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Zines and Self-Published Materials

A zines resource guide created for Archives Month 2023


photograph of four monochromatic zines on a table

Zines (pronounced zeens), short for magazines, are typically short, self-published booklets focused on a specific theme or idea. They are often created using simple cut-and-paste techniques or typing to create a master copy, with distribution copies created via a photocopy machine. Zines are often folded and stapled to produce the finished product. However, the techniques used are less important than the creative DIY spirit that underlies the entire zine community.

Anyone can make a zine! All you need are a few simple materials and a topic about which you are passionate. The low barrier to participation has allowed creators from historically marginalized groups to share their thoughts and ideas with others.

Last updated September 2023

banner reading Archives Are Community Made

Community Made: Zines and Self-Published Material

Virginia Archives Month 2023

Truth be told, all archival work is a little DIY. While there are professional standards and best practices, at the end of the day, a lot of our day-to-day work is, well, homespun. Similarly, many users of archival collections come up with creative and innovative ways to utilize collections or share their research. To highlight the power and opportunity in the DIY efforts of both archivists and archives users, this year’s Virginia Archives Month theme is Community Made: Zines and Self-Published Material.

The exact boundaries of what constitutes a zine are somewhat permeable. Self-published materials often demonstrate the same DIY spirit and shared techniques as the zine community. However, they may differ from typical zines in format or distribution method. For Virginia Archives Month, we want to celebrate everything from zines to community newsletters to artists’ books and more! View the Archives Month 2023 webpage for additional information about events and opportunities.