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FYSB 1422: Art, AIDS, Activism

This guide was made by Arts Librarian Meredith Wisner and Curator of the Barnard Zine Library Jenna Freedman to support Alice Reagan's First Year Seminar on Art, AIDS, Activism in Fall 2021 at Barnard College

Barnard Zine Library

Welcome to the Barnard Zine Library!

The Barnard Zine Library is part of the Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) in the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning at Barnard College, Columbia University. The zines are described in the library catalog we share with Columbia University Libraries (CUL), CLIO.

Barnard's zines are created by women and transfeminine people, with collection emphases on zines by BIPOC women and transfeminine people and transwomen of all races and ethnicities. We collect zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. The zines are personal and political publications on activism, anarchism, body image, gender, parenting, queer community, riot grrrl, sexual assault, trans feminisms, and other topics.

There are two zine collections: circulating stacks and special collections.

Circulating zines are located on the 2nd floor of the Milstein Center and can be borrowed by Barnard and Columbia students and members of the BorrowDirect and MaRLI networks and are also available via interlibrary loan. Barnumbia loans are semester long and renewable 99 times.

In Pandemic Times

We have a list of Barnard Zine Library zines with links to pdfs or other digital manifestations of the zines' content, and here is information about zine access to remote users.

You can request stacks zines scans via Scan & Deliver and Special Collections scans by emailing We are inundated with scan requests, so allow time for scans to be made.

Try digital zine libraries like the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP), Sherwood Forest Virtual Zine Library, and Papercut Virtual Zine Library.

Zines Are

photo of a cat with green eyes and a mostly black face with white cheeks biting a zine with a red cover titled "The Stay at Home Girlfriend."radical * art * combative * personal * freedom * radical * intimate * intimate * uncensored * remix * uncensored * DIY * bold * authentic * resistance

Zines Are Also

Nijsten, Nina. Scissors & Chainsaws No. 2 : Diary Comic Zine Made in July 2020 During International Zine Month. Gent, Belgium: Nina Nijsten, 2020.

Why Make Zines?

The answer to that question may change over time and by genre.

Homework Zines

Homework zines


  • How do the visual elements compliment or complicate the text?
  • What is one page, passage, or graphic that moved you--to laughter, sadness, anger, etc.?
  • Can you make a guess about the zine creator(s) socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and other identities based on reading the zine?
  • Which passages or zines might move a person to action? What kind of person? What kind of action?
  • For whom do you think this zine was made?