I <3 Zines: Visiting the Barnard Zine Library

by Dre Grigoropol

One of the best places to review uncensored feminist resources is the Barnard Zine Library.  This library is a part of the Barnard College which is a school of Columbia University. This institution thinks, “that zines are important cultural artifacts and research materials, as well as being a pleasure to read.” “What is a zine?”, some readers might ask.  The word “zine” stems from the word magazine or fanzine. A zine is a DIY publication. The collection includes around 4,000 zines with topics ranging from activism, anarchism, body image, third wave feminism, gender, parenting, queer community, riot grrrl, sexual assault, transgender experience, and more.

Visiting the Barnard Zine Library is recommended to anyone interested in zines about feminism and femme identity. The Barnard Zine Library is maintained and curated by Jenna Freedman, a research librarian, activist, archivist, and zinester.  The library attempts to acquire two copies of each zine.  One copy gets placed on the shelves of the library stacks and is available to anyone to read.  The other copy gets archived in a temperature-controlled room and acid-free environment.  Those zines will be preserved for future generations.  They even have issues of BUST, which started as a zine in 1993. Plan out your visit, the library’s information can be found on their site zines.barnard.edu.

Photo by Dre Grigoropol 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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