect women and girls' experiences, interests and concerns in the UK today.
FURTHER READING AND LINKS
* Buszek, Maria Elena. Pin-Up grrrls: feminism, sexuality, popular culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. Reading Room 760.04428 BUS
* Sabin, Roger and Teal Triggs (eds). Below critical radar: fanzines and alternative comics from 1976 to now. Hove: Slab-O-Concrete, 2000. Reading Room 070.444 BEL
* Todd, Mark. Whatcha mean, what's a zine? the art of making zines and mini comics; with contributions by more than 20 creators of indie comics and magazines. Boston, Mass.: Graphia, 2006. Reading Room 070.5 TOB
* Emplive Riot Grrrl Retrospective http://www.empsfm.org/exhibitions/index.asp?articleID=666
* Grrrl Zines Network http://www.grrrlzines.net/
* Zineopolis, at the University of Portsmouth http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/illustration/zineopolis/zcoll.htm