This week's term: zine
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n. ~ [ZEEN] • RECORD TYPES • a limited-run and usually inexpensively produced serial or standalone publication of self-expression by a single individual or a small cooperative and distributed by mail and other participatory networks of exchange  

Although zine was in use at least by the 1960s as a synonymous shortened form of fanzine, the term took on a more general meaning by the 1980s. At this point, zines were usually photocopied and they were not necessarily defined by a fannish focus. Instead, zines covered the range of human experience and focused more on the creation of and dissemination of original literature, art, reporting, and political thought. By the 1990s, much zinelike activity moved to the Web, leading to the creation of e-zines and blogzines. Such electronic publications still exist, but their creators less and less conceive of these as zines.  

Broader Terms

Related Terms



Cited In
Bartel, Julie, A to Zine: Building a Winning Zine Collection in Your Library (American Library Association: Chicago, 2004): 1.  

Brett, Jeremy, and Hankins, Rebecca, "Deep in the Heart of Texzines: The Texas A&M University Zine Collection," American Library Association 2014 Annual Conference poster presentation quoted in Brett, Jeremy, "'Deep in the Heart of Texzines:' Developing an Archival Zine Collection," Technical Services Quarterly 32:4 (Routledge, 2015): 400‒
401, fn1.

Corvid, Virginia, “Building Community through Self-Expression: Zines as Archival Materials,” in Perspectives on Women’s Archives, Zanish-Belcher, Tanya and Anke Voss, eds. (Society of American Archivists: Chicago, 2013): 393, 395. 

Daniels, Caroline, Heather Fox, Sarah-Jane Poindexter, and Elizabeth Reilly, “Saving All the Freaks on the Life Raft: Blending Documentation Strategy with Community Engagement to Build a Local Music Archives,” The American Archivist 78:1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 255.  
Wakimoto, Diana K., Debra L. Hansen, and Christine Bruce, “The Case of LLACE: Challenges, Triumphs, and Lessons of a Community Archives,” The American Archivist 76:2 (Fall/Winter 2013): 454, fn30. 

Woodbrook, Rachel and Lazzaro, Althea. “The Bonds of Organization: Zine Archives and the Archival Tradition,” Journal of Western Archives 4:1 (2013): 3.
zine (Bagazine #4, 2010. Photo by Geof Huth.)
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WHAT IS THIS? Word of the Week is a weekly email service of the Dictionary Working Group of the Society of American Archivists. Featured terms will be included in the new Dictionary of Archives Terminology, which is projected to be available in 2016.

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