Archive for the Cataloging Category

Session 1a: Zine Union Catalog Update, ZLuC

In Milwaukee we decided we needed a metadata standard that is interchangeable between folks who work as barefoot librarians and academic and public libraries.

Last year (2014 in NC): we will have breakout groups. Since September we’ve had a core group (Jenna, Milo, Honor, Rhonda, Alyssa, Eric, Christina), and we’ve had teleconferences/work sessions every 2 weeks

Notes are all on etherpad:

Current conversation: we’re ready to start building a union catalog and wondering what that means:

Soliciting funds for server space ($140 of $240 annual fee through in-house fundraising)

Taking xxZINECORExx and mapped it to Dublin Core terms. Currently lives at GitHub: ,

Each of the fields has a scope note in the field.

Things that got codified during our work:

Genre terms in terms of Content and Form of material:

Form vs. Content:

Type, carrier type: print, audio, video, e-zine

Content: subject matter (e.g., cook zine, diy zine, do we want hierarchies?, fanzine, literary zine) –> we need to work on equivalencies and/or hierarchies… e.g., Parent zines and sub topic: mama zine, papa zine

Genre form: 24-hour zine, APA zines (Amateur press association)

We would like to have a preferred term for things that is local to an institution but refers to the preferred vocabulary term.

Pull from different vocabularies like local taxonomies

Anchor archive vocabulary is already accessible via linked open data (thanks to: ____ — please fill in the name?)

There was a need for scope notes to allow for inclusive catalog with different vocabularies so we added scope notes for terms for disambiguate

Difference institutions will share all their information — collection metadata that will be ingested into the union catalog. In local catalog, there may be more or less fields but can be individualized for a local library. In essence, every record will probably need to be touched at the local level.

Question: a lot of zine libraries haven’t cataloged all their zines. It’s a great resource but it would be great for crowd-sourcing. Yes… this is cooperative cataloging — you add titles and you can download your titles too.

small archives that don’t have professional archivists and this might help folks who don’t have staff to catalog — we could help with technical aspects or funding, even. Scope notes should help to make the ease of access without a lot of training. Should be able to prepopulate and make it easily ingestible.

Serials vs monographs — flexibility to use the metadata and tweak it to work in their own collection. Like use a serial record even if you only have one of the issues.

We don’t have a lot of required fields so if you have minimal data, you can still participate.

Provenance to the cataloging itself: We would have institutional/administrative metadata so we could tell who created the record.

Platform to use? We will probably start that this afternoon… might be one that already exists (Collective Access? or our own?) — need some tech consultations starting tomorrow too.

**Need linked data specialist, technical folks. We will share the link to the email listserv.

**Outreach would be super important — make a zine about it. Jude is moved by all this work by all this content and its creators. Resources: making the most of all of our resources and so are all of the people who work on them, makes it that much more powerful.

**Sequel to xxZINECORExx zine that Milo did a few years ago.

Allison at U. of Florida: published an article on cataloging zines in RDA: project of articulating why what we do as cataloging zines matter — if you already know the theory and need to share the greater work and empower people to use the great knowledge they have of their collections and how that enriches the greater knowledge of the collective collections of everyone.

** show locations of zines like worldcat but not evil.

**Readerware (?) separate databases for books and periodicals and zines are subhierarchy of periodical. 2009 link to what is a zine and what is not a zine. Jenna to post on twitter now. Zine vs. chapbook? Has an ISSN? Not a zine.

What do we consider a zine? Fanzines? (Riverside that focus on scifi zines).

NEXT STEPS: we might be at the point for needing a tech consultant to guide group toward grants to apply for.

human resource: coding/paying for work; how do we communicate to let everyone work outside of silos.

Jude: wants to work on zine vol. 2 whenever that happens/matters

***How do we keep updated? we don’t post much on the listserv, should we? Or should we post a summary of zineunioncatalog meetings to the and provide a link to the listserv as well… as long as we include pictures of cats.


Surveys for Zine Makers and Zine Librarians

Darlings, a band of zine librarians is working to develop a catalog that would contain information about zines held in multiple libraries–one place you could go and find zines and determine who has them. We want to know what you think about that. To that end, we’ve made two surveys:

one for zine creators, readers and scholars

and one for zine librarians and archivists.

Please fill out one or both, as appropriate to your role(s) in zinedom.

Thank you! Blame/credit for the surveys goes to Madeline Veitch and me, with thanks to people who gave us feedback (MM, LD, ES, SSL, MG, E).

Survey squirrels, licensed for reuse from
Survey squirrels from Deviant Art

Fund Us Gently With A Chainsaw, Heather!

We’re getting ready to begin actual development of the Zine Union Catalog. Before we get started we need to put it someplace. At the moment we’re looking a a virtual hosting environment that will cost about $250 USD for a year.

Are you able to help out?

A $20 USD donation from you will:
• Get a month of server time named after yourself or your designee
• Help us get this up and running for at least 1 year
• Win our hearts and minds

If we should somehow have a surplus, any extra monies will go toward keeping this blog hosted and/or the ZL(u)C scholarship.

If you’d like to donate, you can use PayPal and send it to Checks and cash in the mail are also welcome: 203 Rivington St. #3C / New York, NY 10002

Months claimed/open so far:

January: Partners, dearly departed feline friend to Eric and Jenna
February: Rhonda, unless she’s the one who chose March
March: Jeremy? someone asked for March, but I can’t find the deets in my email
April: Honor
May: Violet
September: Simon, dearly departed canine friend to Kelly W.
November: Linda

Zine Union Catalog Call, Nov. 22, 2014

Zine Union Catalog call
November 22, 2014, 2pm EST

Present: Milo, Jenna, Honor, Elissah, Christina, Amanda, Eric, Rhonda
Absent: Lily
Notetaker: Rhonda

Christina: synopsis of catalog models.
• Works at Columbia
• Add some notes if you want, it’s just what I’m working with
• RDF: moving on with it?
• Create and support URIs so we can create our own
• Interfaces – prob not change that much on the front-end, but we need to figure out what to do on the back end
• Transform records to whatever xZinecorex schema to be
• Xslt
• Service scripts so that when we pull out source data it will automatically get translated
• Need input from community about elements and which ones
• Need a review period
• Editing period for attribute names, URIs, with date extensions as needed, rather than Christina coming in and writing it.
• SQL-based
• Radis (?) as a data store (fact check)
• Hope: zine catalogers to go in and edit data
• Homegrown hydra heads at Columbia, but don’t know much. Collective Access?
• What level to catalog
• Indexing cataloging interface: Solr, Blacklight, but up to other suggestions
• Mapping at Solr index level and creating an interface with them? Want to offer records back. Need Eric’s expertise
• Interface for md editing, same issue
• Auto-suggest – could be nice if we create our own form/genre term, have file where it is automatically queried from interface
• Microdata—getting stuff out to search engines

Milo: question: would 1 take more dev time than the other? Defer to other more seasoned folks
• Decide on schema elements now
• [my connexion was bad here, so I may have missed something]
• Let’s ask Amanda!
• Christina; updates won’t be automatic, propagate it through the system until we can have system where they can load it. We would love to be able for folks to add changes.
• Yahoo group listserv: should have specific listervs for schema/zine cat, etc., someone to act as shepherd to review at next public meeting to report back to the group. There would be a lot of switching back and forth b/w subject term. – need to have a place to discuss
• Milo: Wikipedia talk function? Yes, good example
• JF: Decide if we suggest that all zine libraries adopt one thesaurus. Do we want to do this?
• Christina: if facets will work, we need everyone to agree. At first, you can use whatever subj auth you want, and then during ingest, we will assign term= a lot of magical mapping. How? Lcsh in fast, add fast records, there are a lot of mapping tools you can use that work pretty well, only facet in our discovery layer using fast, but that means that they must use a known vocab
• Text string mapping for local subj, but that has lower accuracy
• JF Add to survey – anchor, lcsh, local
• Eric: independent of larger stuff, worry about what we’re indexing. No matter what decisions we make, they’re a lot of decisions that need to be made afterward
• Christina: not a game changer, yes.
• Eric: models distinct of what underlying tech is going to be – then what the tech is, what interchange will be. Q’s for librarians of the group, what should be the data structure for the catalog.
• JF: Challenges of Ava Gardner model: [my connection starts getting bad here]: Christina: identifiers need to be figured out, whether or not we are linking multiple authorities or local authorities
• Christina: large community of linked data folks that will win grants, etc.
• Eric: distributed authority, distrib storage of centralized [something?].
• [….connection problem]
• bibframe is out of the scope of this, but it could be interesting to see what has worked and failed so far. Dissertations – python and other jargon
• Christina: what I’d like to see come out: use zine list serv (?) to make decisions to move on: schema, data store, interface.
• JF: should we pose this to the group if they want to hear all this stuff or if it’s just noise, or keep it small.
• Action item: to create a list serv: @QZAP
• Amanda: deadline to figure out which technology to follow. By the end of the year?
• JF: want to get survey out and back before we have a tech deadline, but not sure if which model we choose will be affected by questionnaires, but endo f year might be a good reality
• —shitty connection—-
• Elissah: Dec 31, 2014 11:59pm, suggested time
• We want Ava Gardner Model
• Milo: 20, 40, 80
• Christina: Linode is good, CU will not host. Be careful of what agreements, limits we agree on.
• JF: long-term, might do something short-term, and then we get a million dollars…Christina: we should just use Linode. Eric: find somewhere cheap to host. Not openflows to donate, but giving everyone access would be organizationally difficult, security issues. JF: budget: $10 vs $80. Eric: Do cheapest plan as possible. JF: willing to personally give $100. Christina: Kickstarter campaign? Eric: Roll yr own donation thing, not amazon (who owns kickstarter… who knew?)
• —shitty connection—f this, man!!
• In-person work session: Chicago
• Elissah: taking a break this year, but maybe she should go somewhere
• Honor’s innernets totally broke. Are we recording?
• JF: Do we need to just get surveys out and set another meeting time. Start estimating workflows. Need to figure out who as well as how much. Christina: if we got a grant, would that affect when you start a phd program? Christina: I would like to set some time aside to start data munching. I have datasets and need to schedule time, need a workout partner to keep in check. Bad about falling into rabbit holes. JF and Rhonda: help with it. JF wants Christina to get paid too, but Christina says wait to see if other folks have mad skills too. JF making sure she’s not begging on the street
• Linode– Was the name of the hosting folks (Christina) – what control over the virtual machine do they give you. Shared hosting (not sure about private hosting). For Milo, we have virtual server that we have some control over. Not sure about enterprise-level control, though. Good feedback and supportive of developers. Eric: has it good with one host, but expensive (post-funding possibility); has some names of virtual servers we could have total control over, but let’s compare Linode to their option, go based on price → action item: Who is going to do that?
• NEXT STPES: Same time every 2 weeks to discuss what’s going on, and can be a place to make decisions. Not a working day. Milo: but would like a working day to take apart xzinecorex and put it back together. Christina: use time on call to get dirty on schema.
• JF: general hate of the goog. also our zl work space.
• Eric: likes etherpad, ethercalc. spreadsheets can live at
• IRC?
• Bit bucket – Christina give her login
• JF: one we just started using at barnard jira.
• Redmine, Track (confusing), Mantis (ancient)→ let’s try redmine to start. Easy to install.
• Would redmine take the place of a listserv? Naw. Keep the usual email lists going to minimize tech anxiety
• Linode: do we want to add it to Milo’s account: how to fund it. 1 year at $20/month = $240. Use paypal to get $ into an account, would like to have someone who has experience with linode to get it set up. Give $ to Milo, JF to ask the zinelibrarians list.
• Meet again in 3 weeks and talk and work or both = Dec 13. At that point, let’s do every other week, and accept that not everyone will be free every time.


Jenna jumping in to take notes for Rhonda

alternative from Eric’s conference:

  • smash the database model
  • GitHub
  • BIBFRAME: Jeremy Nelson, Colorado College

create a new list? survey zine librarians to see (everyone invited?)

Get surveys out

Ava Gardner wins!

Linode (?) for hosting $10-80/month, webfaction? tag (when we have funding)

  • we want to have root
  • compare linode and webfaction (virtual server), choose based on price
  • raise money on zine librarians list

ALA Midwinter: talk to the zine pavilion people about quimby’s event


  • Rhonda can help wrangle
  • 12/13 Saturday at 2pm ET
  • need to codify zinecore

BitBucket, Assemble SVN, Jira, Trello, Redmine, Track, Mantis



Here’s a zine that I put together about xZINECOREx.  Please print a copy and share with folks who are interested.

Zinecore Zine Flats

(flats updated to include correct © info for the cover artist)

xZINECOREx: Union Catalog update

Union Catalogue/xZineCorex
Update from last year: we’d started to define zinecore: Dublin Core for zines
Idea behind this is that we’ll have a metadata standard that we all accept, so that this basic set of fields will be consistent, regardless of our catalogues. AND THEN it will be the basis of our union catalogue (WorldCat for zines!!!)

ZineCore refresher:
Subject(s) / Genres
Content description/notes
Date of publication
Format / physical description
Identifiers (union ID#)
Relation (see also)
Coverage (place of publication
Rights (freedoms and restrictions)

QZAP has been using zinecore in their catalogue now: hasn’t changed things necessarily, but gives a standard to shoot for

What we need to do next:
We’ve been talking about this through 4 unconferences…what’s next? Things to bring back to our cataloguers. Interference Archives in NYC also interested in starting a catalogue: maybe two groups working on this will help move things along. They are building the history of the collection as they build the catalogue. Not quite the same goals, but adds complexity.

Goal: worldcat for zines! So we all know between ourselves, but also to help point researchers to other places.

Collective Access might be the tool we build this in. Cataloging tool built on a LAMP stack, based on Dublin Core, open source, free to use. Next step for QZAP is to build an install profile — from the time you add the software, you can choose that user profile and it will pull the (in this case, zinecore) fields for that profile. CA is geared for digital objects, which is great for QZAP, but also will allow folks to add cover scans, etc.

There are other products, but this allows you to import data from comma/tab delineated files, Excel spreadsheets. Question about LibraryThing– should be able to pull as a spreadsheet? Also: MARC records should also be able to be pulled in? Some concerns with MARC fields/subfields…You can have multiple instances of DC fields.
So, there may be some human element to pull out elements one way or the other — or a script that runs to do that. But, those are also mostly easily identifiable elements, just something to know we have to do. A lot of trial and error, but.

If we’re adding to a union catalogue, will there be duplicate entries, or a field for holdings?
Zinecore is defining the object — one of the additional pieces we’ll need for the union catalogue is a Holdings record.
So — we’d use the union catalogue to find the record, then add it to our own individual catalogues. But, we’ll also have a bunch of separate records for, say, Doris — how do we clear this up?

We have an identifier for the record, but maybe also some kind of title identifier (or authority file!) to see all the Dorises. (A “work” record in RDA/FRBR-speak)
But! We don’t have professionals doing this, necessarily….
So, we need a name authority file and title authority file. So: Cindy Crabb will always be Cindy Crabb and not Cindy Ovenrack. So, you can see the other names the person goes by, but you can also redirect someone to all the things that person has published.

So, we’re talking about two sides of the catalogue: the names part is not directly about the record’s metdata.

This takes everyone using the same rules — does this fit our community?
If we build the system, it’s already there…but someone has to do the work for the Cindy Crabb/Cindy Ovenrack. Is this gonna be so large that this is necessary? Is this something that has to be done going in?
Knowing that we’re going to do this down the line…is important to know, software-set-up wise…but no, we don’t necessarily have to do it now.
Could Zinewiki be our authority file? (Yeah — people like that.) But would that just be adding a lot more work, to add Zinewiki entries? Or….can the union catalogue that would then push data back out to Zinewiki?

Unique identifier for each zine — could it be a Uniform Resource Identifier that could be linked into the semantic web? (E.g. linked back to Zinewiki?)
So Doris #3 is a part of this uniquely identified DORIS.

Question about Type — a little confusion about what it means in DC. The field is there if you need it, you can leave it blank if you don’t use it.

Authority files: you can have multiples, as long as they communicate with each other. Which goes back to having a URI, so there’s a unique key to help connect them together.

Lunch: let tech people have their tech conversations…and then come back.
What did folks want to get out if it? A plan/timeline. A way for us to know that we’re cataloging things in a way that will be useful down the line. We don’t need to be anxious about this now, y’all!
What might help the tech discussion is: talking about the quirky little things we do in cataloging. (e.g. description of the cover, a la Papercut Zine Library.)
Questions too about editions, donor information…how does that stuff fit into Zinecore? Is it separate? Extended DC?

Notes by Kelly

xZINECOREx timeline

Suggestion via UStream follower: design catalog for patrons, not for catalogers.

  • Front end and back end will be different, so perhaps this isn’t a concern
  • Multiple front ends could conceivably be available
  • Once the data is in place, there’s a lot we can do–table this part of the discussion for now?

Next steps / timeline

  • Apply for a Knight Foundation grant for development and infrastructure: DUE BY DUE DATE, JENNA & KELSEY and we hope others!
  • Develop QZAP as prototype: DUE JANUARY 1, ERIC & MILO. Lots of people willing to help with user testing.
  • Use Interference Archive catalog as prototype for sharing data
  • Research other grants: DUE ?
  • Plans for export import from CSV files, LibraryThing, MARC (from data dump), etc. (What are the others?) : Survey cataloging systems on Zine Librarians list DUE BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, HONOR & CREW
  • Born xZINECOREx cataloging guidelines? Other documentation, as needed.
  • Union catalog admin for the user side: VIOLET

MKE ZLUC happened

Check out the notes from the Zine Librarians Unconference held in Milwaukee earlier this month. Go to the schedule page to see what was discussed and to read any notes posted.

Two highlights

Call for Workshops: 2nd Zine Librarians (un)Conference

Call for Workshops: Zine Librarians (un)Conference, ZL(u)C 2011

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

July 8-9, 2011

Calling all zine collectors, information activists, underground bibliographers and barefoot librarians! Were seeking librarians of all stripes to lead a workshop or discussion at the 2nd bi-annual (un)conference of zine librarians!

We are interested in hosting informational skillshares that might include hands-on activities, or showcase what your library has accomplished. Your workshop could describe a task, approach, or scheme that would be of interest to fellow zine librarians. We are open to new ways of approaching zine librarianship, whether your collection is housed in an institutional, public, or community library or archive.

Workshops will be scheduled into the rest of the events that will occur on July 8 and 9, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Facilitated discussions and other events will also be worked into the schedule of events by participants at the conference, in the style of bar camp and other unconferences.

Scheduled events will include a zine reading (the culmination of the Orderly Disorder: Librarian Zinesters in Circulation Tour) and tours of local zine libraries, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukees Special Collections and the Queer Zine Archive Project.

The first Zine Librarians (un)Conference was held in Seattle, Washington in March 2009 at Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP), to great success. The second bi-annual (un)conference is to be held July 8-9, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, or to propose a workshop, visit

Fan Magazines vs. Fanzines: Another Voice

Hi! Inspired by Jenna’s call to action, I took a stab at writing a letter to LOC on the fan magazines vs. fanzines issue myself. I’ve posted the letter, like Jenna’s addressed to Barbara Tillett, below. Not being a cataloger or someone who deals with cataloging issues on a regular basis, I realize my letter lacks the cataloging expertise, temininology or sourcing that Jenna’s does or I’m sure yours will. But hopefully every voice helps the cause…

Jeremy B.

Dear Ms. Tillett,

Good morning. My name is Jeremy Brett, and I am an archivist with Special Collections, University of Iowa. One of my projects over the last two years has been to acquire and process materials for our growing archival collections of zines. Special Collections is making a concerted effort to collect zines in all formats in order to preserve these materials and make them accessible to wider popular and research audiences. Zines are windows that provide glimpses into fascinating and often-under documented social worlds, worlds that we believe deserve to have their voices rescued from obscurity.

At the present time, we are not cataloging zines in any sort of traditional library format. However, as an information professional who deals with zines in an institutional setting I am interested in the ongoing development of uniform cataloging standards for zines. I recognize that this is more an art than a science, because of the peculiarly idiosyncratic nature of the zine medium. However, I also understand that such standards are useful both to catalogers and to interested readers and researchers. Subject headings that accurately reflect zines and related publications are key tools in the provision of access to those materials.

Thus, I am concerned with the Library of Congress recent decision to eliminate Fanzines as a 150 field and replace it with the term Fan magazines.

I believe that this decision represents a misunderstanding of the nature of both types of materials. Fanzines are decidedly not fan magazines, but separate and independent materials with their own particular history. Fanzines are non-professional publications that relate to a particular cultural genre, subject, product or phenomenon. They are most associated with science fiction fandom, within which fanzines have formed an active and integral source of fan communication since the early 1930s. In science fiction and related fandoms today, fanzines continue to be a popular mode of personal opinion and expression.

However, fanzines are not limited to science fiction fans. As an example, many members of the vast and varied world of music fans have also embraced the medium. Music fans continue to use fanzines as methods of publicizing their own musical works and those of others, particularly
those considered underground and who stand outside the traditional corporate music scene. For these artists and fans, fanzines are a vital method of making their voices heard.

For members of these and many other fandoms, the term fanzine has a storied intellectual and emotional association. It is a popular term that accurately describes a particular family of publications and that is universally recognized among, across and beyond fandoms. To replace this term with a less adequate one, I believe, does a disservice to fans and to researchers who, because of the long use of the term fanzine, are much more likely to search for materials primarily under this term than under the term fan magazines.

A fan magazine is a professionally produced publication devoted to some aspect of popular culture. While fan magazines may deal with some or all of the same subjects, topics or genres as a fanzine, the former are distinguished from the latter by their for-profit status and their more typical concern with mainstream rather than fringe aspects of their subjects. A fan magazine is a perfectly legitimate form of publication, but it is not a fanzine.

In my opinion, the Library of Congress should retain Fanzine as a 150 term rather than relegate it to the 450 field as a UF term under Fan Magazines. To continue using fan magazine as a term for fanzines (as opposed to recognizing fan magazines as a genre generally associated with fanzines) is misleading to researchers and readers alike. The two types of publications are dissimilar in their production, their authorship, their professional status, and, very often, their intellectual and creative focus. Both types deserve recognition by the Library of Congress cataloging authorities as discrete media and each type deserves its own 150 field.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Brett
Special Collections Project Librarian
Special Collections and University Archives
University of Iowa
University Libraries
100 Main Library
Iowa City, IA 52242