zine union catalog

About Zine Union Catalog (ZineCat)

Zinecat.org is a union catalog dedicated to zines! A union catalog is a resource where libraries can share cataloging and holdings information. The Zine Union Catalog (ZineCat) lets researchers discover zine holdings by searching a single catalog, and helps librarians copy catalog records to facilitate lending across libraries. ZineCat serves educators, researchers, librarians, archivists, and anyone in the general public with an interest in zines.

ZineCat was created by a group of zine librarians, catalogers, metadataists, archivists, and developers, who wanted to share a library catalog for zines from libraries with disparate metadata schemas and controlled (or not-so-controlled) vocabularies. The goal was to create a Linked Open Data catalog which can be contributed to and used by anyone from the largest research institutions to the smallest anarchist libraries (something like an open source WorldCat specifically for zines). ZineCat is also a capstone project completed by Jenna Freedman and Lauren Kehoe while in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Master’s in Digital Humanities program, which provided essential resources to support the project. Many thanks to Lisa Rhody and Maura Smale from the Graduate Center were the project advisers. Martí Massana Ferre and Alex Segal, also CUNY Graduate Center master’s students, were partners in the initial project prototype.

In addition, special thanks to Eric Goldhagen for the technical support as developer and Milo Miller from the Queer Zine Archive Project, who made a fantastic zine in April 2013 that outlines the history of the union catalog, beginning with the first Zine Librarians unConference in Seattle in 2009 (printable pdf copy). The zine also describes xZINECOREx, a metadata standard based on Dublin Core, consisting of basic metadata elements and intended to be a starting point for independent libraries and librarians to participate in shared cataloging efforts.



Since then, a core group of zine librarians has been meeting regularly to discuss possible avenues forward. The present iteration of ZineCat would not be possible without the support of our past Metadata Intern, Vita Kurland, and our current team consisting of Jennifer Huang, our Outreach & Documentation Coordinator, and Eric Goldhagen Freedman, our Project Developer, as well the Project Managers, Lauren Kehoe and Jenna Freedman.

If you want to learn more or read an in-depth history of ZineCat, check out Lauren Kehoe’s chapter on the Zine Union Catalog in the book, Zines in Libraries: Selecting, Purchasing, and Processing (PDF copy).

Join our mailing list! We’re always looking for more folks to give us perspectives on how we can really grow ZineCat. If you are a creative problem solver, zine enthusiast, LOD fanatic, or just want to hang out on the line between cool and nerdy, please get in touch.

Check out the Zine Union Catalog at zinecat.org!

Our notes from meetings live on this Etherpad

Zine Union Catalog Planning Meeting 2024