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Manchester Metropolitan University to house new zine collection

9 August 2016

Special Collections now accepting zine submissions

From artists books and poster collections, to Victorian ephemera and decorated papers: Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections is a valuable resource for students and staff at Manchester School of Art.  Now they are looking to further enhance the expansive works they house, by developing a collection of zines.

MMU Special Collections will join institutions such as the British Library, the Tate, the Women’s Library and the Glasgow School of Art in being an institution to establish a zine collection, reflecting the ongoing interest and scholarship surrounding the ‘zine’ and its history.

The main focus of the collection will be to demonstrate the growth of the zine as a means of creative self-expression, while also reflecting the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside traditional publishing. With the aim of building a collection dating from the arrival of the punk zine in the 1970s to the present day.

‘The DIY methods of production and design of the zine are a legitimate and often overlooked aspect of the history of printing, and represent a legitimate addition to our established collections,’ said Steph Boydell, Curator, MMU Special Collections.

‘MMU is at the forefront of collection in the area of 20th and 21st century print, and we want to maintain that position. MMU also have the largest collection of artists’ books outside of London and similarities can be drawn between the democratic intentions of the pioneering book artists and the DIY ethos of zinesters. Both aimed to avoid mainstream methods of production, distribution and dissemination.’

‘Equally, Manchester has a vibrant grassroots music scene and a long history of political radicalism and cultural diversity. Against this backdrop, MMU seems the natural home for a zine collection within the Greater Manchester area, especially given its own history as a polytechnic in the 70’s which offered a more open and non-elitist route into education.’

The estimated date of the collection being open as a resource is late 2016.

Want to contribute towards this exciting collection? MMU Special Collections are looking to acquire zines principally for their visual content, graphic design or as examples of a particular aesthetic.

If you have made a zine, or have a zine that you would like to contribute to the collection please contact Jane Pendlebury at for guidance on submissions.