Feature Article
Strange New Worlds Issue 4 - Oct/Nov 1992

Preserving Your Fanzine Collection

"What did I do wrong? Why is my collection of classic zines falling apart?"
by Jo Davidsmeyer

If you find your older zines literally crumbling in your hands when you attempt to turn a page, don't berate yourself for your poor archiving skills. Early zines were generally printed on the cheapest paper available, many on "twiltone" — an inexpensive, lightweight paper a grade below newsprint quality.

Several publishers are now re-issuing classic zines from the dawn of SF (science fiction) fandom. These are being offered both on "authentic twiltone" and on heavy white bond. Amazingly, publishers are charging more for the twilltone editions, since they are a truer reproduction of the original. If you are a purist and wish to see these zines as they were originally produced, by all means, enjoy the look and feel of these reproductions. Just be aware that these, like the originals, will begin deteriorating within years of purchase. Do not consider these "special editions" to be long-term investments in a collectible that will appreciate in value.

The same applies to zines published using photocopying technology. This process bonds the print to the paper, but this bond deteriorates with age. As time progresses, the print will, quite literally, slide off the page.

Storing zines in acid-free wrappers and avoiding extremes in temperature will slightly prolong their shelf-life; but, by their very nature, these low-quality products will rapidly deteriorate with age.

Enjoy them while you have them!  l

Halloween Issue of SNW
Tomb of the Cybermen
Fanzines : Collectibles?
Preserving Fanzines
Trek Ornament Update
Letters to the Publisher