Postcards in the Library : Invaluable Visual Resources book cover
1st Edition

Postcards in the Library
Invaluable Visual Resources

ISBN 9781560247760
Published February 26, 1996 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

Postcards, individually and collectively, contain a great deal of information that can be of real value to students and researchers. Postcards in the Library gives compelling reasons why libraries should take a far more active and serious interest in establishing and maintaining postcard collections and in encouraging the use of these collections. It explains the nature and accessibility of existing postcard collections; techniques for acquiring, arranging, preserving, and handling collections; and ways to make researchers and patrons aware of these collections.

Postcards in the Library asserts that, in most cases, existing postcard collections are a vastly underutilized scholarly resource. Editor Norman D. Stevens urges librarians to help change this since postcards, as items for mass consumption and often with no apparent conscious literary or social purpose, are a true reflection of the society in which they were produced. Stevens claims that messages written on postcards may also reveal a great deal about individual and/or societal attitudes and ideas.

Chapters in Postcards in the Library are written by librarians who manage postcard collections, postcard collectors, and researchers. Some of the authors have undertaken major research projects that demonstrate the ways in which postcards can be used in research, and that have begun to establish a standard methodology for the analysis of postcards. They write about:

  • major postcard collections, including the Institute of Deltiology and the Curt Teich Postcard Archives
  • the use of postcards for scholarly research
  • postcard conservation and preservation, arrangement and organization, and importance and value

    Postcards in the Library describes the postcard collections in a variety of libraries of different kinds and sizes and indicates very real ways in which the effective use of postcard collections can result in and contribute to substantive, scholarly publications. It also offers advice and suggestions on the myriad issues that libraries face in handling these ephemeral fragments of popular culture.

    Special collections librarians, postcard collectors, postcard dealers, and historical societies will find the information in Postcards in the Library refreshing and practical. Libraries with established postcard collections or those thinking about developing postcard collections will use it as a valuable planning tool and start-to-finish guide.

Table of Contents

Contents (Part I) Introduction

  • Welcome to the World of Postcards
  • (Part II) Two Primary Postcard Collections
  • The Curt Teich Postcard Archives: Dedicated to the Postcard as a Document Type
  •  The Institute of American Deltiology: An Emerging Resource
  • (Part III) Representative Library Collections
  • Pacific Northwest and Other Postcard Treasures in the University of Washington Libraries
  • Why Libraries Collect Postcards: Two Case Studies
  • Postcards From the Marguerite Archer Collection: A Treasure Trove for the Study of Childhood
  • California Here We Come: The Adams Postcard Collection at San Diego State University
  • The “Historic Picture Postcard Collection” at the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library, University of Virginia
  •  Why Aren’t You Here?: Postcards in the Popular Culture Library
  •  (Part IV) The Use of Postcards
  • Sites Abroad: Picture Postcards and a Late Nineteenth Century Woman’s Sketchbook of the Grand Tour
  •  Researching the View Cards of Mount Vernon
  • “Patriotic and Profitable”: The World War I Postcards in the Hoover Institution Archives
  •  Learning From Medical Postcards
  • Graphic Images and Publisher Exploitation of Yellowstone Park in Postcards: “Viewing the Marelous Scenes in Wonderland
  •  A View of Main Street: The Use of Postcards in Historic Preservation
  •  Metered Mail: A Survey of Contemporary Poetry Postcard Publishing
  •  (Part V) Organizational Issues
  • George Watson Cole: A Man, His Postcards, and the American Antiquarian Society
  •  The Automation of the Frances Louise Day Postcard Collection of the Howard County Historical Society (Ellicott City, MD)
  • Postcards: Navigating the Preservation Options
  •  Bibliographies
  •  Reference Works on Postcards and Postcard Collecting: A Selective Bibliography
  • Postcard Based Research: A Representative Bibliography
  • Reference Notes Included

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