Zines at TRL: A PDF Catalogue and a Major Donation

March 25, 2015 | Brent

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Earlier in the year, Toronto Reference library received a major donation of zines, most of them documenting the punk and new wave music scene of the 1980s. We’ve just added them to our online PDF Zine Catalogue  which documents the collection on the Arts Department on the fifth floor.

     Re-Press   Local Smash  Kick it Over

Social Outlook - From the Streets

It’s great to see interviews and reviews of Toronto favorites like Alta Moda, Vital Sines, Dave Howard Singers, Fifth Column, L’Etranger, The Woods are Full of Cuckoos and the Boys Brigade side by side with alternative bands from the United States and the UK. The blog for our TD gallery show “Coffee Beer and Mosh Pits” has lots of suggestions on how to reconnect with the music scene in Toronto.

I’m particularly glad to see lots of reviews for one my personal favorites, Kinetic Ideals.


The donation is also a reminder of just how hard fans of alternative culture had to look to find records and reviews of their favourite bands. In addition to the Toronto based music zines, the donation includes RePress a new wave zine from Halifax, the anarchist feminist zine “Kick it Over” and a rare issue of underground comic Casual Casual with cartoons by Dia Skuse from Fastwurms, artist Julie Voyce and graphic designer Barbara Klunder.

   Casual Casual

Right now, the Toronto Reference Library Zine Collection boasts over 800 titles and there are all kinds of unexpected treasures throughout. They're tucked in just beside our Graphic Novels on the Arts Department on the 5th floor