Finding Out-Of-Print Charts

You may not copy an out-of-print work just because you can do longer buy it. What to do?

I have a couple suggestions about how to find a chart (they've worked for me, at least!), whether it's out of print or not.

(1) Contact the copyright holder and ask how to get a copy of the work. There may be one or two lying around in some warehouse or there may be "house copies" at a magazine that they would be willing to sell you. See (3). (2) Failing this, ask if you may make a photocopy. You may be granted permission in these circumstances (for one copy, probably), but don't assume this will be the case. And remember that you must secure permission first. Don't be surprised if you are asked to pay a fee in exchange. You should ask for a permission letter, too, because many times photocopy stores will not photocopy protected work without a permission letter. See (4).

(3) With a designer, quite often you will be asked to pay a small fee for the designer's sending you a photocopy of the work. This which is likely to be small (for example, no more than the cost of the original chart plus postage). Many designers have an established way of dealing with requests for out-of-print works, and "reprint fees" can be a significant portion of their income. See (4).

(4) If the magazine/designer has no copies and don't suggest selling you a photocopy, suggest it. Say that you'll be glad to pay for the cost of the original chart plus postage if they would help you out.

(5) A chart-swapping service may be the ticket. I have used Chart Connection (Box 7823-MBL, Warren, OH 44483) several times. Currently subscription price is $18/year or $5 for a sample copy (the $5 is then applied to the $18, should you wish to subscribe). The subscription includes one free ad, too. E-mail them at for more info.

(6) There is an Internet mailing list called Pattern Collectors Anonymous. (You see? You are not alone!), which is a no-fee service in which stitchers list charts they have to sell or give away or list charts they are seeking. Send e-mail to for information.

(7) You also can check the needlework newsgroups. RCTN (rec.crafts.textiles.needlework) is peopled by stitchers, and if anyone knows where to get the chart you're seeking, you'll receive e-mail or read a post about it to the group.

(8)Another option is to write to stitching magazines which devote space to "stitchers seeking charts."

Don't give up! That chart is out there somewhere, though it may take you a while to find it. That's ok, though, right? You have at least -one- other chart in your to-do pile, don't you?!

copyright 1997, Martha Beth Lewis

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