Deltiology: The study of picture postcards. Why now, you ask? Because May 7-13 is National Postcard Week!
While doing some research on National Postcard Week, I found some really interesting information. The identification of a postcard’s place and time of production can often be an impossible task because postcards are produced in a decentralized, unregulated manner. For this reason, some collectors choose to limit their acquisitions to cards by specific artists and publishers, or by time and location. (from Wikipedia)
Deltiologists, as postcard collectors are called, collect for a variety of reasons. Some are attracted to the postcards themselves, then narrow down their interests. Others are interested in something in particular, such as ballet, then decide to collect ballet-related postcards as a way to augment their interest in ballet. One of the most popular areas of collecting is “town views” – actual scenes from a particular town or region. Most collectors of town views start by collecting views of the town where they reside or the town where they grew up. With many small towns having hundreds of different cards available, it is an area that can keep a collector busy for years. (Wikipedia)
As far as National Postcard Week itself, the first one was celebrated May 6-12, 1984, as a promotion to encourage and popularize the collecting, publishing and mailing of picture postcards. There is even a website dedicated to the week, nationalpostcardweek.com, and it is loaded with information regarding the history of postcards and National Postcard Week.
After reading through the information on National Postcard Week, I can understand why people become deltiologists. It’s a great way to get a snapshot of a time period, subject matter or town, city or region. From now on I will look at postcards in a completely new way! I may even become a deltiologist myself!
All of the postcards pictured in this post are vintage postcards I pulled out of a box of letters of my mom’s. They all date back to the early 1940’s.