“Postcards are candy to the eyes of a preservationist.”
A friend of Roots and Recall, who owns an enormous post card collection, offered us thousands of them for posting on the website five years ago. Several volunteers spent hours digitizing only a small portion of the massive collection. This was a learning experience which didn’t turnout as well as we’d hoped. It resulted in R&R having several thousand “fair” postcards rather than fewer high quality images. Subsequently, numerous other smaller collections from all over the state have been beautifully digitized and are displayed across the website’s 33,000 pages. We won’t even begin to individually name the donors of these excellent postcards but we do want each of them to know that their contributions are most appreciated. Sometimes it is the individual who owns only a handful of postcards, and treasures them mightily, that is most often willing to share. Twice in the past year small postcard collections have simply been given to R&R. The owners didn’t want them any longer and knew we would put them to good use. We anticipate receiving thousands of additional postcards in 2018 and we know you will also cherish them.
Postcards are a significant means of preserving local history. Some individuals have purchased whole collections and printed books displaying their collections. Others began collecting postcards as a teenage hobby and remain avid collectors as business professionals, paying big bucks for the privilege of owning specific hometown images.
In November, we were offered access to about 16,000 postcard images of which a little over 3,000 were digitized for eventual display on Roots and Recall. Of the 3,000 about 80% were of historic sites we had never previously seen. The balance were duplicates of what is already in the collection but of higher quality.
JUST FOR YOU:
Most historic postcard images are based on photographs that have been produced and then enhanced. Of course, in some cases items have been added or removed as the postcard company determined what they thought would best enable them to market the cards. I too have a small collection acquired through family and friends. The family images clearly show the travels of my great-grandparents across the resort areas of the eastern USA .
We can’t think of a more fitting use for postcards than to enhance the understanding of local history through posting them on the pages of R&R. Besides, they are colorful and look great!
A R&R Note: Please remember to take a few minutes and login to R&R.com to enjoy the newest feature article. What a great contribution to our understanding of how the cold war influenced history. And thanks to all of you who have furnished materials during 2017, what a gift it has been to see so many enjoy local history – one address at a time!