UCSB Library is launching its first circulating zine collection! The Social Justice Zine Collection includes more than 70 works made by zinesters, primarily based in California, who publish on a variety of social justice topics.
Zines (pronounced "zeens" like "magazines") are do-it-yourself publications, made from collections of images and text, and distributed by the creator or zinester themselves. Zines are created out of love, not for profit, and are focused on a wide array of topics.
The collection is curated by UCSB librarians Des Alaniz and Paige Sundstrom. Already, the two have worked with faculty and student organizations on campus to use zines as tools for information literacy, civic engagement, and creative self-expression.
“Often, zines are written by marginalized folx who lack access to more traditional or scholarly forms of publication and knowledge production,” said Des. “Collecting these materials and making them available to students on a circulating basis affirms that these materials are cultural objects worthy of inclusion within and alongside existing library collections.”
The Social Justice Zine Collection is curated with a social justice activism lens and specific topics that represent the scope of this collection are zine works about neurodivergence, anti-racist activism, gender, sexuality, disability activism, feminist art, Black archives, and social movement history.
In addition to the newly purchased zines, the collection also includes materials created by students and members of the campus community who have contributed to zines made through programming events such as UCSB Reads and the RCSGD’s Zine Making Club. The collection will continue to grow through soliciting student-created works.
“Zines are powerful tools for students to self-document their experiences at UCSB and can be leveraged as a pedagogical tool to further scholarly research projects,” said Paige. “The collection and preservation of these materials also provide current and future scholars and researchers a unique format for understanding student life and activism at UCSB.”
The circulating Social Justice Zine Collection will be housed in the Library’s Art & Architecture Collection on the first floor. Zines will be displayed next to the World Comics Collection and will be able to be checked out at the Services Desk when it reopens. They are fully searchable on UCSB Library’s discovery system.
Funded through a grant from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the zine collection advances the campus’s mission of a more inclusive and equitable environment.