Welcome to the Sparrows' Nest Library and Archive

Based in Nottingham (UK), we look after tens of thousands of books, journals, pamphlets, zines, leaflets, posters and other items documenting the anarchist movement in the UK and beyond, as well as local radical history. Browse our catalogue, access digitised records in our free Digital Library and get in touch to arrange a visit.
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On Saturday 27th April we ran a workshop as guests of the Notts Zine Library, currently based at Nottingham Contemporary.


From the pistols to the Miner’s Strike: Anarcho-Punk Fanzines, 1976-1984 introduced the audience to our collection of c40-year old zines produced by the Anarcho-Punks of that period. We introduced a new audience to the Nest itself, outlined a historical context of things with which they authors were concerned, and then drew out a few key themes and examples of the works which we hold. It was great to see old friends and many people new to the work of the Nest. A big thank you to the Zine Library for setting the event up.

You can access many of the Fanzines on display on the day in our Digital Library, including:

A Z #01 (1981)

A Z #02 (1981)

A System partly revealed #02 (1982)

Ability Stinks #04 (1982)

Ability Stinks #05 (1982)

Aftermath #05 (1980)

Aftermath #07 (1981)

Alternative Communication (1981)

Anathema #01 (1981)

Anathema #02 (1982)

Blasphemy (1982)

Enigma #02 ( 1980)

Enigma #03

Enigma #04

Fack #04 (1980)

Fack #05 (1980)

Fack #06 (1981)

Kill Your Pet Puppy #01 (1980)

Kill Your Pet Puppy #03 (1982)

Kill Your Pet Puppy #05 (1981) Please note: We are not quite sure whether some of these amazing Kill your... issues are reprints. If anyone would like to help us by taking a look, please let us know!

New Crimes #05 (1981)

New Crimes #07 (1983)

Nihilistic Vices Communique #02 (1980)

No Alternative #01 (1981)

No Alternative #04 (1982)

No Cure #04 (1978)

Noises #02 (1981)

Paroxysm Fear #01 (1981?)

Reality Attack #01 (1981)

The Realities of Society (1981?)

Rotten to the Core #03

Scum #05 (1978)

Sense #01 (1980)

Sense #02 (1981)

Sense #?? (1982)

Stability Ink #06 (1982)

Total Lyric #04 (1981)

Vague #06 (1980)

Vague #15 (1985)

We also featured two pamphlets by the performance poet Annie Anxiety Guevara: Eyes of the Blind (1979) and Tropical Depression, and other materials such as Impossible Dream by the Poison Girls, # 03 (1983), Ripped and Torn #01 (1978) to #17 (1979) (compilation volume), and Chumbawumba’s Dirty Fingers in Dirty Pies.

As we focussed on a specific period in this event, this is by no means a comprehensive list of all our (digitsed) Fanzines. You can find many more Fanzines and similar materials in the Digital Library (e.g. issues of 0533, Alternative Sounds, And Music, Black & White, Dead Lemming , False Head, Printed Noises, Unpopular Music, Y). Just search for MUSIC and browse the materials. We will revisit this in the future, probably with a dedicated Spotlight on: Music Fanzines feature. Please also note that we have a number of other publications about the era, the music and the movement available to read in or loan from our library.

All the original documents are conserved in acid-free folders and will last a lot longer than the ones in a box under your bed. What we would really like is for anyone with titles which would add to our collection, to let us help you conserve them as well as we have done ours, and let us scan them to add to our digital collections – unless you want to actually donate them to us, which would be amazing.

We are also planning another event for September. It will bring together our numerous collections of independent radical community papers dating back to the 1960s. We hope that people involved in producing these papers will hear about it and attend to help us interpret and curate what we have, because in many cases we do not know who was behind them and would love to know more.

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