Ten years ago, an ambitious band of zine librarians hatched a plan: to pull together all the catalogues of the world’s zine libraries into one.
Now, the dream is becoming real.
In December 2019, the Zine Union Catalog officially went live with records of almost 30,000 zines from six different collections.
The hope is that creating a central space to search most zine collections will be useful not only to other zine librarians, but also to researchers looking for hard to find zines and documentation of counter cultures.
“It’s so thrilling,” says Barnard Zine Library’s Jenna Freedman, one of the catalogue’s champions since it was dreamed up at a Zine Librarian Unconference in Seattle. “I’ve already used it to do research and respond to patron inquiries.”
And the list is only growing. Canadians are sure to see a jump in CanCon, as the next two collections to be added are Halifax’s Anchor Archive and Toronto’s OCAD Zine Library.
As a bonus, visitors to the “Zinecat,” get a special, extra cute treat: the search results also drum up images of feline friends hanging out with zines.