A Look Inside the Magnum Foundation Archive!


The term “tear sheet” is used to describe the torn physical pages removed from magazines and sent to clients as proof-of-publishing.

The Magnum Foundation Archive has 122 boxes of tear sheets from the Magnum Photos New York Office, covering the years from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Magnum Photos acquired over 10,000 of these tear sheets from nearly 1,000 different publications, and the collection represents over 200 Magnum Photos photographers and contributors.


We’ve been digitizing these articles with a copystand, using a chromakey background that we remove using a custom action in Photoshop. Floating the object on a transparent backdrop allows us to maintain the unique ripped edges and to allow for ease of reproduction for publishers.

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We are halfway through entering the tearsheet collection into our Filemaker database, and we're happy to announce that we’re now able to provide online access to high resolution JPEG images of any article we've digitized. Articles can be delivered instantly via a unique link that refers to the images and catalog information from our inventory.

Though on-site visits are certainly welcomed, this mobile-friendly format allows international researchers the ability to review articles twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Upon completion of the New York office tearsheets, we will begin digitizing and providing access to the London office’s collection. Tokyo will be next.


Have a particular research interest?

We'll review the catalog and send you relevant articles!

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