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August2009
HOME Let's Get Serial Postcards from the Edge A Chapter a Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Head of the Class Projecting the Environment The Dog Days of Summer You've Heard of Timbuktu, but Do You Know Where It Is?
Postcards from the Edge

A beautiful scenic view of the Grand Canyon. The iconic image of Big Ben. The obligatory “Wish You Were Here” tagline. These are what come to mind when we think of the typical postcard. However, it’s the more offbeat ones that make receiving your mail a whole lot more fun. The Library's 2008 Junior Fellows selected more than 60 cards to indicate the wide variety of subjects and styles available in this visual format—from baseball to zeppelins, and from political wisecracks to giant fruit.

Washington Monument and the cherry blossoms at sunset, Washington, D.C. Between 1920 and 1960 Bathers at Crystal Beach. 1911

A postcard from 1935 proclaims that Georgia melons “grow big” here. In 1944, for postage of only 1 ½¢, you could send a postcard depicting humorous scenes relating to Army life. Or, if whimsy is more to you liking, how about a pants-wearing cat?

The Prints and Photographs Division is the repository for this collection, along with many other lists of images on popular topics.

Speaking of travel, the Library’s American Memory collection By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 includes a variety of artful and colorful posters promoting tourism during the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

The Panoramic Photograph Collection features many images relating to travel and tourism, including amusement parks, beaches, fairs, hotels and resorts.


A. Washington Monument and the cherry blossoms at sunset, Washington, D.C. Between 1920 and 1960. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-ppmsca-19063 (digital file from original item); Call No.: LOT 13954, no. 38 [P&P]

B. Bathers at Crystal Beach. 1911. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-126578 DLC (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: PAN FOR GEOG - Canada no. 5