Skip to main content

Sophia Smith Collection zines collection

Identifier: SSC-MS-00434
Cover of "Cupcake," issue # 3 of Jocelyn, March 1996

Scope and Contents

The Sophia Smith Collection zines collection consists of self-published small magazines (known as "zines") created primarily by women and girls who share a strong feminist perspective. Topics include "third wave" feminism, African American experiences around gender, lesbian relationships and erotica, and fat liberation.

The collection is comprised primarily of individual issues, although there are longer runs for some titles and multiple titles for some authors. Most of the zines date from the 1990s, some of which were used in the book, A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World, edited by Karen Green and Tristan Taormino (NY: St. Martin's, 1997).

In 2019, the Sophia Smith Collection bought a number of zines to add to the collection, including zines on community self care, latinx motherhood and art, first nations' rights, and black punk music.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1967 - 2022
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1991 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, the donors and creators of items in this colleciton have retained copyright to these materials.

The creator of at least one item in this collection, Shark Week by Janice Quiles-Reyes has explicitly requested in the zine that it not be scanned and placed on the Internet. Users of this collection should consult individual zines for similar requests by other creators.

For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.


12.937 linear feet (29 containers)

Language of Materials



Self-published magazines created primarily by women and girls who share a strong feminist perspective. Topics include "third wave" feminism, lesbian relationships, erotica, African American experiences around gender, and fat liberation. The collection is comprised primarily of individual issues, mostly dating from the 1990s.


Most of the zines in this collection are arranged alphabetically by title. A small amount of loose materials, at least some of it from Tinúviel, are located at the end of the collection, as are recent groups of multiple titles by single authors, including Ajuan Mance.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donors for zines in this collection include Tristan Taormino (donations in 1999 and 2010), Tinúviel (2005), Jenna Freedman (2007, 2010), the Smith College Campus Center Zines Library (2008), Smith alumna Anne "Daisy" Rooks, Class of 1997 (2009), Phoebe Harris (2010), Jess Artigliere (2016), and Shannon Supple (2017, 2018, 2020).

Additional zines have been purchased for the collection by the curator of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Related Material

Processing Information

The origins of this collection are the 1999 donation from Tristan Taormino of the zines used as primary sources in A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World (New York: St. Martin's, 1997), which she co-edited wich Karen Green. Taormino donated additional zines to the collection in 2010.

In 2004-2005, zines that were originally part of the Tinúviel papers were added to this collection. In 2006, two individual zine collections were formally combined and processed as the "Girl Zines collection" by Burd B. Schlessinger and Indigo M. Pfaff-Powers.

Smaller quantities of zines from various sources have been periodically added to the collection since that time, including individual collectors, creators, and a "Zines Library" previously housed in the Smith College Campus Center.

Starting in 2017, the curator for the Sophia Smith Collection has added titles to the collection to intentionally expand and diversify its content.

In 2018, the collection was renamed from "Girl Zines collection" to "Sophia Smith Collection zines collection" in order to more accurately reflect its origins and content.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.


Finding aid to the Sophia Smith Collection zines collection
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Burd B. Schlessinger and Indigo M. Pfaff-Powers (2005), and Madison White (2019)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:17-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-03-23: Collection renamed, description edited to clarify its history and provenance
  • 2018-10-09: Added new zine titles
  • 2019-04-25: Made paper FA pencil edit changes.
  • 2019-10-07: Added new accessions
  • 2021-05-27: Added Accession 2020-S-0023
  • 2021-06-01: Added Accession 2017-S-0045
  • 2022-04-22: Added Accession 2022-S-0009; 2022-S-0011; 2022-S-0010; 2022-S-0012
  • 2022-05-09: Added Accession 2022-S-0015
  • 2022-05-31: Added Accession 2022-S-0016
  • 2022-08-17: Added Accessions 2022-S-0024; 2022-S-0025; 2022-S-0026; 2022-S-0027; 2022-S-0028; 2022-S-0029

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063