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Wednesday, May 12 • 11:10am - 12:30pm
14. Publications for the People! Archives, Workshops, and Engaging the Audience

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The act of creating zines is inherently community based--they’re meant to be given away, swapped, and maybe even lost in a pile of books. Zines have also become a part of library and archive culture, whether through preservation efforts or class instruction. Presenters on this panel will discuss their experiences with zines in the classroom, the library, and the archive while addressing the challenges these unique materials present.

Eve Griffin examines the history of teenage girls and their creative output in 1990s America, as influenced by feminist activist and music culture.

Shira Loev Eller describes a do-it-yourself zine workshop for students that created community through art-making, engaged students with special collections materials, and provided an opportunity to learn about counterculture history.

Stefanie Hilles and Alia Levar Wegner discuss the creation of a zine archive serving the needs of both student and faculty users that would be both used by and created during zine workshops.

Moderator: Steenz

What Can Feminist Punk Rock Teach Us About the Collecting and Evaluation of Ephemera?

The Riot Grrrl Collection (RGC) at NYU’s Fales Library represents a sustained and dynamic effort to collect rebellion-oriented ephemera from the early 90s feminist-punk movement. The Riot Grrrls, a loose feminist collective that thrived on punk aesthetic and grassroots activism, fought to raise consciousness about, provide political commentary on, and resist and educate against racism, rape, domestic violence, homophobia and heterosexism, classism, reproductive rights, and equity. They called for a teen girl revolution that emphasized the importance of making rather than consuming. As a result, thousands of zines (DIY magazines), buttons, flyers, posters, cassettes, photographs, media clippings, and notebooks were generated by teen girls throughout the country, and comprise the basis of the Fales’ collections. With an emphasis on self-made materials, these items stand in stark contrast to an archives’ more rare and valuable items, yet they offer an unparalleled understanding of feminism, punk activism, DIY culture, and rebellion in the early 1990s. Now containing over 30 discrete collections, the Fales Library holdings represent a different understanding of ephemera as it relates to historic narrative, offering a rare glimpse of teenage girl vernacular, as well as a new perspective on activist culture and rebellion.

Speaker: Eve Griffin

Soviet Counterculture, Poison Girls, and Glue Sticks: Engaging History and Enhancing Community with a Do-It-Yourself Zine Workshop

The feeling of community and camaraderie is essential to first year student success and retention; urban universities with dispersed campus locations can particularly struggle to meet this need for our students. As central gathering places which exist outside the formal academic structure, libraries can serve as a locale for informal, community-building activities. In this presentation, I will discuss how I, as Art and Design Librarian, collaborated with library partners to co-lead a do-it-yourself zine workshop which was not only successful at creating community through art-making, but engaged special collections materials and provided an informal opportunity to learn about counterculture history.

Speaker: Shira Loev Eller

The Revolution Will Be Archived: Creating a Student-Centered Zine Collection for Instruction

Once the purview of underground counterculture, zines are now actively collected in archives and libraries for both preservation and access. This presentation discusses the collaboration between the Arts and Humanities Librarian and the Digital Collections Librarian to create a new zine archive at a university art library specifically aimed to serve the teaching needs of its student and faculty users. The project team used ArchivesSpace, the university’s archival management system, to archive the collection and improve the discoverability of the materials. By focusing on accessibility, while still meeting preservation standards, the project team seeks to reimagine the archive as a student-centered teaching collection that will be used during the art librarian’s popular zine instruction sessions.

Speakers: Stefanie Hilles and Alia Levar Wegner



Freelance Cartoonist, Editor, and Cartooning Professor

avatar for Eve Griffin

Eve Griffin

Curator of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library
Special collections, archives, museum collections, registrar, collections management, public art
avatar for Shira Loev Eller

Shira Loev Eller

Art and Design Librarian, George Washington University
Talk to me about artists' books, art and design students, collection development, library instruction, liaison work, and art librarianship in an academic library.

Stefanie Hilles

Arts & Humanities Librarian, Wertz Art and Architecture Library, Miami University
Stefanie Hilles is the Arts and Humanities Librarian at Wertz Art and Architecture Library at Miami University, where she liaisons to the art, architecture, and theater departments, manages their collections, and instructs information literacy sessions. She also curates exhibitions... Read More →

Alia Levar Wegner

Digital Collections Librarian, Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives

Wednesday May 12, 2021 11:10am - 12:30pm EDT