“Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?”: Unveiling the New Zine Collection

This is a guest blog post by the Zine Selection Team.

Have you seen something new floating around some of our branches? They're stapled, independently made, and photocopied. They're zines!

But wait—what's a zine? Short for "magazine," zines are self-published works that have a limited print run, often created by cutting and gluing text and images together for photocopying, folding, and stapling. From DIY, self-help, mental health, to comics, history, and cooking, there’s a zine for everybody.

What information is traditionally published? Who chooses this information? What information is excluded? Whose voices are marginalized? Zines challenge dominant narratives, providing first-hand accounts and acting as primary sources. They validate personal experiences and are a way to examine the role of power and assumed expertise. Zines remind us that you are the expert of your own lived experiences.

Sounds cool, right?

We started our Zine Collection by looking for particular topics, such as food, health, minicomics, music, personal/autobiographical content, and politics, available from zine distros, such as Antiquated Future, Quimby’s, Birdcage Bottom, Brown Recluse, Neither Nor, Radiator Comics, Wasted Ink, and local zinesters.

Still curious about what a zine is? Check out these books in our collection:

Girl Zines

Make A Zine!

Stolen Sharpie Revolution: A DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture

Whatcha Mean, What's A Zine?

Whatcha mean what's a zine?

Interested in the new zine collection but don't know where to start? Don't worry! Check out some of the Zine Selection Team's recently purchased and recommended zines below! View the full list.

View Full List

How do I get involved?

The BPL Zine Collection is available at Teen Central in the Central Library at Copley Square, Codman Square, Egleston Square, Fields Corner, Jamaica Plain, Parker Hill, Roslindale, and Roxbury branches. 

If you have any questions, comments, recommendations, or donation questions, please reach out to the Zine Selection Team at zines@bpl.org.