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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

May 09, 2007

Librarians of the Ephemeral

There's a neat article [via Ron Silliman's linkfarm today] in the Boston Globe about how certain savvy librarians (many of whom are zinesters or former zinesters themselves) are managing the collection of zines, chapbooks, & DIY etceteras, some going so far as to establish proper Zine Collections:
[Jennifer] Freedman [at Barnard College] is part of a generation that grew up with zines during their heyday in the 1990s. Now she is part of an emerging community of professionally trained librarians who are trying to make zines a part of the modern academic library system. It is a community, Freedman says, that faces a difficult question: How do libraries -- institutions that by nature require a strict, stately style of micromanagement -- assimilate these self-published and occasionally category-defying dispatches from the cultural hinterlands?

"I think because we're all making it up, everyone is trying something and we'll see what the best practice is," Freedman explains. "Zinesters are not thinking about libraries when they write them" -- rarely do they contain copyright statements, dates of publication, or even reliable contact information.

Read the rest.

Then if you're near Barnard, check out their collection in person & report back, will ya? There are also similar collections at Duke University, the New York Public Library (um, news to me!), the Salt Lake City Public Library, and "about 20 colleges and universities."

What we need is a list.


  • The Poetry Library at Buffalo of course has a *huge* collection of such things, since their mission is to collect all poetry published in English since 1900. The UWisc@Madison subscribes to 4SQ (and subscribed to name before that), so I bet they have a reasonable collection as well.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 3:03 PM  

  • Ohio State Universtiy Library. John Bennett (Lost and Found Times etc.) and Geoff Smith curate a great collection of small, mini,zine press and more. Check online.

    By Blogger Jim McCrary, at 10:06 AM  

  • thanks, y'all. maybe i will add a library section to the resources in the sidebar. it would be great to know where one can go poke around, and also, where one might possibly donate things.

    the best collection in nyc is at poets' house. i'll have to investigate what they've got at nypl. they don't even have much contemporary small press poetry at the main branch (most of what they seem to buy is "classic" or from the mainstream publishers, and not even much of that. it struck me as SHOCKING to compare the poetry holdings at the main nypl branch to the libraries at the university of texas, for instance.) but now that i know they have this zine-y section, maybe i've just been looking in the wrong place.

    if anybody else has suggestions, links, etc. for library collections, bring 'em on.

    By Blogger shanna, at 1:43 PM  

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