The Henderson Collection is a collection of zines acquired from Nick Henderson who has spent the better part of a decade collecting over 1500 zines. We refer to this as a formed collection. Formed collections are something collected by an individual or organisation and then aquired by the library as a package. The material will usually be linked by a common theme or genre. The zines Nick collected are mostly Australian and represent his interest in the form as a whole i.e. the zines vary widely in style and content. The value to the National Library of the Henderson Collection is that it provides a good representation of the zine sub-culture selected by someone with expertise in the area, and provides us with an “instant” sample of what has been happening over the past 10 years – enhancing our holdings of a form that to date has been under represented in the National Library’s collection.
Cataloguing the Henderson collection is a big and often head scratching task. Zines with their very flexible and non-commercial publishing values can be hard to pin down in a catalogue record. The cataloguing tools that we work by seem suddenly vague and not quite what I want to describe a comic strip zine that was once submitted to a now defunct comics website and is about a cow that ends up in a gay pride parade before jumping of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Although I enjoyed reading it very much.
Anyway, cataloguing the Henderson Collection is a task a small team of us are chipping away at in addition to our other duties. We still have to process the everyday material, so it may take quite some time for us to reach the end. Currently over 300 zines in the Henderson Collection have been catalogued and you can see the catalogue records for them here