Skip to main content

Johns Hopkins University zine collection

Identifier: MS-0587

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection of avant-garde magazines, image collections, and short stories from contemporary artists was assembled by curators within Special Collections. Mostly self-published, some of the publishers include Capricious and Medium Rare. The zines were printed between 1990 to 2013, with the bulk from 2007.


  • Creation: 1990 - 2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2007 - 2013


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

A zine is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.

A popular definition includes that circulation must be 1,000 or fewer, although in practice the majority are produced in editions of fewer than 100, and profit is not the primary intent of publication. They are informed by anarchopunk and DIY ethos.

Zines are written in a variety of formats, from desktop published text to comics to handwritten text (an example being the hardcore punk zine Cometbus). Print remains the most popular zine format, usually photocopied with a small circulation. Topics covered are broad, including fanfiction, politics, poetry, art and design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, riot grrrl and intersectional feminism, single-topic obsession, or sexual content far outside of the mainstream enough to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media. The time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from sale of zines.

Small circulation zines are often not explicitly copyrighted and there is a strong belief among many zine creators that the material within should be freely distributed. In recent years a number of photocopied zines have risen to prominence or professional status and have found wide bookstore and online distribution.


0.19 Cubic Feet (1 letter half-size document box)

Language of Materials



A zine is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier. This collection of zines was assembled by curators within Special Collections and were printed between 2007 to 2013.


This collection is arranged in the order of when accruals are received.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased between 2012 and 2013.


Includes accession numbers 2011-12.MS.044 and 2012-13.MS.034.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in October 2015 by Annie Tang. Additional processing performed by Spencer Hupp in October 2022.

Guide to the Johns Hopkins University zine collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA