National Library of Australia Zine Collection

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The National Library of Australia has a notable collection of zines and fanzines, the majority of which have been received on legal deposit. The strength of the library’s zine collection is largely in the area of Australian science fiction fanzines, particularly those from the 1970s and 1980s; in this area the Library’s collection benefited significantly from the donation of the Susan Smith-Clarke Fanzine Collection.


The earliest fanzines in the library’s collections date from the early 1950s, with publications such as the Australian science fiction newsletter , Woomera, Etherline, Perhaps and others. Representing the 1960s are the Mentor, begun in 1965, The New millennial harbinger and Scythrop. In addition to the science fiction fanzines there is a small but significant collection of American and Australian comic fanzines contained in the John Ryan collection of Australian comic books, ca. 1940-1960.


The 1970s saw sizeable growth in Australian fanzine production, in part inspired by the holding of the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention, the first time it had been held in Australia. This decade is represented by such titles as Gegenschein, Star struck, The Bionic rabbit, the Cygnus chronicler, Grundoon, Crux, WAHF-full, and Turn left at Thursday. From the mid-1970s, there can be seen an increasing representation of fanzines devoted to a science fiction television program, including Dr Who, Blake’s 7, and Star Trek, with this last program represented most notably in the library’s collection with publications such as Terran times, Thrall, Beyond Antares, Spock, Constellation, The rum rebellion, Captain’s log, The Captain's briefs, Genesis, Prime directive, The McCoy tapes, Truffles, Sons of Kiron III, Ultrawarp and Locutus.


From the 1980s the collection includes titles such as The Space wastrel, Ornithopter, Australian SF Bullsheet, Crabapple, Nemesis, Xenophilia, The Notional, and Tigger. This is also the period in which the collection becomes increasingly diverse, with titles devoted to, for example, the Australian television program Prisoner, Prisoner - the Wentworth star, amateur horror fiction such as Skintomb, metaphysics Dreams and false alarms and Australian literature Weberwoman’s wrevenge.


The ‘boom’ in perzine and music zines produced in Australia during the 1990s is not well represented, however music zines such as Pig meat, Beanz Baxter, Ignite zine, Loser friendly, Nappy kill fanzine, Octarine, Overdrive and Pee; notable perzines such as A show of hands zine and The life and times of Mavis McKenzie; and literary zines including Milk bar and Papyrus helix are held. There are very limited holdings for zines produced in the 2000s, some of note include the graphic arts zine Open me up, bi-lingual literary zine Cuando muero, sonrio, perzines Out of the bin and D90, and the DIY/craft driven Mixtape Zine.

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