YOU, a zine for me, a zine for you

YOU, a zine for me, a zine for you
How I catalogued a zine called YOU
30 June 2016

As an employee of the National Library I am privileged to work with amazing materials that are being collected and preserved for current and future generations to appreciate and enjoy. My role in that process, as a cataloguer, is to ensure that you are able to discover those materials once they have been incorporated into our collections. What I am fortunate to see and hold in my hands, I need to describe in a meaningful way that also complies with our cataloguing rules. Of course, I also have a great deal of fun too, particularly with zines!

We use a multitude of resources to assist with cataloguing materials. What might surprise you though, is that we also utilise sites such as ZineWiki. Whilst a website like this one can provide some background information to the zine being catalogued, the standard cataloguing rules of Resource Description and Access are applied to these materials. A zine may be viewed as an ephemeral item, however it is still afforded the full cataloguing service.

It is important that I employ all my cataloguing skills and tools within my cataloguing arsenal to ensure that the records I produce are as comprehensive as possible and allow for greater discovery by you.

Other staff members, far more experienced than me, have already provided information regarding the history and nature of zines in Australia. You can read previous conference papers by Debbie Cox and Elaine Bulluss with the accompanying slide show also available through Slide share.

I would like to share with you the processes involved with the cataloguing of a particular zine known as YOU. 

Selection of YOU zines

Selection of YOU zines.

When we first encountered YOU it was decided to treat the material as a serial, not a monograph. So what’s the difference?

Publication frequency can determine how we decide if an item is a monograph or a serial.

If the item is stand-alone it is considered a monograph, (but it could also be a monograph in series—don’t get me started—more on this at a later time!). If the item is not stand-alone it needs further investigation. In the case of YOU it was noted that material is issued frequently, in a number of formats and sizes. YOU was clearly not a stand-alone item and so the ruling of serial was applied. Have a look at the You cataloguing record.

Notes included within a cataloguing record are designed to make an item easier to identify. Notes fields are part of that cataloguing arsenal I mentioned earlier. This is where we can utilise a free text format (within approved guidelines) to describe information, unique to specific issues, together with an indication as to publication frequency and presumed author just to name a few.

This cataloguing record shows as at June 2016 we hold 29 issues at call number Nq 808.6099405 SIN, one broadside at Broadside 1172, and 156 issues at call number HENDERSON 719.

So now we have 3 holdings with which to contend. How do we decide what goes where?

YOU can arrive here through a number of different methods including donated materials or staff acquisition trips. The manner in which the material has been acquired determines placement within the collection. At present we have a formed collection of zines known as the Nick Henderson Zine Collection. If the YOU we receive was donated through this collection then they are assigned a location and call number that reflects this as HENDERSON 719.

In the event YOU was sourced through a different acquisitions process then the material will be included in the collection with a call number of Nq 808.6099405 SIN.

But what about Broadside 1172? I hear you ask. Well perhaps a picture provides a better explanation…

YOU Broadside format

YOU Broadside format

In the old scale I stand at 5’ 6” or 167cm (give or take), so you can see that this item is rather large. It is housed in a Mylar pocket measuring 1200mm x 900mm. The standard 2B pencil provides further indication as to the size of this item and highlights the ‘empty’ or absent date on this material.

YOU is presented in a number of varying sizes and formats. Some materials arrive in a paper bag, others are a postcard sized item, still others may appear as letters within envelopes or have attachments such as marbles or chopsticks. Ensuring the integrity of the material is preserved whilst also ensuring YOU is accessible is another decision that is made during the cataloguing process. We use a range of different storage solutions to ensure that resources are well maintained for access and appreciation by all.

If you are interested in YOU and want to view the collection then you can do so in the Library’s Reading Rooms by obtaining a Library card and then requesting access through the cataloguing record.

Storage of YOU zines.

Storage of YOU zines.

To quote Luke, the creator of YOU, I’ll speak to you again soon. 

Comment: 
Thank YOU for this insight into collecting and describing the YOU zine...do the varied shapes and sizes present storage challenges?
Comment: 
Hi Dianne, The Library has a number of storage options readily available for different sized materials. We also have a wonderful team in Preservation services who are able to custom-build storage solutions for our more unusual items. Thank you for your interest. Angela
Comment: 
Good article which explains YOU philosophy really well. I understand YOU a bit better for having read it. And the photographs are good too. Thanks.
Comment: 
Hi Brian, It’s nice to know you enjoyed the article. Feedback is gratefully received. Thank you Angela
Comment: 
I've had one copy of YOU I've been meaning to add to 'my collection' for a couple of years, but its wrapped around a used spray paint can (attached with a cardboard tag printed on the back of a piece of a Shapes box), so I don't think I can bring it up on a flight when visiting. :(
Comment: 
Hi Nick, How lovely to hear from you. It would appear that your issue of YOU is presenting you with some challenges. My research indicates that contact with your proposed airline would clarify whether you can in fact bring the item with you on your next trip. You could also speak with Australia Post to determine if they are able to carry the item and if so you could post it to us at: Overseas Acquisitions National Library of Australia Parkes Place Canberra ACT 2600 I hope this is helpful. Thank you Angela
Comment: 
As a librarian and a avid zine maker, reader and collector (including a few copies YOU) This was a great read :)
Comment: 
Hi Sarah, Thank you for your feedback. As a zine creator you are welcome to deposit your material to the Library for selection and possible inclusion within the collection. You can post your material to the following address: Legal Deposit, National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600 Thank you for your interest. Angela
Comment: 
Hi Angela, Faacinating! Do you catalogue artists newsletters, or classify such things as zines? I'd love to forward one to you to check.
Comment: 
Hi Kelly, Please do! You are welcome to submit material to the Library for selection and possible inclusion within the collection. You can post your material to the Legal Deposit address noted above. We catalogue a huge variety of materials at the Library. Every day brings new and different materials and challenges. Thank you for your interest. Angela
Comment: 
Hi Ange, I liked the link to ZineWikis, it gave me a bit more of a back ground. English teachers need to take this on board as a whole gene to look at in class!
Comment: 
Hi Michaela, I am so pleased you found the links useful. This is a very interesting genre and could provide students with additional learning opportunities. I wish you well. Thank you for your interest, Angela
Comment: 
Great blog Angela :)