Ruth and Marvin Sackner founded the Archive in Miami Beach, Florida in 1979, later moving it to Miami, Florida in 2005. Its initial mission was to establish a collection of books, critical texts, periodicals, ephemera, prints, drawings, collages, paintings, sculptures, objects, manuscripts, and correspondence dealing with precedent and contemporary, internationally produced, concrete and visual poetry.
We have retained copies of the correspondence to and from dealers, curators, artists, poets and critics since the collection was formed. None of this correspondence has yet been catalogued. Yes! The Sackners do all the cataloging of their collection. We chose to call our collection an ‘Archive’ because an Archive includes correspondence, documentation and ephemeral material as well as core items of the collection. With the growth of the collection, the Sackner Archive took on features of an Archive of Archives. This direction might have subconsciously originated from our attendance at the blockbuster exhibitions held at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris: PARIS-NEW YORK (1977), PARIS-BERLIN 1900-1933 (1978), PARIS-MOSCOU, 1900-1930 (1979), and PARIS-PARIS 1937-1957 (1981). The wealth of background (archival) material was an eye-opener to us. It brought life to these inanimate works and put them into matters of the moment that often uncovered unforeseen links to others. We have enjoyed cultivating personal contacts with artists and poets or their relatives and friends whose works constitute an Archive beginning with the multi-dimensional artist, Tom Phillips, in 1975 and still ongoing today. Such documentation may be found in our catalogue (1986) published in an edition of 500 copies that unfortunately is long out of print and the movie ‘Concrete!’(2003) made by our daughter, Sara Sackner, that is available on DVD and on streaming video.
The documentary is here on UbuWeb. Selected categories of work in the Sackner Archive include: Concrete Poets, Visual Poetic Artist Books, Handwritten Artist Books, Anthologies, Typewriter Poets, Compilers of Assemblings, Archive of Correspondence, Micrography, Rubberstamping, Mail Art and Artist’s Stamps, and Performance Poetry. They have a huge amount of artists’ books. Their online database’s list of classification authorities is wonderful. There is no contact information on the site.