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NYC Zine Culture

Made for Anya Kurennaya's class at Parson's School of Design, Spring 2020

Getting Started

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 womxn and non-binary people, a collection emphasis on by women of color and a new (2019) effort to acquire more zines by transwomen. 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. The library is open to the public. If the turnstiles are up, ask at the Circulation and Help Desk for entry.

The zine library is open the same hours as the Milstein Center, and can be checked out during Circulation & Help Desk hours. 

Zine Intellectual Property Considerations

  • “Reproducing/reprinting all or any part of this zine without prior consent will be considered utterly disrespectful and generally uncool.” - Aqsa Zine #4 Ancestors + Descendants. Sept. 2011. Print.
  • Researchers may scan, photograph, or otherwise reproduce zine text and images for their own use. Researchers may not publish zine images or substantial amounts of text in print, on the web, or in any public format, without making every effort to secure permission from the zine creator. If the zine creator is deceased or difficult for the researcher and zine librarian to locate, discuss other options with the zine librarian.
  • All zines are protected by copyright unless they contain an anti-copyright statement.
  • Read and contribute other special zine copyright/fair use statements on the Zine Libraries website.

Zines in the Library Catalog

photo of cat touching a mouse and looking at a computer monitorBrowse

We'll save time at the end for browsing the stacks.


  • Exercise (handout)
  • Author
  • Title
  • Published
  • Description (number of pages, size)
  • Subjects
  • Subjects (genre)
  • Other creators
  • Notes (explanatory, binding or printing technique, provenance, purpose)
  • Summary


Look your zine up in CLIO, the Columbia Libraries catalog. In twos or threes, discuss:

  • How is your metadata similar to or different from CLIO's?
  • How might you want your zine described? Or not described?

Controlled vocabulary

Library of Congress Subject Headings: authorities catalog, linked data

Library of Congress Classification Outline

Our zines are shelved by author. Why?


This is controversial

Libraries and archives

Compare catalog records of an identical donation from Mimi Nguen to a finding aid from the Riot Grrrl Collection at Fales

  • How do the experiences and research processes differ, and how are they similar?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to each?