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Abstract

There is a current movement amongst zine archives toward collaboration and the standardization of policies and practices. As a relatively new area of archival collecting, zine archives are progressing through core archival issues at a rapid pace; this progression provides an opportunity for them to redefine traditional archival practices in relation to their specific needs.

The community-based nature of their collections compel zine archivists and librarians to include their unique audiences in the mapping of traditional practices onto the organic structures of their largely grassroots organizations: they are translators and interpreters between archival theory and this grassroots practice. Ideally, this results in a symbiotic balance by which the archives invite and sustain community involvement, while the community benefits from the formal organization and resulting accessibility provided by established, time-tested library and archival traditions.

The following paper discusses the new movement within archival practice that is arising to support the community-inclusive and decentralized work going on in zine archives and libraries around the country, focusing on the Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP) in Seattle; the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) in Portland; and Barnard Zine Library in New York City as examples. It reviews the special challenges that zines, as a form, present for the archivist, and considers the opportunities for reflection and redefinition that these challenges present for more traditional archival communities. The research included draws on interviews with zine library and archive staff, zine community documentation about the process of archiving zines, and traditional archival scholarship and theory.

Author Biography

Althea and Rachel are recent graduates of the University of Washington's MLIS program. Althea is a Research and Instruction Librarian at the University of Washington Bothell; Rachel is currently an Adjunct Reference and Instruction Librarian at Green River Community College, Bellevue College, and Edmonds Community College.

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