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Ely Library at Westfield State University
Plain Text Zine History
A Brief History of Zines: From the 1920s to the Present
1920s: Harlem Renaissance
- Zines as we know them today likely got their start around this time, when a group of Black creatives started a "little magazine" called Fire!!!
1930s: Science Fiction Fanzines
- Science fiction fans started many different fanzines, which is where the term "zine" likely originates.
1970s: Punk Subculture
- Zines became a more popular way within the subculture to connect with others in the community, especially as copying tech grew.
1990s: Riot Grrrl Movement
- Emerged out of DIY punk subculture at around the same time as the third-wave US feminist movement. They used zines as consciousness-raising and organizing tools.
Today: Not Just One Subculture
- Zines are more widely popular than just a single subculture! Zines are a great way for folks from marginalized groups to share their thoughts, stories, and build community.