Guidelines for donations

Read this first, before you scan a book for the library.

Donations to Metaverse Libraries are gratefully accepted, and if you make them through the Antique Pattern Library website, will be tagged as library donations. Donations may be tax deductible, depending on your tax jurisdiction and your tax circumstances.

We publish old and otherwise unavailable books and patterns about hand crafts and needlework. Our mission is to preserve our craft traditions in our hands, to make the antique books available for free, and pass on knowledge of antique methods and techniques. Many of these books are being discarded by public libraries, and may be too graphics-intensive to be handled well by the other online libraries. Crafts people from all over the world are using our books. We are a tiny tax exempt nonprofit, growing steadily.

We accept and upload scans of books of all kinds of crafts - needlework, knitting, crochet, embroidery, basketry, woodworking, mechanics, gardening, cooking, if they are in the public domain.



First, we are thrilled when someone has an antique craft book and wants to make scans for the library! Scanning a book is a lot of work and needs to be done carefully. We have to be careful only to publish books that are in the public domain (copyright has expired), and the scans need to be readable when they're printed out by the crafts people who download them. To avoid duplicating or wasting your work, here are the steps to take to make scans that we can add to the Antique Pattern Library:

  1. Check the catalog pages at to see if your book, booklet, magazine or article has already been scanned by someone else. Also look at our Work In Progress page. If there's a book there that someone has, but hasn't scanned yet, and you have it too and would like to scan your copy, we would be delighted, as our backlog is enormous. Even if we already have a scan, some of our scanned books are incomplete; your copy might contain the missing pages. Usually the missing pages are mentioned, but we don't always know if a book is complete or not.
  2. Check the copyright information of your book. This information is usually on the title page or on the inside of either the front or back cover. If your book was published in the United States before 1923, then it is in the public domain and we can use it. If your book was published in another country, or is a U.S. publication after 1922, or does not have a copyright date, please check the guidelines here:
We may have a volunteer available to work on public domain status research for your book - ask, if you're having problems with it.

IF YOUR BOOK IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, THEN IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHARE COPIES OF IT, and we can't use it for the library, unless we have written permission from the copyright holder.


If you have issues of Needlecraft (Augusta, Maine) magazine, please contact Adrienne, [lacekat ( a t ) hotmail . com ]. Several people are scanning Needlecraft issues and it's a tricky process with the big pages and tiny print. But worth it.

If you have any of the wonderful books by Flora Klickmann needlework books that haven't been uploaded to the library yet, please contact Helen, [ enfys ( a t ) dsl . pipex . com ], to coordinate.

If you have another book that you would like to scan for the library, please contact Sytske, [ s_a_m_wijnsma ( a t ) yahoo . com ]

If you donate a book scan, we will list your name or handle as the donor at the Antique Pattern Library website in the book list entry, on the donor's list (with the URL to your website, too, if you want), and on the cover page for each book.


In most countries, the act of making a scan creates a new work with its own rights. We are using the licensing language provided by Creative Commons to try to keep the scans free for everyone. We also do what we can to keep our scans from being 'lifted' and copies sold at the online bookstores or eBay.

Scans are not usable unless they can be printed legibly enough for a craft worker to use. That means (after one of us is done editing) black text on white background with illustrations as clear as the originals, if possible. In many old pattern books the illustrations are more important than the instructions.

Scanners and other computer equipment vary a lot, as do our skill levels,and old books tend to scan as faded text on yellowish brown background, with foxing, creases, and other damage. Most of the books are scanned at 300 dpi in full color, then the pages are cleaned up in PhotoShop or other graphics software, and the images usually converted to indexed color or gray-scale, depending on the image and the skill levels of the editor. Then, with maybe more processing to reduce file sizes, the pages are assembled into pdf files with a cover page, footers, watermarks and security. Some volunteers are creating searchable text versions of antique books, with illustration layouts in software such as MS Word, which we then convert to PDF to upload. Other volunteers are remastering cross-stitch or other charted patterns.

Right now good ways to scan the pages of the books are into bmp, tif, png, or pdf format in full color at 300 dpi or higher. Your eye will tell you if the scans are readable and if the illustrations are clear enough. We like to have publishing information legible as well, as the library is used for research as well as craft working.

Please don't email the scans, unless there are only one or two pages. We're using any of the free FTP transfer services, such as DropBox or YouSendIt, usually.

Scanning and cleaning up images of old and damaged pages can be time consuming! And addictive. Some of the books we put up in the beginning are awful copies, but we're gradually rescanning and editing those, and the newer files are better. We're saving and storing the raw and edited scans. As our skills and software improve over time, we'll revisit some issues.


If you're not going to scan it and don't want to throw it out, contact Judith. If it's on our wanted-list, or if the copyright will expire in the foreseeable future, we might be interested in the book itself. Books take up room and need care, so scans are the preferred form.


It's tax-deductible and thanks to donations, we can keep up the website and pay for the costs associated with running a nonprofit organization.


Volunteers are welcome!


Knowledge is useless if not shared.

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