What to do with postcards

What to do with postcards

Collecting postcards is a familiar activity, with collectors specialising in, say, postcards with pictures of seaside towns, famous actors, and sometimes military matters, including the South African War 1899–1902. Most but not all of these were posted and at some point later appeared in the second-hand market. Much less familiar is something that has recently received coverage on the BBC News app, which involves the postcard collector or purchaser tracking down the people to whom a postcard was originally addressed. In many cases this actually means the descendants, as many postcards were bought, written, posted, received in times long gone by. This is a notable activity in a number of respects, but perhaps the main thing is the felt-need on the part of the purchaser of the postcard to communicate with someone/something that relates to the person it was sent to originally. In some cases this seems to be an emotional need, but in many others it is the thrill of the chase, the sense of excitement in finding information and tracing out connections. It’s the research bug taking this distinctive form! For more details, see the news item on the BBC news app at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-58585540

Last updated:  30 September 2021


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