Skip to Main Content

ZINES: Welcome

A basic guide to finding, making, and teaching zines.

Tour of this LibGuide

Whether you're a teacher, student, zinester, or just interested in learning more, we hope that you find this guide useful in navigating the world of zines.

Starting Point

Listed here are just a few comprehensive websites, from different communities, that provide a great introduction to all aspects of zine culture.


Barnard College. (n.d.). Barnard Zine Library.

Broken Pencil (n.d.). About Broken Pencil.

Freedman, J. (2005). Zines are not blogs: A not unbiased analysis. Counterpoise 9(3), 10.

Lastuka, A. (2006). ZineWiki. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from  

Philipp Messner. untitled image. Flickr.

Panuncial, D. (2019, July 2). By the numbers: International zine month. American Libraries Magazine.

Rowe, C. (1998). The Book of Zines: Readings from the Fringe. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from

Zine Librarians Interest Group. Zine Libraries

Zines DIY and self publication • r/zines. (2008, December 10). Reddit.

Zobl, E (2001). Grrrl Zine Network. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from

What are zines?

Zines are small-batch publications, made with inexpensive and accessible materials, like copy paper. Individuals and collectives self-publish zines, or print and Xerox a series of them. Zines provide a platform for expression through writing and design, which is conducive for narratives that are personal, political, irreverent, and more. The following characteristics are often attributed to zines:

  • self-published
  • DIY
  • community-oriented
  • small-run 
  • made in multiples
  • low-budget 
  • portable
  • creative
  • no barrier to entry

Fast Facts

This list of statistics appeared on the American Libraries Magazine website in July 2019, in celebration of International Zine Month. The text below is excerpted verbatim from the full article, By the Numbers: International Zine Month Stats on DIY zine culture.



Year that Alex Wrekk, creator of Brainscan Zine, created International Zine Month in July.


Number of libraries in the United States that have zine collections as of 2019, according to Barnard College Zine Library in New York City.


Number of minutes before Chicago Zine Fest sold out all of their artist tables in May 2019.


Average price of zines sold at Zinecinnati, June 8, 2019, Cincinnati’s first zine festival.


Collection number of the University of Iowa Library’s Zine Machine, a vending machine that dispenses zines. The Zine Machine started in 2001 as a project in a “Structure of the Handmade Book” class.


Percentage of zines by people of color that discuss issues of race and racism, according to a 2017 study from University College London.


Number of contributors to The Tenth zine’s first issue in 2014. The Tenth serves as an outlet for black and brown queer individuals to express themselves on issues in their respective communities.


Year that the first science fiction zine, The Comet, was published by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago.


Year that the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine was first given at the World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland.


Amount Mike Gunderloy spent in January 1987 to print and mail his zine review periodical Factsheet Five. The issue featured 600 reviews of fanzines and went out to 500 subscribers.


Year that the Zine Pavilion—an exhibit showcasing zines from across North America and educating librarians on how they can start their own zine collections—first appeared at an American Library Association Annual Conference.


Maximum number of copies circulated in order to properly classify a publication as a zine, according to the University of Texas Libraries. In practice, many zines barely reach 1,000 copies.


Things needed to create your own zine: paper, something to write with, and a photocopier, according to writer Elizabeth O’Brien.