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2326 East Court Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52245

Stephen Perkins

Date founded
It started when I got into correspondence art: 1984

Approximate number of works

Approximate yearly additions
At the moment probably a couple hundred in total (correspondence art, magazines, etc)

The collection includes about 500 files on individuals who I have communicated with through the network. These files contain copies of my letters and letters/vvorks received.
Approximately 1,500-2,000 publications, mostly artists' periodicals.
Documentation/catalogues from mail art shows (300-500) Others include: 'zines, a small number of queer 'zines, riot girrl, literary. Mostly from the 1980s but there's a number of 1960s and 1970s materials. Material from the following shows and events:
The San Francisco Festival of Plagiarism, 1988. I was co-curator.
The San Francisco Art Strike Committee. I was one of the coordinators of the events leading up to the Art Strike in SF. Materials include mostly correspondence with people responding or wanting information about Art Strike.
'Zines submitted to an international 'zine show I organized in 1994. Many of these were donated to the special collections department at the University of Iowa and the Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts Archive. ATCA is also an interesting archive that is built upon donations by mainly correspondence artists.

Organization/display methods
At the present the majority of the works are in boxes, filing cabinets, or archive boxes. We recently moved so everything is still boxed up.

Public access

Approximate yearly cost
Who knows.

Relation to larger institutions
None basically, although I have recently loaned a Diter Roth magazine for a show at the University Museum here. This is the first time this has happened.

What is your motive for maintaining the archive?
Because I love the stuff. My real interest and motive was my fascination with artists' periodicals (I also published one and reviewed other publications extensively so naturally I acquired a number in this manner.) My Ph.D. is in art history and artists' periodicals is the area I am specialising in. The other reason for the archive is that I feel it's an important area of print culture that needs to be collected, particularly when its works are generated by a network that is unaccessible to people unless one is involved with it.

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