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Terrell Main Library

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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

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About the Collection


The Oberlin College Mail Art Collection, housed in The Clarence Ward Art Library, contains The Reid Wood State of Being Mail Art Archive and The Harley – Terra Candella Mail Art Archive. 

Together they contain over 20,000 pieces by 1,800+ artists in 70 countries and created over a period of 45 years.  Approximately 300 artists have been processed and are available for viewing by individuals or classes. The Mail Art Imagebase contains images for about 60% of the artists available for viewing. 

Oberlin’s collection demonstrates the wide range of sometimes unexpected materials used by mail artists. Many works use collage, found objects, recycled images & objects, drawings, paintings, individual or sheets of “artistamps” (unofficial postal stamps produced by artists), rubber stamps, stickers, metal, confetti, foil, photographs, as well as a wide variety of printing technologies (fax machines, photocopies, various computer printing techniques, digital media, etc.). Objects may be simple (doodles on a postcard) or elaborate (mailing an industrial size tomato can covered with stamps and filled with origami mail art).

Klaffki Jo SOB 2002 mail artMittendorf henning tc1995
Vigo crack crack mail art poster

Together these archives contain well over 25,000 works created from mid-1970's to the present, by over 1,800 mail artists from 60 countries. Of that number approximately 300 artists are available for viewing by appointment.

The Mail Art Imagebase contains a handful of images for most of the artists.

Contact us with questions or to report a problem with the Mail Art Imagebase.

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