Monday, January 23, 2012

The Best Library Postcard Sites on the Internet

Selected postcards from my collection
In my previous post I discussed some of the World's Largest Library Postcard Collections. Of those collections, only a small portion of the Sjoerd Koopman collection has been digitized (by the American Library Association Archives)and made accessible on the Internet. At the same time, realizing the popularity of this medium, a large and growing number of library and archival institutions have digitized non-library focused collections of picture postcards. It has fallen, for the most part, to individual library postcard enthusiasts who are not affiliated with an institution to break ground in this postcard niche. Here are what I consider to be the best library postcard sites on the Internet.

The Library History Buff website "Library Postcards" page. This recently updated webpage serves as a portal to library postcard collections and resources on the Internet. In addition to the postcard sites below it contains links to less robust sites.

Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America, the library postcard site of Judy Aulik. Judy has a personal collection of about 3,000 library postcards and she has digitized many of these for our enjoyment. Judy links her postcard images to information about the library that is available on the web. She is continually updating and expanding her website.

The Library Postcard site of Sharon McQueen and Richard Douglas is a well constructed website that displays a large portion of their library postcard collection. A nice feature of this site is that the non-picture side of the postcard is also shown. Updates are infrequent, however.

The Library Postcards Blog of Mark Jackson has over 1,000 library postcard images. Postcard images are added as blog posts and each card has associated tags or keywords, including the name of the library, city or town, state or country of location. Whenever historical information is available, it is included. Frequently updated.

The Booth Library Postcard Collection (Eastern Illinois University) includes an extensive collection of postcards showing Illinois libraries. In 2010 the Booth Library also acquired 2,811 library postcards of a broader nature which were assembled by a private collector that the library plans to digitize. This site utilizes the highest digitization standards and represents the ideal in the display of library postcards.

The ALA Archives Digital Collections is worthy of mention. As noted above, the ALA Archives has digitized a portion of the Sjoerd Koopman collection. Other postcards have also digitized. Hopefully, the ALA Archives will continue to acquire and digitize more library postcards in the future.

One of the most important developments that could take place in regard to library postcard digitization is the digitization of the 25,000 plus library postcards in the Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This is the largest collection in institutional hands.

If you have other nominations for this list, put them in the "comments" section of the blog.

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