The Fanzine Library
An old Scottish friend from New York City, Lincoln Rose, sent me this news story over the weekend:
The National Library of Scotland is to embark on the laborious task of tracking down and cataloging the countless thousands of fanzines published in the UK over the past 70 years.
And about time too. I wish I could donate my own considerable post-punk fanzine library, but I did so already. When I left the UK for the USA, and emptied my stuff out of storage, I handed over several boxes of ‘zines to Richard Edwards, editor of Cool Runnings fanzine, and an occasional Jamming! magazine contributor. He was so obsessed with fanzine culture I figured that if anyone would keep them safe, it would be him. I lost contact with Rich over the years, but should he be out there somewhere and reads of this: Rich, there’s finally a safe haven for all those ‘zines. Send ’em up to Scotland! To quote again from the BBC story:
“What fanzines do is give us a way of accessing an audience from 30 or 50 years ago who were writing about music purely because of their love of that music.”
So says Chris Atton, a “professor of media and culture at Napier University who has written both for and about fanzines for almost 30 years.” And who would I be to argue?