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Guide to the West Coast Zines Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: West Coast Zines Collection
    Dates: 1985-2011
    Identification: MS-0278
    Creator: West Coast Zines
    Physical Description: 25.00 linear ft
    Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
    5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
    San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
    URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
    Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
    Phone: 619-594-6791

    Biographical Information:

    Zines are informal, personal mini-magazines on virtually any topic, written, published, and distributed by their creators. The incredible breadth of zines make it difficult to classify them but several areas of focus consistently emerge such as the political, personal, network, scene, grrrl/girl, art, fringe culture, sex, religious, health, vocational, travel, and literary zine, as well as comix, and many, many more. Throughout their history, a unique and important publishing network has been developed by the dedication of both zine creators and their readers. A large and complex subculture revolves around the distribution of this literature where "zinesters" have created a self-supported underground rich with resourcefulness, networking, and interaction. While types of zines and their content are as unique as the individuals who create them, all zines present a social, if not political, challenge. Backed by a hardboiled Do-It-Yourself ethic, zines become a form of cultural rebellion where individuals take initiative, community develops, and a movement is born.
    Zines have been in circulation for over sixty years. The term comes from fan magazine. Fan magazines were first created in the early 1930's by Science Fiction fans and often published by Sci-Fi club founders. These productions served as a way to share science fiction stories and commentary and to widen communication between fans. Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback in 1926, was the first creation of its kind. In the 1970's, fan magazines became known as "fanzines" as they were adopted by the growing punk rock music scene in response to its neglect by and criticism of the mainstream music press. The world of fanzines became greatly influenced by the punk scene as alternative music and politics met face to face. Early examples of these fanzines were Punk and the now infamous Sniffin' Glue. By the 1980's, streams of publications by fans of other cultural genres entered the scene, mixing with the writings of discouraged, disgruntled authors and the printed leftovers of 1960's-1970's political dissent. At this time, fan was dropped and zine became the umbrella term for all genres encompassed within this form of alternative press.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Topical Term:

    Popular culture
    Transgender people
    Young women

    Administrative Information



    Conditions Governing Use:

    The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

    Preferred Citation:

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, West Coast Zines Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

    Scope and Contents

    The West Coast Zines Collection consists of Fan Magazines and Zines dating from 1985 to the present. Topics include feminism, gender, sexuality, and women's issues which generally cross race, class, and geographic boundaries. A few examples of girl print zines collected in the SDSU Special Collections Archive include Glue Magazine, El Sueno de Venus, Oya, Hip Mama, and Wive's Tales. Zines in the collection are arranged alphabetically by title. Author, date and volume, place of publication, and category (i.e. music, technology, feminism, etc) are also included in each zine description.