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Our Collection Policy

Interference Archive grew out of the personal collections of two politically active cultural producers, and has since expanded to include materials donated by fellow activists and artists from around the world. Our collection is shaped by people who have historic material that they believe will add to narratives that exist in our archive, or that can fill gaps created by material we don’t have.

The material we collect and preserve represents the history and cultural production of social movements–everything from posters and prints, buttons, t-shirts, periodicals, pamphlets, zines, books, moving images, audio recordings, and other ephemera.

We believe that these materials should be held in common: they belong to all those who played a part in their creation. For Interference Archive, making this material accessible to the public is an act of preservation, not only of the physical materials, but of the collective history and memory of those struggling for social change.

Donating Materials to Interference Archive

If you think that your stuff belongs in our collection, please read the information below about what we can and can’t handle, and how we will use your donation:

We will do our best to preserve materials in the collection, but our primary objective is that they are accessed and used, so do not give us materials that you feel cannot be handled extensively. For this reason, we only collect material that was originally produced in multiples for widespread distribution. We do not accept personal or organizational papers, manuscripts, obsolete media, or one-of-a-kind works of art.

Please do not donate material that would require any kind of access restrictions. Our goal is to manage an archive of material that can be accessed and used by anyone who walks through our door. Please only give us material that you think can be handled by the public.

Material we cannot accept includes:

•  Materials that you feel cannot be handled extensively because of significant damage or decay (like paper that crumbles when touched, or materials that are moldy).

•  We will perform basic cleaning and will repair rips and tears, but we do not have the resources to perform extensive conservation. If we receive materials that are beyond repair, or could cause serious damage to other items in our collection, we may donate them to an institution with resources to preserve them, return them to you, or dispose of them if you do not want them back.

•  Materials which would require restricted access due to privacy concerns.

We have limited space, so we cannot keep more than 2 or 3 of any item. If you are able to send us an inventory of materials before you donate them, we can check to see if we have duplicates.

If you send us items which already exist in duplicate in our collection, we will either send these materials to other collections so they can be shared with people elsewhere, or use these materials to fundraise for Interference Archive. If it is important to you that every single item you donate remains in the collection, please communicate that with us.

Do you have questions about this? Do you have something to add to the Interference Archive? Please get in touch with us at info@interferencearchive.org