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Visualizing Identities - Visit from the Barnard Zine Library

This guide accompanies Barnard Zine Librarian Jenna Freedman's visit with Aimée Bessire's Visualizing Identities class at Bates College

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 a collection emphasis on zines by BIPOC women/transfemmes 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. A small percentage of our zines have links to online versions or related resources.

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.

Barnard Zine Library stacks: corner of two walls of zines

What topics are of interest to you? Let's look them up in CLIO. A search will always begin with < zines >. Examples:


You can also explore by genre, e.g., personal zines, political zines, minicomics.

Conduct some searches on your own (two minutes) & discuss them in pairs (three minutes). Think about

  • Who made the zines and why?
  • How the zines compare to other content in the Barnard or Bates library.
  • Are zines inherently radical?

Return & discuss together.