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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Organizing Postcard Collection

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Fatherauld
14 Nov 2010
08:37:25am
Hi Everyone,
I'm getting quite a nice collection of postcards now from a number of our sellers of postcards. Do any of you have any suggestion on how to organize and catalogue them?

Regards ... Tim.
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Bobstamp
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14 Nov 2010
11:22:29am
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Can you please describe the collection? And are they postcards (picture postcards) or postal cards (issued by postal departments)?

Bob

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Fatherauld
14 Nov 2010
12:10:34pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Hi Bob,
They are picture postcards. I love the period from 1880 to 1920, especially the B & W pictures that show life as it was back then. I'm fascinated with the history.

Regards ... Tim.

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Bobstamp
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14 Nov 2010
01:39:44pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

I'm certainly not an expert on postcards, but I have learned a few things about them, and certainly buy enough. I've recently been spending a great deal more money on postcards than stamps and covers; they make great collateral items for exhibits. Anyway...

There are several different types of postcards from the period you collect. Rather than try to name them (and make mistakes!), I'll suggest this excellent web site, The History of Postcards. But I'll make some comments based on my own collection; perhaps you'll get some ideas of how to arrange your own collection:

• My favorites from this period are real photo postcards, which are often one-of-a-kind and very sharp and detailed, unlike commercially produced postcards. I also like hand-colored postcards. You could organize your collection by type.

• Postcards were often feature particular themes. I have a wonderful little collection of WWI postcards featuring beautiful young German women saying good-bye to their handsome lovers, all decked out in dress uniforms and carrying their bayoneted rifles, heading off to battle the foe. I have some similar but less artistic British and American cards.

• The design of the back of picture postcards changed over time. For a time, the address had to be on the front, so images were despoiled by a blank or lined rectangle. Later, the backs were divided into two parts, one for the stamp and address, one for the message. I myself don't find this terribly interesting. However…

• The messages on postcards may often be the most collectible aspect of them. From a WWII postcard with the message, "HOW ABOUT WRITING???" led me down a research path which ended with a story about the death of a Canadian in the RCAF in Denmark in 1942. Along the way I was able to contact both his sister and the woman who had been his fiancée and bring them some closure: they had never been told the manner of his death (his bomber crashed in Denmark after a bombing raid on Rostock in northern Germany.

• Many commercial postcards were produced over a number of years, with the result that many varieties of both front and back of the same postcards exist. I have two linen-surface postcards showing the same view of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Saanich on Vancouver Island. One postcard has a blue sky, the other has white stratus clouds in it.

Can't think of anything else at the moment. Perhaps someone else can offer Tim some suggestions.

Bob

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Purrfin
14 Nov 2010
07:48:31pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Organized? Oh, geez ~ the way my collection is growing I'd better think of something too! Seems like its filled the shoe box and extending into another!

I've thought about putting them into a photo box and then making "dividers" to distinguish them by "type".

So many were from family members from that infamous time period in the above mentioned site on the history, great read BTW.

And then quite a few from the WW11 era too. That's a toughie, but I guess they'll end up under "Naval", "Japan", etc.

Its going to be one of those "round tuits" ! Would love to hear how others "keep" theirs.
Dianne

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
16 Nov 2010
03:03:21pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Oh, Tim, organization is far more difficult than code, although, like code, it should lead the user somewhere. My organization is usually pretty good when the thing fits one of my collecting interests (tied seals, Cleveland postal history, air mail rates, AMSD, dues and damaged and other auxilliary markings, and military usage); after that, yikes. I can see that the article on the General generalated more auction lots. Even when I have one guy who I know something about, I create a folder for him and insert all i can find, plus subsequent lots. the PCs can be approached the same way: organized by interest. I suspect that this adds no help, but, can't say i didn't try.

David

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Joelgrebin
16 Nov 2010
04:42:08pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Say Tim,
I've been organizing my postcard collection by continent and then into countries. Your scheme for organizing depends on what you want your collection to say. In my case, the postmark(location) and then a picture is important to me. MY WW1 postcards are in a WW1 category and so on. I consider picture postcards my travelogue to places I will never see. Also, you will probably have postcards from dead countries. That is a category of its own. Again, it depends on how view the collection. I mount my picture postcards using the Ultra Pro 2 pocket, clear pages in a loose leaf binder. The are archival quality.
Joel

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Fatherauld
16 Nov 2010
05:41:20pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Thank you everyone for your considered thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time.

Joel, where do you get the Ultra Pro 2 pocket sheets?

Regards ... Tim.

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Joelgrebin
16 Nov 2010
09:22:40pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Tim,
I got 2 packages of the 2 pocket sheets from a local
baseball card dealer who is local for me. I found the size I wanted from the Ultra Pro web site and the card dealer was gracious enough to order two packages of 100 each. www.ultrapro.com The 2 pocket size can house a post card up to 5x7. Some of the foreign or special cards are that large. I appreciate that the sheet can house that size and also use a standard 3 ring binder. Baseball card dealers or comic book dealers as well as other collectible dealers are familiar with these products. Probably a stamp collector supply house may have them. They are common items for collectors of all sorts.
Let me know it this helps or if you need assistance obtaining them.
Joel
Joel

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ikeyPikey
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12 Jan 2020
07:52:37am
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Bumpity-bump.

There are several ways to 'cut the deck'.

One is by production technique. These include, but are not limited to:

- RPPC - Real Photo Post Cards are everybody's favorite.

- CLT - collotypes - an early technique, which can offer extraordinary detail.

- Mass-Produced Photos - mostly inter-war, mostly European, mostly with deckled edges, mostly very high resolution & very high quality.

- Linens - mid-20th-Century American cards printed on a textured paper. Cool sub-category: linens with garish colors.

- Embossed - mostly produced in Germany, pre-WW1, for holidays & occasions.

- Glittered & Mica'd & otherwise physically enhanced - probably an acquired taste.

- Embroidered - honest, this is a thing, mostly from Spain.

- Like The Man said: etc, etc, etc.

http://www.metropostcard.com/tech0.html ... A Guide to Postcard Printing Techniques

Another is by subject. Aircraft, Bridges, Costumes, Civic Buildings, Maps, Sports Stadiums, Zoos ... I know of one guy who collects postcards with kilts, and another who is fond of prisons.

Lastly, geography. Mostly for 'view cards'. Also, a place to dump all of the cards with subjects that are of little interest to you.

https://www.bcwsupplies.com/ ... I group 3x5 cards in the 4x6 sleeves, and I group 4x6 cards in the 5x7 sleeves, and I use pocket pages for the really good stuff.

https://www.avery.com/products/labels/8160 ... I print labels to describe the contents of the sleeves, but I dislike my own handwriting. YMMV.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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vinman
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12 Jan 2020
09:03:58am
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Yo ikey,
Thanks for reviving this thread and attaching the links. There are as many ways to collect post cards as there are ways of stamp collecting. My main interest is Santa Claus and Christmas. I have smaller collections of local scenes.
The link to post card printing techniques is right on time. I have plans to put my Santa Claus cards in an exhibit and I will need to know the printing techniques. I added that link to my file of post card links.

Vince

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
12 Jan 2020
10:14:00am
re: Organizing Postcard Collection


And do not forget 'size', I collect 'miniature view' post cards like these

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Don



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vinman
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12 Jan 2020
02:38:50pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

Don,
Neat miniature post cards. They are new to me, never seen them before. I had a look on ebay and there was a variety of them. I bought one set 1 3/4 x 2 3/4, views of New York, I have a snipe bid in on another set and made an offer on a third. Three makes a collection.

Vince

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
17 Jan 2020
05:44:38pm
re: Organizing Postcard Collection

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Since the Ultra-Pro pages have been discussed, there is one made for 4 postcards per page. I originally bought these for my New Jersey postcards. This is an Atlantic City page. The one issue appears here, whether the postcards are vertical or horizontal. I guess you could put all horizontal on one page and all vertical on another page.

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Here is how I keep most of my collections. This is the Ultra-Pro 2 pocket page. I like these since I can put different size covers in the collection,and the 5x7 cards I print can include descriptive text as you see here on my Wildwood Crest New Jersey page.

The best place to buy these is on eBay. They are expensive if you buy 10 pages. They do come 100 to a box, and I find it cost effective to buy 500 (5 boxes) at a time. I've done this twice so far and have a few hundred pages ready to use.

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