Zines Timeline compiled by Doug Blandy

100s - Use of codex (leaf-form of papyrus book) comes into use in the church; allows binding all four Gospels together, all Epistles of Paul. Gentile Christians adopt the codex-form for their Scriptures to differentiate Church from Synagogue, which used scrolls.

105 - Paper refined and popularized in China by Ts'ai-Lin. Invented at least two centuries earlier in China.

1041 - Printing with movable type in China

1151 - First papermill in Europe (Spain).

1403 - First book printed with movable type in Korea

1450 - Gutenberg prints first book (the Bible) with movable type in Europe.

1500s - Appearance in the British Isles of inexpensive ballad literature printed on one sheet of paper and folded twice or more to make a small pamphlet.

1690 - First papermill in what is now the US (Philadelphia).

1699 - The pamphlet becomes the most effective means of persuasion and
communication creating moral and political communities of readers forms a 'public sphere' of popular, political opinion in Britain. (1)

Chapbooks (cheap books) became a primary source of prose, religion, folktales, poems, politics and music for the so-called lower classes in the British Isles. Sold door to door or in stalls in town or city markets for pennies by chapmen. Often times chapbooks contained material borrowed (stolen) from other sources without permission. Chapbook is a term still used today to describe a small book of poetry.

1760-1791 - American revolution pamphlets; most notable being Common Sense by Thomas Paine published in 1776

1788-1791 - The US Constitution and Bill of Rights including the First Amendment

1790 - The first United States copyright law enacted under
the new U.S. Constitution. Books, maps, and charts protected.

1831 - First general revision of United States copyright law. Music added to works.

1870 - Second general revision of United States copyright
law. Works of art are now protected. The Library of Congress
centralizes copyright activities, such as deposit and registration.

1825-1880 - Pamphlets associated with western expansionism in North America

1850-1865 - Emancipation and Civil War pamphlets

1874 - First perfected typewriter by Remington

1885 - First pop-up book (an anatomical study)

Late 18th/Early 19th - Women's suffrage pamphleteering. Co-op ownership pamphlets. DIY Movement in Europe - a reaction to industrialization and Victorian bric-a-brac; sometimes referred to as the "arts and crafts movement."

1900 - Industrialization, increased leisure time, and the rise of popular and mass culture

1926 - Hugo Gernsback launched Amazing Stories, the first magazine devoted exclusively to publishing original stories of scientific-based fiction. This magazine featured a special letters section where readers could discuss the scientific basis of the published stories. Gernsback made a minor decision that changed the face of science fiction forever - he printed the full addresses of the letter writers so they could contact each other directly.

1926-1930 Science fiction associations and discussion groups formed

1930 - The Comet published by the Science Correspondence Club believed to be the first fanzine

1930 - 1960 - mimeograph duplicating machine available

1944 - Xerography invented

1952 - World Copyright Union founded in Geneva

1960s /1970s - zines characterized by a synergy between outspoken political
commentary, literary experimentation, heartfelt critiques of
rock and roll music, influence of drugs on visual communication, revolution in layout and design

Mid 1960s - inexpensive offset printing used to create alternative newspapers associated with the political unrest of the time

1967 - UPS (Underground Press Syndicate) founded. Founding members include the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, the Berkeley Barb, San Francisco's Oracle, Detroit's Fifth Estate, Chicago's Seed, and Austin's Rag

1968 - artists interested in creating "artist's books" at a high point

1970 - Artists Richard Kostelanetz and Henry Korn publish
Assembling, a compilation of artists' writings and images.

1970 - Mail art exhibit at the Whitney

1970s - artists' magazines devoted to genres such as Surrealism, Fluxus,
Situationists, Neo-Dada

1976 - John Holmstrom, along with "Legs" McNeil and Ged Dunne, published the small-circulation fanzine / comix magazine Punk.

Mis 1970s - Sniffin' Glue made its appearance as the leading British punk music fanzine. Sniffin' Glue featured sloppy hand lettering, uneven typewritten interviews, and darkly reproduced pictures.

Late 1970s - innumerable punk fanzines published. Birth of the DIY movement and indie music scene (2)

1980s - copy machines and zine publishing combine, Kinko's copy shops appear on street corners

early 1980s - Mike Gunderloy publishes mimeographed list Factsheet Five. Within a few years turns into a 124 page magazine that proceeded to consume his entire life.

1990s - Riot Grrls movement with zines like Queenie, Heck, Yummi Hussi, Literal Bitch, and Conscious Clit; Mad Planet and Kikizine by Sarah Dryer are featured in Seventeen

1990s - emergence of cyberpunk zines

1990s - Zines created with desk top publishing programs, ezines distributed via the WWW, zines distributed via CD-ROMs

1997 - Zined a video documentary by Marc Moscato

1998 - Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) is founded in Portland, OR

1998 - The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed into law giving more protection to copyright owners against digital copyright infringement.

2002 - Zine Librarian Zine #1 by Greg Meins is published in Portland, Or. This zine marks the first attempt to document the creation, mission, and organization of zine libraries nationally.

2000s - Death and resurrection of hardcopy zines


(1) Pamplets were booklets consisting of a few printer's sheets, folded in various
ways so as to make various sizes and numbers of pages, and sold -- the pages
stitched together loosely, unbound and uncovered -- usually for a shilling or two.

The pamphlet [George Orwell, a modern pamphleteer, has written] "is a one
man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be
more detailed, serious and "high-brow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in
most kinds of periodicals... " (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

(2) "DIY stands for: Do It Yourself and it describes an ethic and a community. The
ethic is one of not needing the assistance of a large company of producing a
service or a product. The ethic is about being able to stand on your own two feet,
its about developing your own ideas and carrying them out, without the backing
of a corporation. The community is built up of those who believe in DIY. Those
people who would rather produce their own "thing" without going and getting
help from big business. The whole idea is, that once big business is involved, that
the original creator of the "thing" is cut out of the creative process, and thus the
"thing" is tarnished. The DIY community is composed of independent publishers,
Artists, musicians, writers, artisans and thinkers." (diysearch, 2002)


Bricklin, D. (2002). Pamphleteers and websites. [WWW document]. URL http://

Cambridge University Press. (2002). Pamphlets and pamphleteering in early modern
Britain by Joan Raymond. [WWW document]. URL

Diysearch. (2002). Diysearch. [WWW document]. URL

Duncombe, S. (1997). Notes from the underground: Zines and the politics of alternative
culture. New York: Verso.

Friedman, R. S. (2002) A brief history of zines. [WWW document]. URL

Perkins, S. (2002). Approaching the 80s zine scene. [WWW document]. URL

UMI Research Collections. (2002). Pamphlets in American history. [WWW
document]. URL