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Institute of American Deltiology Postcard collection

 Collection 0007-MDHC
The Institute of American Deltiology (IAD) is a non-profit established in Pennsylvania in 1993 by Donald Brown. The Institute was established to act as library, gallery and research center for the study of postcards and North American history and culture. The IAD collection is estimated to contain over one million postcards. The National Trust Library received this collection through a generous donation from Donald Brown. The Library currently holds approximately 104,000 cards from the collection, depicting localities in 36 states and territories, including the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The postcards are dated from the 1870s to the 2000s, with the bulk of the cards dated post 1939. The Library will continue to receive and make available to the public additional postcards from the collection in the upcoming years. Researchers may also want to consult a related postcard collection at the National Trust Library, the National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection.

Dates

  • 1870-
  • Majority of material found within 1900-

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies and digital copies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

104000 items

Scope and Content of Collection

The Institute of American Deltiology (IAD) collection is estimated to contain over one million postcards. The National Trust Library received this collection through a generous donation from Donald Brown. The Library currently holds approximately 104,000 cards from the collection, depicting localities in 36 states and territories, including the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The postcards are dated from 1870s to the 2000s, with the bulk of the cards dated post 1939.

Administrative History

The Institute of American Deltiology (IAD) is a non-profit established in Pennsylvania in 1993 by Donald Brown. The Institute was established to act as library, gallery and research center for the study of postcards and North American history and culture. The Institute is currently located in Myerstown, Pennsylvania.

Donald Brown began collecting postcards in 1943, joining postcard clubs and developing an interest in postcards throughout his adolescence. His formal college education was focused on Library Science and American Studies, which encouraged and enhanced his collecting. Over the years, Mr. Brown has developed an impressive collection and his desire to make this cards available for research led him to establish the Institute of American Deltiology.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into one series.
Series1
Geographic Postcards -- United States

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the National Trust Library by Donald Brown in 2010. The library began processing the first set of approxomately 66,000 cards in January 2011, and will continue to process additional postcards from the collection as they are received in the upcoming years. A second set of approximately 38,000 cards were added to the collection in April 2012.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copies of select postcards in this collection are available online in the University of Maryland's Digital Collections.

Related Material

There are a number of postcard collection located in repositorires across the country. Institutions are increasingly digitizing and placing these materials online. Listed below are some of the most prominent collections.
  1. National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection, National Trust Library, University of Maryland.The National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection contains approximately 20,000 postcards dating from 1893 to the 1970s with the bulk of the cards from the years 1900 to 1920. The collection represents over 3,000 locations in the United States, as well as a small number of foreign countries. There is a particular strength in cards from the New England states although all 50 states are documented. Most of the cards were commercially produced and depict early 20th century scenes from small towns to large cities. There is also a group of about 900 cards for which location could not be determined. These are arranged by subject.
  2. Detroit Publishing Company Postcards from the Leonard Lauder Postcard Collection - New York Public Library Digital Gallery. This collection is part of New York Public Library's Digital Gallery and consists of 5,780 digitzed postcards ca. 1898-1920s. The cards feature images of North American landscapes and cityscapes, including views of well-known streets, buildings, historic monuments, natural scenery, industry, transportation, and daily life.
  3. University of Delaware Postcard Collection. The University of Delaware Postcard Collection comprises more than 2,000 postcards of Delaware and the surrounding regions. The postcards have been digitized and are searchable by location and subject.
  4. Werner von Boltenstern Postcard Collection at Loyola Marymount University Library. The postcard collection at Loyola Marymount University has aprroximately 1 million postcards and is one of the largest publicly accessible cards in the United States.
  5. Donald R. Brown Postcard Collection . The postcard collection at the Pennsylvania State Archives has a selection of Institute of American Deltiology postcards and pamphlets donated by Brown. The majority of the cards in this collection relates to Myerstown, Lebanon County.

Processing Information

Postcards have been arranged by geographic location whenever possible and sorted into genres that correspond to the approximate date in which the card was printed. Cards have been placed in mylar sleeves for longterm preservation.
Title
Guide to the Institute of American Deltiology Postcard collection
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Jennifer Elkins, Melissa House, Amber Kohl, Christine Thompson, and Jessica Yankowski.
Date
2011
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2011-07-01: EAD markup checked and verified using Oxygen software by Jennie A. Levine Knies.
  • 2012-04: Additional postcards processed by Abby Lull, Erin Urinoski, and Jessica Yankowski.
  • 2012-04-16: EAD markup checked and verified using Oxgen software by Joanne Archer.
  • 2017-06-01: EAD revised following ArchivesSpace migration by Emily Flint.
  • 2018-02-21: Finding aid reviewed and minor edits made by Caitlin Rizzo.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212