The following is a guest post by Hanna Soltys, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division.
Summer vacation is often associated with postcards as we share our journeys and memories with friends and family via snail mail. However, postcards get their moment in the sun all year long here in the Prints & Photographs Division.
This popular format is featured on our “Collections Ripe for Research” list (right) and is the focus of one of our newest LibGuides.
When creating LibGuides, we have a road map to guide us with various content sections, one being a search. I first looked through postcard-specific collections and the Prints & Photographs holdings at-large using different “postcard” and “post card” keyword searches as well as exploring subject headings used for this type of material. This search navigation course shaped the “Searching for Postcards” section. One search result is featured below:
From these searches, I discovered different collections in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Several are available online, others require a visit to the Prints & Photographs Reading Room, and some need advance notice to allow staff ample time to retrieve. By highlighting the methods of access to collections, it’s a bit easier to see what you can do from home as well as better prepare for an in-person visit.
While our postcard collection is vast, there are plenty of other places to search both online and in-person. Seeing what other Library of Congress collections and other institutions offer rounded out this journey, igniting a desire to visit a few other places! You can explore more of the postcard LibGuide content by using the main menu feature on the left-hand side.
The postcard LibGuide serves as your compass, while you drive the research. Happy trails to you!
- See the full Postcards: Greetings from the Prints & Photographs Division LibGuide on the Library of Congress website.
- A Library of Congress blog post: New for Research! LibGuides, provides a LibGuides 101 for all of the guides produced by Library of Congress post.
- Revisit a previous Picture This blog post about a LibGuide for finding Native American visual resources.
- Dig in to topics ready for discovery by looking through the Collections Ripe for Research list on the Prints & Photographs Reading Room page.