State Control #3, published by Chris, Anaheim, California, undated. Thank you to Dale Johnson who gave me this issue.
Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public.
This page consists of sample findings and excerpts. It is also an account of the contents of my home and digital files from my camera. If you have suggestions, have a collection you want to share, or are in Chicago and would like to see something in person, please contact me. This blog is intended as a casual, more personal supplement to the main Public Collectors website.
Public Collectors is maintained by Marc Fischer.
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One of the highlights of my quick trip to Los Angeles for the L.A. Art Book Fair was receiving this fantastic gift from Dale Johnson. Like me, Dale has been self-publishing since the late 1980s. We met online through a friend and he passed along a big pile of ‘zines to me for free—many of which I have scanned the covers of and posted. Last week in Los Angeles, we got to meet in person and he gifted me yet another pile of ‘zines—about 25 booklet-format publications, mostly from the late 1980s and early 90s. I look forward to scanning and sharing a bunch of these. Big thanks to Dale for his generosity and thoughtful dispersal of the things he no longer has space for!
Last night I had the opportunity to talk about Public Collectors at rum46 in Århus, Denmark for their lecture series “Making Social Realities with Books.” I spent a lot of time describing the world of underground music ‘zine publishing in the 1980s and early 1990s before the internet and brought a small pile of things from my collection to share. Lots more of this material here.
Optophobia ‘zine, number 5, 1989. Published in Pewaukee, WI. I’m digging back into my underground music ‘zine archives again as I try to get my basement in better order. Many more ‘zine cover scans from my collection here and on this tumblr.
A sample spread from Cats Hate Cops, a photocopied booklet by the group New York Year Zero. This booklet compiles old newspaper entries on cats attacking police officers. One of the more unusual anti-authoritarian publications I’ve seen in quite some time!
Cats Hate Cops, a photocopied booklet by the group New York Year Zero. I was really happy to meet a couple of these folks at the New York Art Book Fair. All of their booklets are sharp, but this one - which compiles old newspaper entries on cats attacking police officers - is particularly enjoyable. More scans to follow.
Public Collectors Tumblr posts have been a bit erratic lately and it has been quite a while since I’ve updated the website. I’ve been hard at work on an intense and secret research project that you’ll hear more about later in the Fall. In the meantime, here’s a little reminder that Public Collectors also makes publications from time to time. You can get everything that’s in print from Half Letter Press. And since I’ll be filling your mail order, I’ll surely throw in some extra ephemera as well!