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Zines@Douglas: About Zines

Zines at the Douglas College Library, Zine resources for faculty and distros Zinesters


The library is happy to announce that there is going to be big improvements to the collection.  Starting in April - July we will be sending them to be catalogued so they can be discovered in the library catalogue and signed out like regular books.  You will notice them disappear during this process but they will return to NW and CO as soon as they completed.  If you are an instructor who will be using the collection in summer semester please contact Gretchen at

We are still accepting donations during the time see the donation form on this guide for instructions.

What is a Zine, Anyway?

A Zine (pronounced 'zeen') is a self-published, small press or homemade publication similar to a pamphlet. Zines often address specialized topics from an independent, controversial or alternative viewpoint. They can be a collection of random personal thoughts or expertly made political treatise.

Due to the independent nature of Zines they are not scholarly, or peer reviewed nor are they controlled by mainstream media or the editorial process of the publishing industry. These publications break from conventional format and are often photocopied, folded and stapled. Zines can be visually inspiring and artistic and offer personal, passionate and unedited viewpoints.

A great summary of the history of Zines is available at University of North Carolina 

Riot grrrl movement history podcasts

Thirty years ago, a movement called riot grrrl started in the Pacific Northwest. It wasn't just music – it was politics, feminism, culture and zines. And we're still feeling its effects today. Starting a Riot tells the history of riot grrrl: why it started in the Pacific Northwest, and what its lasting impact has been. And we focus on the stories that haven’t often been told as part of the history of the movement. We’ll hear from people on the margins, people who felt left out, and the people who insisted on being part of the conversation anyway.

Listen to All Riot grrrl episodes on Spotify.

Zine Lingo

Zine (zeen): independent, self published work often created by a single person.

Zinester: An individual who creates zines.

Perzine: Short for personal zine. A zine that discusses personal thoughts, experiences, and everyday events.

Zine Distro Short for Zine distribution. Distros are places that distribute zines. Many individuals run Distros out of their homes, mailing zines out to those who order them. Some independent book stores carry zines as well.

Streaming video about the Northwest Zine scene

$100 and a T-Shirt: A Documentary About Zines in the Northwest (128 min)

An original documentary by Joe Biel, illuminates the world of self-publishing and serves as a cultural analysis of what makes the thriving sub-culture of zinesters tick. Biel interviews about 70 zine makers, ex-zine makers, and readers from the northwest—all quirky and artistic young people who produce hand-crafted magazines which run the gamut from artistically ornate polemics to minimalist whimsical rants. They discuss the impetus to create zines, their genesis, self-publishing history, intricacies of the zine community, resources available for zine makers, and the genre's future.

Kathleen Hanna Talks about Zines

Broken Pencil

Zine Awards and Zine Reviews!

Broken Pencil Magazine presents the annual Broken Pencil Zine AwardsThe goal of the Zine Awards has been to honour outstanding work coming out of the ever-expanding zine universe, and to acknowledge the talent and hard work of emerging, established and experimental self-publishers for their contributions to zine culture.

Broken Pencil also has useful Zine reviews (over 15,000 of them).  More information is on the Broken Pencil Website. 

The Library subscribes to Broken Pencil!

CBCA Access to Broken Pencil (1995-present).  

Gale Access to Broken Pencil (2010-present).