Celebrating micro media: zines at MHC

December 21, 2018 at 1:20 PM

Throughout the centuries, history has been recounted through countless media: books, photographs, movies and more. One of the newest modes of storytelling comes in a cute pocket-sized booklet, a zine (pronounced zeen). Short for magazine or fanzine, and usually handmade, zines can be thought of as small scrapbooks that are reproduced several dozen times for a larger audience and used to document everything from recipes to historical movements. 

Zines are printed on 11" x 17" paper and folded down to a pocket size booklet. When opened to full size, the zine reveals large, poster-size artwork.

In the Mount Holyoke Archives & Special Collections, zines have been enthusiastically adopted to help share the College’s rich history and to serve as guides on miscellaneous topics. Decorated with doodles, pictures and different typography, they exemplify the endless creativity found on campus. This year, for example, students collaborated to create a zine focused on members of the disabled community at Mount Holyoke. In the past, topics have included everything from the history of Mountain Day (these zines continue to be handed out at the top of Mt. Holyoke each year), to Mount Holyoke ghost stories, to an insider’s guide to the spaces in the library.

The Archives houses hundreds of zines, which have been carefully curated and preserved to make learning history both fun and accessible to the general public.

Scroll through to view some of our favorite zines:

The zines in the Archives & Special Collections are instrumental in disseminating the stories and movements that help shape Mount Holyoke’s past, present and future. By tapping into creativity, they provide an opportunity to craft intimate narratives that can be shared with others.

The zine collection is just one example of the many unique historical materials that have a permanent home in the Archives & Special Collections. When you support Library & Archives, you invest in the preservation of valuable items — including photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, rare books and more — that are used by the campus community and the public for research and teaching. You help ensure that the stories of Mount Holyoke “forever shall be.”

Your gift. Your choice. Choose your destination.

*To learn more about Mount Holyoke’s zines, contact an archivist in the Archives & Special Collections.

Rachel Nix ’20

Written by Rachel Nix ’20

Rachel, a politics major and sociology minor, is a marketing assistant in the Office of Advancement and a contributor to the MHC Forever blog. Hailing from West Virginia, she serves on MHC’s Admissions and Financial Aid Advisory Committee, is deeply involved with social justice initiatives and loves spending her free time with friends, reading on the green or trying to pet Jorge, the goose.