Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Interesting Bookmobile Postcard

The postcard above depicting the bookmobile of the Albuquerque (NM) Public Library was given to me by Norman Stevens, one of the world's greatest library postcard collectors. Norman donated his collection of approximately 25,000 library postcards to the Canadian Centre for Architecture and it is now part of the Norman D. Stevens Collection of Library Architecture. This one got left out of the CCA donation. I'm grateful to have the postcard since it was part of Norman's collection. It also has several other aspects that are of interest to me. I collect bookmobile postcards so obviously that's the first aspect that is of interest. The postcard is larger than the usual postcard of this period (1950s). It is 6 1/4 inches wide instead of the usual 5 1/2 inches, and it is 4 1/2 inches high instead of the usual 3/12 inches. It is an advertising postcard from The Gerstenslager Co. of Wooster, OH, the largest maker of bookmobiles for several decades. The postcard was mailed to Lucille Morsch of the Library of Congress and received by LC on Jan. 26, 1959. Since I am also a collector of postal librariana related to the Library of Congress, this is also of special interest to me. In Norman D. Stevens' book A Guide to Collecting Librariana (Scarecrow Press, 1986) he mentions that Lucille Morsch was a collector of library postcards and that she donated her collection to him before her death. This is probably why the bookmobile postcard was in his collection. It also means that the postcard is now in the hands of the third library postcard collector (me). 

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