So, not a great day to fly to Berlin but at least I can sit out the delays at the airport by doing a bit of blogging (on a borrowed laptop I hasten to add). It makes me feel quite the sophisticated international traveller, I can tell you.
History Is Made At Night on Zines, Blogs and the Historical Record.
The issue of archiving is intriguing, digital information is supposed to be permanent but actually most people are only one crash away from losing pretty much everything. And matters are not helped by people deleting their old blogs (stand up heronbone and stelfox) because they feel they’ve moved on, or getting them hijacked by casino website spam (the original beyondtheimplode.blogspot.com).
Maybe knowing you can do that makes the writing more disposable as well, I don’t know. Sure you can catch glimpses of some things via archive.org or the google cache, but many things (especially pictures) are not picked up.
Having said that, I’m not sure zines are all that available after the fact either. There are things I have been casually trying to find for a while and either haven’t been able to or haven’t wanted to pay collectors’ prices. But as with vinyl, the search is something I enjoy doing in my own nerdy way.
As a callow twentysomething I was always bemused by DIY publishers who sent off their material to the British Library and the various zine archives which cropped up from time to time (and I always assumed were a way of people blagging lots of zines without giving anyone access to them).
Stewart Home was the master of archiving. He used to send everything, every press clipping, every newsletter, every copy of SMILE magazine he produced to the Victoria and Albert Museum for their archive. Apparently an intern there was once tasked with finding out whose archive was the most voluminous and Mr Home’s certainly weighed the most.
So I guess I should get around to sending some Woofahs to the British Library (but they can’t have my archive copies of issue 1, oh no).
Also: JamesR over at Soundtracks for Them with an interesting overview of the Dublin zine scene.
I like the title “Romancing The Photocopier”. It reminds me of the Mark Pawson shirt I used to have which had a big back print of a canon copier, and “I (heart) (toner symbol)” on the front. It generated a lot of confused responses from people who assumed I was into snooker, or thought I was a photocopier engineer who was very proud of his job.