Zines (pronounced like magazines) are self-published, small-circulation works created for self-expression rather than profit. They provide artists and writers with a format to distribute their work outside of traditional publishing routes.
Zines have been around since the 1930s, when they were predominantly created by sci-fi fans. Over time other groups discovered the power of self-publishing and zines flourished as important elements of the punk scene in the 1970s and the riot grrrl movement in the 1990s.
Today zines cover a diverse range of topics and viewpoints, and they are therefore destined to become a valuable resource for social historians.
The Auckland Libraries Zine Collection
The Auckland Libraries zine collection consists of over 1000 titles, making it the largest catalogued and publically available zine collection in the Southern Hemisphere. Zines are housed at the Central City Library but can be requested and picked up at any local branch.
Unique Experiences Librarian and zine author Tessa Stubbing says Auckland Libraries collect zines because of the varied and unique perspectives they provide.
“In a zine you get someone telling it like it is. It’s their truth, it’s their perspective and there’s no censorship. Writers could be someone locally or someone halfway across the world and you get to see life through their eyes.”
You can read more about the collection on the Auckland Libraries website