The Piercing Archive

Geneva, 1996. Photo © Barry Blanchard.

The mission of the recently formed PIERCING ARCHIVE is near and dear to my heart; the belief that ephemera relating to the history of our community needs to be preserved, archived and made freely available to all who have an interest in it is at the core of what we’re doing here at Sacred Debris. Historical preservation is one of the few fields where we welcome ‘competition’- every time they’re able to share a new image or video from days-gone-by you find yourself so geeked that what may be a decades old photograph of a piercing pioneer has found it’s way across the decades and miles to your laptop or iphone where you can save it and share it till your heart is content, assuring that what’s come before you will live on after you take your own step into history.
They will be be collating all of their finds and saves at the Piercing Archive website, but while they’re getting all of that set up you can find them on their Facebook and Youtoube pages (links below)

I asked Matte from the Piercing Archive to send over an introduction/mission statement. Check out the links and remember that you’re part of our community’s history, too- if you have stories, photographs and videos to share, get in touch (with SD or the BPA- as long as it gets saved we all win) and make sure that we leave a map for future generations to follow.

The mission of Body Piercing Archive is to select, collect, document, preserve, exhibit, & interpret the personal, social, and material evolving histories.
The Body Piercing Archive was started in 2014 by the Association of Professional Piercers, a non profit organization who’s focus is the dissemination of information regarding body piercing. The archive was a natural progression in that dissemination. So much of our history is being lost as time goes by. Items are getting tossed away or destroyed by entropy or, worse yet, negligence.

Now is the time to pull together. We need to preserve fragile items, digitize photographs and video, and write down the stories so that the future generations of piercers can learn about where all this originated. Our history must not be lost!
The 2015 Association of Professional Piercers conference marked our first exhibit for the archive. This was the first of many to come. The 2016 conference will showcase an exhibit of Sailor Sid Diller. This will be a co-presented exhibit from the Leather Archive and the Body Piercing Archive. Ideas are already being presented for the following years as well. Throughout the coming years, we hope to bring lots of interesting items, articles, photographs and videos to you. Some may make you laugh, some may make you cry but, at the end of the day, we hope you learn something about our collective past. Most of this, for now, will be posted on our Facebook page ( and our Youtube channel (body piercing archive). Eventually, content will be moved over to our permanent website ( Questions and comments are always welcome as well. You can message us on Facebook but, the best (most efficient way) is through email ([email protected]).

We would like to thank Shawn Porter for his support and allowing us a platform to spread the word on his blog. We would also like to thank all the past, present and future supporters who have helped share the knowledge. Please continue to read, share, like and comment.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.

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