F&M College Library

Collection Policies

Purpose of the Zine Collection

Franklin & Marshall College Library collects zines that have content relevant to the college’s liberal arts curriculum.  They are purchased from individuals and distros.  The College Library also accepts donations if the contents fall within the above parameter.  Additionally, a special focus of the F&M Zine Library is zines that are produced and then donated by students, faculty, and staff of the college, or that are otherwise locally created.  The zines comprise a browsing collection that is cataloged, processed, and accessibly shelved but does not circulate.  (Occasionally the College Library purchases a zine “box set” that documents the output of an individual, collective, or publisher over time.  Box sets are cataloged as rare books and are housed separately in Archives & Special Collections.)

How to Access the Zine Collection

To see what’s in the collection make an Advanced Search at library.fandm.edu for Subject=Zines | Format=Book | Location=Franklin & Marshall College.


The F&M Zine Library at Franklin & Marshall College Library is a Browsing Collection.  That means the zines are available in the Periodicals Reading Room for the three R’s:  reading, relaxing, and research.  It also means that readers can’t check them out to take them home, but really, what’s better than grabbing a coffee and a zine, settling into a comfy Reading Room chair, putting your feet up, and enjoying a great read?

F&M bought its first zines—an 18-piece collection called “Instant Zine Archive”—in  March 2012 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Those zines and all acquired since are highly relevant to the college’s interdisciplinary curriculum.  Since 2012 students, faculty, and staff at F&M have made and read zines, studied and discussed them, and written about them.  Books about zines have been added to the library’s general collection to support zines as primary sources.

Controlled Vocabularies & Subject Thesauri

Using terminology from standard vocabularies will make the zines you catalog more discoverable.  When zines turn up alongside books, movies, and other kinds of information in a catalog search, users will have greater access to alternative perspectives.  (Code of Ethics)

zinesters' Rights

Library staff who work with the collection use the guidelines in the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics Zine, as a tool for “acquiring, managing, preserving, and making accessible zines in a library setting…,” which may mean privileging zinesters’ rights over library rules.

Zine Catalog Record Assignment

As zine librarians/archivists, we make every effort to broaden access and use through the most relevant and specific subject headings, summaries, and other notes.  This process is not infallible, and sometimes errors will happen, such as the use of headings that offend or do not resonate with zine creators.  (Code of Ethics)