Monday, April 12, 2010

Archive-Along Part 6: Good Ole Tear Sheets

We're winding down our instructional portion of the Archive-Along, and I'll give more information on the next steps that include you at the end of this post. Today, I'm talking tear sheets. While the impetus of this series was focusing on how we needed to archive digital work, it also makes sense to focus on printed work as well. If you've had any work in print (projects, articles, profiles, etc.) it's important to keep good records of those, and it can't hurt to also convert them to digital files to have extra backups.

When I worked for my college newspaper, we had newsroom assistants who would go through the newspaper every day and create tear sheets for all the reporters. They would cut out every article, tape each to a piece of paper, write the date on the paper and would then file them in a folder for each reporter in our physical archives. (we were juuuuuust getting started online. It was the 90s, kids!) It was a handy way to have all our work in one place and made it easy to find and pull our best pieces when we wanted to create a portfolio.

While most of my work these days is in digital format, I have had some print work that needs to be curated, so to speak. It's important to keep track of the work and have it properly labeled and easily accessible so it can be shared when needed.

I'm including these glimpses of my college work for pure laughter purposes here, folks.

If you are creating tear sheets of your work, you can do one of a few things.

File Folders - go truly old school and do a literal cut-and-paste of printed materials on a piece of 8X11.5 paper, include the date and possibly the masthead of the publication and put them in a file folder. Be sure to use archival supplies. Looking back through my college newspaper archives, I realize that attention to archival quality was ... er ... lacking. And though my college days feel like they just flew by last week, a quick glance at the dates on the pages reminds me it's been a good 15 years since I wrote these gems.

Loose Leaf Notebook - similar to a file folder, but use sheet protectors instead. Creates a handy, portable portfolio.

Digitize 'em! - It is also helpful to scan in and save your print work in digital format. From here, you can back it up or archive it in any of the ways that have been discussed during the Archive-Along. It's nice to be able to point people to my printed work with a simple link, and after the Archive-Along experience, I'm finally just about caught up in having all my print work stored in digital format.

When you are digitizing them, you also have the option to create a bit of a collage to showcase the work and publication. For example, the embroidered ad I did for Tito's vodka that was in BUST magazine and the projects I stitched for Jenny Hart's Embroidered Effects book last year could look, instead, like this:

For newer publications, you may find that they keep digital archives already. If they do, fantastic, but you'll also want to save a PDF version just in case they ever remove their archives or switch to a new system where you may have trouble accessing your work (it's happened to me!)

Now that we're winding down the instruction part of the Archive-Along, we're ready for you to chime in with your progress. You've hopefully been ... well ... Archiving right Along with us, but if you are still in the process of backing up and creating portfolios, take a couple of days to finish up what you can and share your progress with us. As you know, Diane is podcasting the heck out of the Crafty Chica Cruise right now, so we have some downtime when you can get your work together. Share it in the comments with links or in our Flickr group. We'll have a round up of reader-submitted tips, projects and successes next week! Thanks so much for joining us, and let us know if you have any questions or tips you'd like to offer!


  1. Hi, Rachel! I just wanted to again thank you and Diane for all the time and effort the two of you have put into this archiving series. I have saved everything - there is so much for me to digest - especially with my limited skills!

    You two have created a very important resource for all crafty bloggers, and knowing just how much time, commitment and desire to share has been necessary to accomplish this task, I wanted to just send a little note of appreciation your way.

  2. Rachel! Love your blog! I wanted to introduce myself. I am a "Creatively Fit Coach" and you can learn more at I am so passionate about waking people up to the ART that is their LIFE! I hope we can connect (& link sites!?!?!)!

    Thanks so much for all you do! (LOVE Bust mag!)
    Creatively yours, Whitney


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