The collection contains approximately 700 zines that were acquired from multiple sources and donors since the 1990s. Self-published by individuals or produced by small groups, the zines represent a wide range of genres including political, personal, DIY, and art zines among others. Many of the zines were created in Virginia or have a connection to Virginia Commonwealth University.
The RPL Zine Collection is part of the library's Special Collections and can be accessed in the Richmond Room of the Main Library. This collection is searchable via the library catalog and is accepting ongoing submissions.
Studio Two Three is home to the Richmond Independent Zine Library (RIZL). Celina Williams and Dustin Fenton started RIZL in 2016, to share their personal zine collections, collect and share zines specifically for the library, and develop a space for a growing zine community in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a Virginia artist-focused zine collection located in the reading room of The Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library. The VMFA Zine Collection was started in 2018. The zine collection is actively acquiring new zines from local artists, zinesters, zine fairs, and local art organizations. There are 80+ zines (in addition to a small collection of reference books about zines and alternative publications) that are available to browse during reading room hours.
The young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) published and distributed newspapers in camps throughout the commonwealth between 1933 to 1942. Each paper varies in sophistication, regularity, and skill, but as a whole, they offer a vivid picture of camp life during the Depression, including work safety reminders, camp classes and events, health columns, editorials, sports reports, cultural news, and illustrations.
This collection of personal papers contains numerous examples of self-published materials from Shenandoah County and the Shenandoah Valley. These materials, dating from the early to mid-twentieth century, include church newsletters, school newspapers, and a variety of items from the girls-only Camp Strawderman, such as the camp's newspaper, publicity materials, event programs, yearbooks, and more. Self published materials can be found in Series II, III, and VII of the collection.
This collection consists of fifteen volumes of Our Own Community Press, a Norfolk-based LGBTQIA+ newspaper that ran from 1976 to 1998. The first issue of Our Own Community Press was a single, one-sided 8.5″ x 11″ sheet - very zine-like! - but it changed to more of a newspaper format in January 1978. Of historical note are articles on anti-gay campaigns by Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson; the murder of San Francisco city supervisor and gay rights activist, Harvey Milk; same-sex marriage; gays and religion; gays in the military; gays in the media; the AIDS epidemic; and news, organizations, and events related to gay and lesbian people on local, state, and national levels.
In response to the staunchly conservative and unapologetically segregationist print media outlets in Richmond, a group of Harvard and UVA grads got together in 1972 and began publishing The Richmond Mercury as an alternative to the status quo. Dubbing themselves “outsider journalists,” the politically leftist and sometimes irreverent writers and editors tackled stories on sexual assault at the Virginia State Penitentiary, gay crusing on Grace Street, and sex work; all topics assiduously avoided by mainstream outlets.
Founded in 1981, ThroTTle was an independent alternative music and culture magazine based in Richmond, Virginia. The founders were all former editors of the Virginia Commonwealth University student newspaper, The Commonwealth Times. From its inaugural issue in January, 1981 (with original cover art by Frank Zappa), ThroTTle grew to become the voice of the burgeoning punk and art community in and around Richmond throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During its peak years, the magazine claimed a circulation of over 30,000. The magazine published its final issue in 1999.