The Aboveground Zine Library is one of the most extraordinary collections of its kind, a treasure trove of self-published newspapers, chapbooks, periodicals, and pamphlets. This painstakingly catalogued and curated collection covers sixty-some years and multiple continents. It includes political broadsheets, personal ‘zines, subcultural newsletters, hobbyist publications, music scene ‘zines, DIY manuals, experimental art publications, and more. Upon encountering it, those interested in punk rock history or histories of regional political organizing will dance a celebratory jig.
It’s an awesome resource, and it’s not buried in some academic building’s basement, nor in a hard-to-find limited-access archive… it’s available to the general public right here in the Iron Rail, above ground like the crypts in New Orleans’ cemeteries.
The Aboveground Library, born in 2004, was founded and is maintained by R*bb R*emershauser. R*bb lost his house and possessions (including countless ‘zines) when the levees broke in the wake of Katrina, but he has kept the ‘Zine Library functional and operational throughout, ensuring this priceless collection of self-published & radical periodicals from all over the world have had a safe & secure place to stay even when R*bb himself has not.
It is testament to R*bb’s fortitude and devotion that visitors continue to have daily access to the thousands upon thousands of ‘zines the Aboveground Library contains. The Iron Rail is proud to host this one-of-a-kind archive; parties interested in donating ‘zines or with inquiries about booking Mr. R*emershauser for speaking engagements can get in touch via e-mail: abovegroundlibrary AT yahoo.com
Per R*bb, The Aboveground Zine Library is– and always will be– dedicated to the memory of Helen Hill.