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So I've just moved into a proper room for the first time in years and as of yesterday have collected all my crap from the many places where it was stored. So I finally have all my zines together! I spent much of yesterday evening sitting amongst them, cooing.

I have already sorted my books by subject (plans to implement Dewey Decimal system are temporarily on hold) but have drawn a bit of a blank when it comes to zines. Shelving them like books seems a little pointless because they don't have spines to identify them by. Also they are all different sizes. I have about 2 suitcases full to somehow organise - can anyone make suggestions?

Current 2 ideas:

1. Make half-size (A5) magazine files, which will hold most zines, then store the few full size (A4) zines separately. Order by subject, etc.

2. Use box files - the ones that are just a sturdy, A4 sized box. This would let me store any size of zine (except the 3 stupid massive ones I have), collect less dust and possibly look neater. Mmm. Neat zines.

So yeh, how do you order your zines? How do you impose order on things that are by nature pretty chaotic and wonky? I have previously stored them in a big pile in suitcases and also a broken television, but that was before my slightly unnerving desire for order and ease of reference. Suggestions!

Also, here's some zine geek fodder - some of the categories I've come up with so far (haven't gone through most of them yet, but there's main themes emerging)

-music zines

then I was thinking of having just 'perzines', ordered alphabetically by title, but I'm tempted to order them into categories such as

-general heartbreak
-trainhopping/evasion ripoffs/surprisingly dull tales of adventure
-lonely teenagers
-overly posi
-overly negi
-coffee/bikes/living in portland
-classics/formative teenage reads
-comedy terrible


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i have a few cardboard shelves as described by someone earlier in the thread (usually suited to postcards). I pretty much allocate things into several categories:

- Distro things
- Read
- Unread

and then Favourites in another section.
Eek! Categories can be problematic. I once did that with my music collection and ended up having a heated debate with myself as to which band should go into which category... and bands with particularly long discographies often ended up being split into two or more genres. It all got extremely chaotic, avoid it at all costs!

Mine are shelved by size... mini, up to 1/4, up to 1/2 and so on... and in between size, they are also organised by author. That is about the limit of my organisation. As for the music, I caved and went alphabetical.
i took 2 screws and a plastic crate and screwed that baby to the wall, then shoved all my zines into it. well, my zines from other people. my 32 zines won't fit there too. =D

that's as organized as it gets. uh. yes.
If you can find a library or zine collection to take materials you don't want readily at hand, donate your zines to a library. That's what I do with practically I get, mail art, zines, etc. Have been doing so since 1994, and they catalog the stuff, have students working on the collection, etc. Part of a larger collection from a conference back then, but you might be able to find a nearby library that's interested. Try to piggyback on existing special collections. Or an infoshop, which might be a little less stable.

If you can't find a library to take 'em or just want to keep 'em yourself, a two-tier system might work well. Comics boxes with dividers for materials you don't need easy access to on an ongoing basis. And the open magazine holders Ellie suggests for materials you want to reach for regularly.

I'd just alphabetize everything by title, together. But I don't know how large your zine collection is that it needs topical breakdowns. For breakdowns, if needed, I'd probably start with whatever the Gunderloy-era Factsheet Five categories were for organizing the zine reviews.
I have all of mine in magazine files and I organize them by when I got them. The most recent ones are in one file and so on.

I found a how-to on making magazine files here:
I've been picking those really sturdy cardboard photo storage boxes when they're on sale at Michaels or Joann's. They come in a bunch of colors and designs, so organizing them has been pretty easy. I tend to catalogue them by type. They are pretty compact and easy to stack up for storage or in a moving box.
i just went and took a photo of our collection o zines in our recently painted/reorganized/resetup office space. finally!

for people who organise zines in a library or collection how do you mark zines so that if they are taken out of a box anyone can know where they go back? like without damaging the paper/using plastic sleeves etc.


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