• Fanzines, or ‘zines’ are self published magazines with small print runs, where the entire
    process from creation to distribution is done by the maker and generally not created for
    profit. Their subject matter can be almost anything. They are distinctly anti-commercial a,
    often acting as an outlet for alternative or marginalised voices, which are often ignored by
    mainstream publishing. The UK has a strong zine culture, and an increasing number of
    libraries here are developing zine collections. There are also a number of alternative
    spaces such as self organised zine libraries and anarchist social centres which do the
    same thing.
    The first chapter sets out the context of the dissertation, and flags up the fact that most of
    the research and literature about zine collections in both institutional and alternative
    spaces is very USA-centric. As a result the study of UK zine collections is important in
    terms of the focus of this dissertation. Chapter two considers the way that zines might be
    defined. Using a combination of face to face and written interviews with people
    responsible, and fieldwork in the form of visits, this dissertation examines a selection of
    both institutional and alternative zine collections located in UK and examines how they
    collect, care for, and make accessible their collections in the third and fourth chapters. The
    concluding chapter draws examines the issues that UK institutional and alternative zine
    collections face, including the argument for and against collecting zines at all. Although this
    study does not consider every institutional or alternative zine collection in the UK, and
    therefore cannot be considered comprehensive, it aims to give an idea of the range of
    collections that exist here.