I have discussed the collecting of postcards that depict libraries previously on this blog. As I noted in that post, one collector managed to collect over 25,000 library postcards. There are several other collectors who have put together collections exceeding 10,000 examples. Because of the large number of library postcards it is probably prudent to specialize to some degree. I collect Wisconsin library postcards, ALA WWI postcards, postcards depicting bookmobiles and traveling libraries, and others that just happen to come my way. For some libraries no picture postcard exists, but for many of our larger libraries such as the Library of Congress, the Boston Public Library, and the New York Public Library a large number of examples/varieties have been published over the years. The picture side of the postcard of the New York Public Library shown above which is in my collection is nothing special. What makes the card unusual is the address side of the postcard which shows that it was carried on the Graf Zeppelin air ship in 1928 from New York to Friedrichshafen, Germany before being delivered to Herrn Hartmann in Stuttgart. This make the card far more valuable to a philatelist than a deltiologist, and it is, of course, a nice item for a collector of postal librariana. Harvey Lynch is a library postcard collector who specializes in postcards depicting the New York Public Library building on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. He has developed an excellent website that displays his collection. The postcard which is on the home page of his website is exceptional. It was sent in 1907 and as the message on the picture side indicates, the building was not yet complete (it did not open until 1911). I also like the postcard which shows the resevoir of the Croton Water Supply in 1850 which later became the site of the New York Public Library. Links to other collections of library postcards can be found here. Added note 5-22-11: Harvey Lynch's website is no longer operational so the links have been removed.
Miss “Public Libraries” Mary Eileen Ahern
1 week ago