Zines @ Vassar started as an idea in fall of 2014. We started small--our initial goal was to take advantage of an Arts Across the Curriculum initiative and propose a campus wide zine workshop in the College's Collaboratory. This proposal was successful, and we were given a week-long slot to host various workshops and zine activities.
With this victory in hand, we decided it was time to think big: We needed to pitch the idea for a zines collection at Vassar.
Our purpose in collecting zines is to give students access to diverse forms of personal expression. Zines are a DIY, self-published medium, and as such, they include voices and narratives frequently absent from more traditional, for-profit, or even academic publishing venues. We in the Library want to introduce students to these materials, to let them know that there may be others who are dealing with or have dealt with similar situations in their lives. We also want to provide a supportive environment where students can create their own personal statements.
Zines also have academic uses, in the classroom or for research. Zines are primary source materials that reflect everyday lives, struggles, and triumphs. Some zines and zine-makers connect with political activism, community-building, and social justice work. Some zines present art or photography in exciting ways. If you're a Vassar instructor interested in including zines in your courses, please contact email@example.com to discuss the many possibilities for workshops, activities, or assignments.
What kind of zines do we collect?
There is no single theme that unites the content of our zine collection; however, we do try to focus on several key areas. In the collection of zines we have gathered so far, we have a number of zines that were created to discuss personal experiences with gender expression, sexual health and consent, mental health, social justice and activism, and other topics that may resonate with students on campus.
In addition to purchasing zines from distros (distributors), independent bookstores, and zinefests, we are interested in your zine creations! Please see our Donate your zine! page for more information.
How can I access the zines?
The zine collection is currently located on the second floor of Thompson (Main) Library. We recommend browsing in person--it's a great way to discover interesting zines of different sizes, forms, and topics. Our zines circulate, so you can even check them out and read them outside of the library!
Zines are also findable through our catalog and search platform, Library Search. If you're looking for a zine that isn't listed in the catalog, contact us. Maybe it hasn't been processed yet, or maybe we can purchase it for the collection.
There are a few simple search terms that can help you find zines at Vassar: