Tuesday, 21 July 2015

International Zine Library Day 2015

It's International Zine Month and today is International Zine Library Day!

Each year I compile a list of UK and Irish zine libraries and collections to celebrate zine libraries. At the moment I'm also compiling the first UK and Ireland Zine Libraries zine which was due to be launched today but due lots and lots of lurgy this is delayed quite a bit but it's coming next week!


Zine libraries and archives are amazing. They make huge collections of zines available and accessible and totally searchable to the general public. You can reach audiences you might not otherwise if you are a zinester and only circulate your zines at zine fests and through distros.  Your zine can be preserved and looked after and made accessible to people outside of zine communities. They can be indexed and compiled in bibliographies and used as examples of various subcultures and politics and writing. Your zine can even be used in exhibitions and displays. 


Some zine libraries belong to bigger institutions with libraries which have useful things such as online public catalogues, preservation equipment to look after your zine in the right way, and staff that can catalogue and index your work and make them accessible. And other zine libraries are more grassroots and are based in social centres by people who love zines and are part of the community. There is no 'real' zine library, they are all valuable  and valid collections, but if you are thinking of sending your zines to libraries, select a handful of different types.


I previously set up the zine library at Stuart Hall library with my colleague Sonia, and I've recently set up the zine collection at Tate Library and I'm looking forward to working with zinesters and getting as many people in to view the collections as possible.


While I am lucky and work at a library with a (tiny) budget for zines, a lot of other libraries are working with absolutely no budget for zines. So if you make zines or run a distro, please consider donating your zines to zine collections.

 Thinking of donating your zines to UK and Irish zine libraries? Here is a handy list of places you might want to send them:



Scope: Has specialist collections of counterculture zines, women’s zines, riot grrrl zines,music zines, football zines, alternative comics. Items are held within Special Collections and are available on request.

Online catalogue: Most zines have been catalogued and you can search for zines here  There are also finding lists available for some uncatalogued zines and comics here  

Donations policy: Contact alison.bailey@bl.uk to donate your zine

Access: Zines are available to BL readers upon request. Contact alison.bailey@bl.uk for more info. Opening hours and registration details here 




Scope: The Women’s Library zine collection aims to collect and preserve women's zines from the 1970s to present day.

Online Catalogue: All zines are catalogued and can be searched here 

Donations policy: To discuss donating your zine to the collection please email library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk 

Access:The Women's Library is open Mon-Fri 10:30am-5pm. Visitors are advised to book an appointment 2 days in advance. You can book an appointment, reserve material, and register by emailing library.enquiries@lse.ac.uk or calling 020 7955 7229.




Scope: The Stuart Hall Library began its zine collection in 2010 and is continuing to collect zines. The library collects zines relating to cultural diversity,race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, as well as personal/political/arts based zines. 

Online Catalogue: All zines are catalogued and be searched here 

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations, please contact library@iniva.org to discuss donating your zine

Access: You will need to register as a library member to access the material. The library is open Tues- Fri 10am – 1pm 2pm – 5pm. Please contact the library to make an appointment library@iniva.org






Scope: The LCC part of the University of Arts has a great collection of zines spanning art zines as well as music/punk/personal/political zines, covering art, music, photography, commix, radical printing, politics and personal stories. 

Online catalogue: Items are added to the general library catalogue here

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations. Please contact l.kassir@lcc.arts.ac.uk

Access: To arrange access please contact l.kassir@lcc.arts.ac.uk



Scope: The library collects all zines donated to the collections ranging from art zines to personal zines to music zines etc

Online catalogue: Online catalogue featuring images here

Donations policy: Salford Zine Library wants your zines!  The library is non profit and welcomes donations  contact salfordzinelibrary@gmail.com or send your work directly to Salford Zine Library, 40 Jutland House, 15 Jutland Street,Manchester,M1 2BE 

Access: The library is open daily to the public and is based at Nexus Art Cafe on Dale Street, Manchester.



Scope: The zine library collects political, feminist, queer, activist zines as well as perzines and punk zines.

Online catalogue: No online catalogue

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations, please contact info@56a.org.uk

Access: 56a is a volunteer run social Centre and is open to the public. The centre is open Weds 3 – 7pm, Thurs 2-8pm, Fri 3 – 7pm, Sat 2 – 6pm.



Scope: Zineopolis focuses on zines heavy with visual content aka art zines.

Online catalogue of zines: No online catalogue but each zine in the collection is briefly listed plus description and images here

Donations policy: To donate your zine please contact Jackie.batey@port.ac.uk The library welcomes donations that are visual based art zines.

Access: To access the collection please contact jackie.batey@port.ac.uk



Scope: Feminist, perzines, music, punk, political, comics included in the collection. The collection dates from the early 90s to present day.

Online catalogue: You can search the GWL archive here Although many materials are currently uncatalogued and readers are advised to email for more information info@womenslibrary.org.uk

Donations policy: Zine donations are welcome, please contact info@womenslibrary.org.uk

Access: The library is open Mon-Fri 10am – 4:30pm while access to the archive is limited due to refurbishment. To arrange access and request specific zines please contact info@womenslibrary.org.uk



Scope: The library is a lending library with materials relating to libertarian, ecological, and feminist books, pamphlets, and zines.

Online catalogue: The online catalogue of zines is currently in progress. You can check the progress of this here  

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations, you can contact cowleylibrary@gmail.com for more infor

Access: The library is open Weds, Thurs, Fri 12 – 6pm and Thursday evenings 7 – 9pm








Scope: The library's growing collection of zines focuses mostly on art zines (collage, illustration, and photography feature heavily) but also features punk zines, fanzines, political and personal zines, comix, and poetry zines.


Online catalogue: All zines are added to the catalogue. Online catalogue is here


Donations policy: The library welcomes donations. You can send donations to Tate Library, Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1p 4RG.


Access: Access is appointment Monday - Friday 11am - 5pm. Contact reading.rooms@tate.org.uk or call 02078878838









Scope: The library collects all kinds of zines by and for lgbt people. It is the only UK based LGBT zine library.

Online catalogue: The LGBT Centre library uses Good Reads as its main catalogue, but for the moment zines aren't included.

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations. You can send donations to Manchester LGBT Zine Library, 10 Fleeson Street, Manchester, M14 5NG. 

Access: The zine library is found at the Joyce Layland Centre, 49-51 Sidney Street, M1 7HB. Contact lgbtzinelibrary@hotmail.com for access.







Scope: The library collects poetry zines, art zines, radical printing, fanzines, perzines.

Online catalogue: All zines can be searched via the catalogue here

Donations policy: The library welcomes donations. Contact info@poetrylibrary.org.uk for more info.

Access: The library is open to the public Tues-Sun 11am - 8pm. Email info@poetrylibrary.org.uk for more info.








Scope: Irish and international self published zines

Online catalogue: No online catalogue is available but a full list of material is available as a finding aid here

Donations policy: The collection welcomes donations. Contact them via email for more info theforgottenzinearchive@gmail.com

Access: The zine collection is housed in Barricade Inn, an infoshop/residence in Dublin. There are infoshop open days Mondays (5pm), Wednesdays (5pm) and Saturdays (12pm)Contact theforgottenzinearchive@gmail.com for access info or via their facebook page







Scope: Zines include punk zines/feminist/queer/perzines/political zines/pamphlets

Online Catalogue: no online cataogue available but a selection of zines and reviews of zines in the collection can be found here

Donations: The library welcomes donations but you will need to contact them first: cannylittlelibrary@gmail.com Send your donations to Canny Little Library, The Star and Shadow Cinema CIC, Stepney Bank, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 2NP.

Access: The library is open on Sundays from 3-7pm at the Star and Shadow Cinema. Access details are here


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