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Travelling Art Mail

Travelling Art Mail-ARCHIVE
P-0 Box 10388
5000 JJ Tilburg

Rudd Janssen

Date founded
1980 (actually I just collected all that came to me through the mail-art I have been involved in and in the last decade I also actively searched for more material.)

Approximate number of works
That is a difficult question to answer since I have never counted. Also I would divide the different things. You call it all works, but there are the 'zines, stamps, books, catalogues, envelopes, cassettes, CDs, etc ... I am active almost twenty years in mail-art, and I would say I get a minimum of five to ten pieces of mail each day.Let's suppose it is ten. Twenty years, each 365 days, that brings you a total of 73,900 items. But let's play it safe, and still a lot has come in. Did I save it all? A lot of it I did, but in the last years I tend to throw away the "garbage" a lot. But more than 10,000 items is a good guess when you sum it all up.

Approximate yearly additions
Well, as I told you I tend to throw a lot away. I do keep all the catalogs and CD-ROMS, cassettes, magazines, etc. I guess about 500 items come to the collection each year.

In spite of what a lot might say it isn't the rubber stamps. This is just a small part. It is only the largest collection that grows every year. I have sent out the 21,000th stampsheet, and I would estimate that about 30% eventually gets returned ... Nowadays the larger items are the most interesting. The archiving of the electronic mail-art world is a story on its own. Since I focus on that as well, I will probably be one of the few who can show later what the initial stages of the internet looked like.

Organization/display methods
In boxes. Lots of boxes with sorted things. Documenting those items is story on its own. I often wonder if I should do that completely. The idea is nice but it just costs too much time.

Public access
No, my archive is not public. No advertising, no regular hours. Only invited guests and friends are welcome when an appointment is made. I do have a Website: Lots of information I have produced is available there.

Approximate yearly cost
A difficult question. The rents, keeping things clean, answering the questions people ask, the costs of the Internet-part, the sending out of stamp-sheets, I really couldn't give you a number. But I estimate that the mail-art work I do yearly will cost a lot of money (let's say $5,000). But that isn't all connected with the archive ... Phone bills of $100 monthly, stamps twice as much ... when I think of it, I guess it is time to quit mail-art.

Relation to larger institutions
No real relation. I did get a request from the Queens library in New York to send in material from my archive for their exhibition (and did so). Only in 1996 did I exhibit the TAM Rubberstamp Archive in San Francisco.

What is your motive for maintaining the archive?
Actually because it is all personal. I am fully involved in the mail-art network and I just like to have these things around me.

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