Q: What is the GOAL of this website?
A: The goal of the bibliography is to build what the Library of Congress so grievously failed to do - a complete catalog of patterns and articles that have been published domestically for various craft disciplines. I can't cover all craft and needle arts unless I win a lottery - and I have it on good authority that isn't an ideal retirement plan. My husband and his partner own a comic shop(Foundation's Edge, Raleigh, NC - shameless plug), and I work for a university police department in a civilian capacity. Neither of us make a lot of money. But I do what I can, piecing together information and buying what I can, where I can, to catalog and add to the collection. I hope to work out a deal with a textile museum to keep the collection together and the catalog available to the public when I finally retire from this.
There is going to come a time when the contemporary books and magazines we use right now are going to be a hundred years old, and some woman like you and me is going to be curious what the needle arts scene looked like at the turn of the 20th century. It would be great if a catalog and collection of those materials survived to reach them, untouched by the predations of interior decorators, collage artists and scrapbookers(all well-documented mortal enemies of magazines). That's why I try to stress to people that I'm NOT a pattern clipping service - I arm people with enough information so they know what they are looking for. I don't pirate copyright-protected material - I've had a few people get huffy with me over that(please see diatribe further down for more in-depth coverage of the topic). But I've also been a great resource for people trying to track down where a pattern or article got published 20 years ago. I've helped several authors document work of their own they lost track of, and yet other authors seeking source information to write more articles - all the things the Library of Congress should be doing but doesn't for "women's arts". We get remarkably short shrift on the ash heap of history. Even Wikipedia gives us a cold shoulder.
Sorry, this really is a crusade for me. I get to galloping on my high horse and forget that not everyone sees this as vital to the human condition(laughing). As much as we regret not knowing exactly how and where tatting got started(for instance), you'd think it would be a no brainer to make sure the documentation for our own generation doesn't get lost as well! That is what I'm trying to do, in a nutshell - preserve what I can in a way that is useful while respecting what is still protected under copyright. I'm idealistic enough to have persisted in this task for over a decade, and realistic enough to understand how big the boulder is I'm trying to roll uphill!
Q: You're a nutjob, but by golly, if it's mad, just call me a hatter. May I put a link up to your website on my blog or website?
A: Yes, you have my permission without asking. Sorry I don't have a cool banner or button to download yet - it's on my "Things To Get Done" list. And it's a long list...
Q: Will you put up a link to my blog or website?
A: If there is a logical place for me to put it, of course(i.e., it's related in some way to the information this website covers). Just contact me and give me your address information. I love checking out new websites! :) I am willing to put up specific pages for individual designers as well! Information I'd Like to have: 1) a photo, 2)a bit of biographic information, 3)your bibliography of published work.
Q: May I use an excerpt(like the Table of Contents of a magazine) from your website?
A: Yes, you have my permission without asking. BUT I do require that you cite your source. A simple link to the page you found the information on is acceptable. That way, if more info is needed, people will know where it came from and can come ask me to double check/look up what they need.
This permission DOES NOT extend to copying pages wholesale and posting them wherever, nor does it extend to any of the pictures I have made available. I have fair use for review purposes - you do not have fair use of my scans for selling your less attractive copy on e-bay. I've started finding a surprising number of pirated excerpts on e-bay for people selling magazines! And yes, I have easy means of telling whether it was excerpted from my website...
Q: How do I find a copy of this book/magazine - I know it's out of print?
A: I have several sources I check(and I'm always happy to find out about more!)-
(has the best search engine of the used book sites, but a much smaller selection)
(it has a much wider selection, but I don't like their search engine)
(I've gotten a lot of fantastic deals from this service, but it requires patience, and they don't list
(I've found so many great bargains here - but I Always check other services first to see what the going price
for a book is. I've seen people bid absurd amounts for a book they could have gotten elsewhere for a song)
(Amazon is my very last resort. I don't like their business practices.)
Q: Won't you just photocopy the patterns for me? It could take me weeks to track down, and I don't want to spend the money...
A: As a rule, no. I have a strong respect for intellectual property and copyright. I DO NOT ascribe to the popular philosophy that "Information wants to be free" - information doesn't want anything, you self-serving pirates out there. That phrase sends me into apoplectic fits particularly when said with smug self-righteousness! I know exactly how much work goes into designing a project, putting it into a professional format, writing out the instructions so that a complete stranger can put it together, and finding a way to publish it. All of this process costs money, time and talent - all of which should be rewarded, not stolen by delusional knuckleheads who spout nonsense about their right to information/songs/books/patterns because it wants to be free for them to use.
If I photocopy other people's work, I'm stealing - even if it is technically out-of-print! I do try to provide a link or contact information to those designers/publishers still in business. Any information of this nature is always welcome. I want this archive to be accessible, because I feel that like me, most people have no idea how much published information is out there or where to find it. Websites are like mayflies - here today, but gone tomorrow. Printed matter has a much better chance of surviving a century or two if it is taken care of.
My goal is to make fellow crafters aware of the wealth of material out there and give enough information on any given title so that a person can decide whether it is worth their time and effort to track down their own copy.
Having all the necessary information on what you're searching for is a very powerful tool!
Q: ...As a rule?
A: Okay, I reluctantly admit there's wiggle room. I've photocopied authors' work for authors who have lost track of their own originals, and also photocopied patterns that are long out of copyright(anything before 1923), or that I have solid proof are an orphaned copyright and nearly impossible to find(like Ella DeHart's patterns). There is a nifty searchable website that allows anyone to check if a book copyright has been renewed(between 1923 and 1963, you had to renew your own copyright - it became automatic in 1964):
If the material you want does fall within the narrow range of what I can photocopy, it will be $1 a page plus shipping - mostly to pay for my having to pull the material, scan it, and then refile the materials. All the money goes to support the archive, and pay for expensive materials like the mylar bags and acid free boxes I must use to preserve the materials, the storage unit the collection is currently housed in, and the fees I spend to keep the archive accessible to the public - you get the picture. My time is valuable to me, so I charge for it. But I must stress again that I will not photocopy copyright protected materials without express written consent of the author.
Q: How do I search for So-and-So's Article in "Fill-In-The-Blank" Magazine?
A: Unfortunately, my webmistress skills do not extend yet to making the website searchable. BUT there is a way to cheat on that, using either the Notepad or Word "Find" function. Go to the magazine bibliography page that you are interested in searching, right-click your mouse, choose "Select All", right-click your mouse again, and choose "Copy"(do not do any of this with the mouse sitting over the top of a picture, or you won't get the correct right-click menu). Open a blank page in Notepad or Word and "Paste" what you copied into the document. Now use the software's "Find" function under "Edit"(in the menu fields at the top of the document) to search for what you are hunting for. Yes, it's cheesy, but it works. Stick with 1 word in your search field, and if you are looking for a name, try only the first or the last name. Authors change how they attribute their work(women get married), and I'm not immune to mispellings, so try parts of a name as well. I ask that you do not save the file when you are done searching, but dispose of it. The bibliography is proprietary information that took 1,000's of hours and dollars to collect, collate and enter. Please respect that. :)
Q: Can I use this same trick to find specific types of projects in the book sections?
A: Unfortunately, except for the catalog of books that only lists very basic information(alphabetized by author), you won't be able to find specific projects without opening each book review page, so no, there is no easy way to use this trick for books. The Table of Contents for each book is usually short enough that you can skim through it more quickly than using the cheesy "Find" trick.
Q: Will you do a search for me?
A: Yes - but keep in mind any time I spend hunting down information for you is time taken out of that 30 hours a week I could have used adding new information to the bib! So with that said, it will be $10 up front paid into my Paypal account. If it is a project you need researched that is going to take more than an hour(for example, you're crazy about elephant toys and you want to know where every toy elephant pattern was ever published in book and magazine form), there will be a $10 charge for each succeeding hour - and that's whether I turn up all the information you want or not. I do not guarantee my work. I can't because Murphy makes certain the information you want is going to be in the one issue I'm missing of a run of magazines! While I have amassed a great amount of material, it is by no means comprehensive. Those magazines that I have complete runs of will be stated in the review. What you are paying for is the time it takes me to hunt for the information in the material I currently have catalogued, not the information itself. You'll have to decide for yourself whether it is worth the money for me to potentially turn up nada!
Q: Do you think you're going to get rich charging for searches?(Yes, a disgruntled person asked this!)
A: Nope. I doubt I'll make enough money in a year to pay the website fees(that's less than $100). But I also know if I don't charge, I'll quickly get bogged down in searches that eat up the 30 hours a week I can devote to this project - that means more information isn't getting entered while I generate search files for people. By charging, I weed out the looky-loos.
Q: Will you buy my materials?
A: Maybe. It depends on whether I already have it, whether it fits my fields of interest, and if I can afford it - especially that last part! I have a limited budget that I can spend on acquiring new materials. Send me a list of what you have and what you would expect to get paid for it.
Q: Will you accept donations of my materials?
A: Delightedly! I've had so many contributors over the last seven years, and keep a contributor's list. Those contributors that wished to remain anonymous have remained so. You still get my undying gratitude - nothing I can do about that. I don't publish contributor names without express permission. When I do get permission, Thank You's go up on the page contributed to unless your contribution is so big it spills over onto the front page of the website! Contributors also get exempted from the $1/page rule for photocopying out-of-copyright materials(within reason!).
Q: I'm interested in contributing - but I want to keep my materials. Would you be interested in me providing just the bibliography information and maybe my own review of the material?
A: This hasn't actually happened yet, except for one lovely person providing a scan of a first edition to display on the page of my review of a later edition of the same book. Yes, in theory, I'd be thrilled! You can contact me for specifics and page templates. I'm not entirely certain you understand what madness you are offering to let yourself in for. It is tedious, timeconsuming work - what I put up on the website I physically proofread and do a secondary check to make sure I've got my facts right(and I STILL miss stuff). Anything that gets contributed, you will need to acknowledge authorship of and allow people to contact you if they have questions/need a fact check. If you are willing to own up to the work you do for the website, I'm happy to let you contribute!
Q: Can I take donations off my taxes?
A: Alas, no. I am not set up as a charity - and would feel a little queasy claiming to be one. I'm a free information service, providing documentation for an ignored but very important part of women's culture. When I croak, the collection and bibliography will go to a textile museum. I have a great many materials already that deserve conservation, and a museum would be the best chance of their surviving and remaining accessible to the public. But until then, I will continue to add and document the published work I can find access to, and share what I find out with others through this website.
Q: May I make a money donation to help keep this website going?
A: You're a saint. Yes, any help would be gratefully accepted. I'm always thrilled to find out that someone else has gotten excited about what I'm trying to accomplish! Just e-mail me through the contact page. Even a couple of dollars helps. With enough people contributing a buck or two, my paycheck can go back to little things like groceries and car maintenance.
Q: How do you protect your materials? If I donate something I know you don't have, will it be taken care of, or are you one of those weird hoarder ladies with 50 cats?
A: I mylar bag and store the magazines in acid-free cardboard boxes. I catalog everything that comes in. I sleeve the book jackets(just as libraries do) if they have a dust jacket, and the books go up on shelves in my temperature-controlled living room. While I buy bound materials, I do not do binding myself. The magazine boxes are stored in a storage unit, so pulling reference materials for you may take more than 24 hours and up to a week. It's not optimal, but the best I can do without this project taking over my entire living space! Am I a weird hoarder lady? I don't think I fit the clinical definition yet - but that could just be denial on my part. I like to dance along that fine line between passionate collector and Out-of-her-Gourd.