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The Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) was first launched in November 2003 in an effort to preserve queer zines and make them available to other queers, researchers, historians, punks, and anyone else who has an interest DIY publishing and underground queer communities.
Our mission statement has been consistent over the past nine years:
"The mission of the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is to establish a "living history" archive of past and present queer zines and to encourage current and emerging zine publishers to continue to create. In curating such a unique aspect of culture, we value a collectivist approach that respects the diversity of experiences that fall under the heading "queer."
The primary function of QZAP is to provide a free on-line searchable database of the collection with links allowing users to download electronic copies of zines. By providing access to the historical canon of queer zines we hope to make them more accessible to diverse communities and reach wider audiences."
When we first started we had a bunch of ideas, an old Pentium III in a closet in our house running OpenBSD, and about three hundred individual documents that we wanted to archive. At the time we initially put the site online, there were about fifteen zines in the archive and three people working on the project.
Over the past nine years we've progressed from our initial server side software package OpenBSD to Gentoo Linux, from there we transitioned to Fedora Core and now, currently we're running on Debian Linux. Our server has moved from the house, to a closet in a cyber café, and now lives in a real data center. From the initial fifteen zines online, we currently have almost five hundred, ranging from single page flyers to a one hundred twenty eight page zine. The number of zines we have to scan has also grown significantly, now numbering over 1,300.
As we've grown, we've had a number of people help us and work on the project in various ways. Folks have donated zines in the ones, twos, and hundreds. We've had many an evening of eating vegetarian food and scanning zines, editing PHP and HTML, printing and cutting postcards and stickers, and stapling zines made by our amazing "interns."
Currently there are six people who are very active with the project, and many more who are thanked for their continued support in various ways.