When you start with mail-art you get things in. After a while you start to Archive (build a collection in boxes, portfolios or maybe even fill your complete house or start a museum) or you start to recycle (you receive to much and start to pass on).

What do you do?
What do you hope others do?
Is it essential that there are Mail-Art Archives?
Should archives end up in museums or can they be sold?

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I keep everything that comes in - no exceptions / no content judgements - I figure if someone has beek kind enough to send, I see it as my duty. - All work is sorted into plastic sleeves , labeled by artist, and in the case of add & pass work, a good color copy is made of every piece. - I'm obsessive about my own work too, there are 2 copies made of everything I send - even books or 3-d pieces. all are numbered. 1/2 goes in the mail 2/2 stays with me - I have one of everything that I've made since 1983..... , in chronological files..... I teach a number of groups, and am often a guest artist here, as what I do is seen as "Novel" -
People often tour the "Artfarm" as well - much of the work that comes in is exposed to a wider audience that way.
so...nobody does throw everything/most things away? or is it that nobody admits to do so?
Since 2001 I have kept probably 99% of what I have received. The rest I keep in boxes, folders, and in the case of the past year's mail, two canvas bags that I call my postal bags. Since April 2008, I have been recording in a journal both mail received and mail sent. I do know of one mail-artist locally who curated an exhibition of artistamps and mail-art with his collection, and suggest that others do so if the have the energy to organize such an exhibition. My hope is that collections ultimately would be donated either to other artists or to interested institutions. Personally, I have absolutely no interest in selling either what I have received or what I have created.

~ Jack at CASCADIA ARTPOST
I keep all the mailart I receive !!!! It makes part of my pig collection !
And the little few not "pigmailart", I keep them in a box !
yes, I confess. I sometimes do recylce.....

Recently after taking the bulk of my boxes to the half basement I am lucky to own (to made room in my studio to collect more) I have been pondering on the future. Would they have room in the Old People Home for all that? Would my children appreciate it and cherish it when they inherit it, and not much else. They ignore my art activities now, so ...

This drove me to start creating a collection of eBooks with the mail art received. A mamoth task but not impossible as quite a lot has been digitized already. The eBooks will be for ever circulating online and seen by the general public, not only mail artists. Methinks a neat solution so I will be able to retire happily. The sheltered homes have computers for the use of the residents and I will be able to see them too. I have checked.

But Mail Art should never ever be sold, it is a gift, and one does not sell gifts.

some archives went into museums for sure. But are they accesible?

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