Mail Art Archives

Some Mail-Artists have been doing Mail-Art for a longer time and have saved all they get in, documented what they sent out, collected books, magazines and documentations, and before they knew it were the owner of a Mail Art Archive. Tell us more...

Members: 66
Latest Activity: Feb 10

Discussion Forum

Do you have a mail-art archive?

Started by Ruud Janssen Feb 4, 2017. 0 Replies

If you have a mail-art archive.please tell a bit about what is in it, how you store it, from which dates the materials are, and if possible show a photo.Continue

Tags: archives, mail-art

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Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 4, 2017 at 7:37pm

Lancillotto Belinni in Italy....

Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 4, 2017 at 5:44pm

Chuck Welsh in USA has a large archive......

Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 4, 2017 at 5:44pm

Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 4, 2017 at 8:54am

Comment by Ruud Janssen on October 5, 2016 at 11:21am

Some wonder about the old Archive, where they are, and where they are going to. Some think they should be in libraries or museums, but then the who idea of mail-art vanishes and lands eventually in places we tried to avoid.

The digital archives are another problem. Facebook isn't an archive. It is a commercial tool of data the organisation turns into money.

This NING social network is a tricky one. When the hosting isn't paid for, or the hosting firms goes away, all data is lost?  Well, I do make a backup of this archive (over 100 Gbyte is has become now), but is is just the images and the texts in .JSON files. How to access those when NING isn't arround?  That will be a problem for the next generation. I also know that keeps track of this website, so there is a large archive as well of all the data we collect here together. The webcrawlers follow every link and store the data for the next generations. How clever is that.

Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 8, 2016 at 7:31am
Comment by Minneapolis Gnome on February 16, 2016 at 6:15pm

I document what I receive and send in handwriting on paper by the correspondent's address (so old fashion, I know).  It's a pretty cluttered list with tiny dated notes next to addresses on sheets of paper stapled together.  That helps me make sure I'm not forgetting to send mail art back to people.  

Once I've sent mail art back to someone, their mail art to me leaves the coffee table mini-pile and goes onto my wall or into my archive (perhaps to later be rotated through my own personal wall based art exhibition).  

My "archive" did start as ever growing piles of mail art, but I got worried that they could get damaged or lost and wanted to put them somewhere safer.  My first "archive" therefore was a clean pizza box which I had been using to paint on and spray fixative over art once it was finished:

It got full.  

I had been reading Ruud Janssen's posts about what was happening with people's "archives".  Thankfully that planted a seed in my brain that I really should have a better system of organizing and protecting the mail art I had received than just storing it in a pizza box.  It wasn't very dignified, organized, or even that great of protection, after all.  

So I bought a blue paper based expanding file folder at my most visited thrift store, and this past weekend I sorted all my mail art and put it in it's new home:
I decided to sort it, alphabetized, by state and country of origination:

I like this system so far because it's pretty easy to add a new location.  The number on the file folder corresponds to a particular location of origin and that list can be adjusted pretty quickly, though moving the contents takes a few minutes longer.  Finding mail from particular people is pretty easy because if I correspond with them more than a couple of times then I have the state they live in memorized.  

It was a really enjoyable project to do this last weekend.  I feel like everything is safer and much easier to look through, plus I loved going through it all and looking at it again.   

Thanks for planting the seed of creating a better archive in my head, and for this wonderful website, Ruud!

Comment by Ruud Janssen on November 16, 2015 at 6:29am

Comment by Ruud Janssen on November 16, 2015 at 6:29am

Comment by Lancillotto Bellini on November 15, 2015 at 12:09pm

Mail art Exhibition - 1986 - Palazzo Verità Montanari, Verona Italy -


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