University of Delaware Library

Delaware postcard collection

circa 1881-2014


Descriptive Summary

Identification: PPI 100


Title: Delaware postcard collection


Inclusive Dates: circa 1881-2014


Extent: 1.75 linear feet and 1 album (7 boxes)


Abstract: The Delaware postcard collection houses examples of many of the different types of postcards produced from the late nineteenth century to the modern era, including real photo postcards, linen postcards, and photochrome or chrome postcards. It also serves as a visual record of the historic and geographic changes in Delaware over this time period.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

PPI 100, Delaware postcard collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-7: Shelved in SPEC PPI shoeboxes

Box 7: Shelved in SPEC PPI volumes

Location

Special Collections, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/

Source

Transfer, gift, and purchase. See "Scope and Content Note" for further acknowledgments.

Processing

Processed by Anita Wellner and department staff. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, July 2014.

Materials Available in Alternative Format

Digital copies of many of the postcards are available through the University of Delaware Library's Digital Collections website at ARTstor Commons. Not all postcards are available digitally, as they are still under copyright to their creator.


The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Historical Note

The Delaware postcard collection houses examples of many of the different types of postcards produced from the late nineteenth century to the modern era, including real photo postcards, linen postcards, and photochrome or chrome postcards. It also serves as a visual record of the historic and geographic changes in Delaware over this time period.

Sources:

Information derived from the collection.


Scope and Content Note

The Delaware postcard collection comprises over two thousand postcards of Delaware and nearby areas, representing well-known Delaware buildings, monuments, views, and small town life, including street scenes and domestic buildings.

The postcards in the collection date primarily from the very end of the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth, although there are also postcards published into the twenty-first century. Most of the cards in the collection were commercially produced and represent well-known Delaware buildings, monuments, and views, such as the State Capitol in Dover, Wilmington's downtown buildings and historic structures, Rehoboth and other beaches and boardwalks, and the University of Delaware/Delaware College. A number of the cards, though, document small town life in Delaware, including street scenes and domestic buildings. In addition to documenting the built landscape of Delaware as it existed during the last hundred years, some of these images may not exist in any other format.

Along with buildings, the collection also represents aspects of social life in Delaware during the past century. Some of the cards were produced privately and are in fact photographs that have been printed onto postcard paper. These were created by individuals for the consumption of their own small circle of family and friends and were not mass-produced or sold in retail stores. These postcards document many aspects of society including firemen at work, literary societies, and sports teams.

Although most of the cards depict sights in Delaware, the collection also contains images of places outside the State, most notably Longwood Gardens in nearby Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Other cards are simply related to Delaware. These include Delaware buildings built for fairs and expositions, ships that were based in Delaware, and the battleship, the U.S.S. Delaware. Other postcards represent Delaware soldiers during the Mexican Campaign of 1916.

Postcards are not only visual records. Many of the postcards were in fact mailed and so contain written messages, stamps, and postmarks. The backs of the cards were also printed with information about the publisher, captions describing the image, and ornament. The printed text, along with the stamp and postmark, can help to date and place the manufacture and use of the cards. Alternatively, the captions and written messages contain a wealth of information that can be used to learn about the postcard's image or to illuminate the attitudes and interests of the past.

The University of Delaware Library wishes to acknowledge the many donors who have made it possible to build this collection. It is possible to search the University of Delaware Library's Digital Collections website at ARTstor Commons to see which cards were provided by each individual donor.

Donors include:

  • Mrs. Charles Wood Audet
  • Susan Beliberg
  • Robert Chiesa
  • Thomas Duszak
  • Robert D. Fleck
  • Hugh Frick
  • Roberta Gibson
  • Julia T. Hamm
  • Beverly Harber
  • R. E. Herbener
  • Mark Samuels Lasner
  • Susan Matsen
  • L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin
  • Dorothy L. McThenia
  • Timothy Murray
  • Mr. & Mrs. Pat O’Donnell
  • Shirley O’Donnell
  • Gordon A. Pfeiffer
  • Robert E. Pyle, Jr.
  • Marie Seymour-Green
  • Robert Stark
  • G. Edward Thommen
  • Anita A. Wellner
  • Gregory C. Wilson


Selected Search Terms

Topical Terms
Postcards--Delaware.
Postcards--Middle Atlantic States.
Architecture--Delaware--History--19th century.
Architecture--Delaware--History--20th century.
Geographic Names
Delaware.
Middle Atlantic States.
Form/Genre Terms
Postcards.
Picture postcards.
Photographic postcards.

  • I. Delaware
    • A. Kent County
    • B. New Castle County
    • C. Sussex County
  • II. Maryland
  • III. Middle Atlantic
  • IV. New Jersey
    • A. Burlington County
    • B. Salem County
  • V. New York (State)
  • VI. Pennsylvania
    • A. Bucks County
    • B. Chester County
    • C. Delaware County
  • VII. Virginia
    • A. James City County
  • VIII. Oversize postcards

Detailed Contents List

Series I.

Delaware   [Box 1]

View images

Subseries I.A.

Kent County   [Box 1]

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Bowers   [Box 1]

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Camden   [Box 1]

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Clayton   [Box 1]

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Dover   [Box 1]

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Felton   [Box 1]

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Harrington   [Box 1]

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Smyrna   [Box 1]

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Woodland Beach   [Box 1]

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Wyoming   [Box 1]

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Subseries I.B.

New Castle County   [Box 1-6]

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Arden   [Box 1]

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Augustine Beach   [Box 1]

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Blackbird   [Box 1]

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Centerville   [Box 1]

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Christiana   [Box 1]

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Claymont   [Box 1]

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Delaware City   [Box 1]

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Farnhurst   [Box 1]

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Granogue   [Box 1]

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Greenbank   [Box 1]

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Greenville   [Box 1]

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Hockessin   [Box 1]

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Kiamensi   [Box 1]

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Lorewood Grove   [Box 1]

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Marshallton   [Box 1]

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Middletown   [Box 2]

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Millcreek   [Box 2]

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New Castle   [Box 2]

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Newark   [Box 2]

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Odessa   [Box 2]

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Pea Patch Island   [Box 2]

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Rising Sun   [Box 2]

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Saint Georges   [Box 2]

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Talleyville   [Box 2]

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Townsend   [Box 2]

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Wilmington   [Box 3-6]

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Winterthur   [Box 5]

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Wooddale   [Box 6]

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Yorklyn   [Box 6]

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Subseries I.C.

Sussex County   [Box 6-7]

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Angola   [Box 6]

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Bethany Beach   [Box 6]

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Bridgeville   [Box 6]

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Cape Henlopen   [Box 6]

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Dagsboro   [Box 6]

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Delmar   [Box 6]

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Dewey Beach   [Box 6]

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Ellendale   [Box 6]

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Fenwick Island   [Box 6]

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Georgetown   [Box 6]

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Greenwood   [Box 6]

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Indian River Bay   [Box 6]

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Laurel   [Box 6]

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Lewes   [Box 6]

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Milford   [Box 6]

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Millsboro   [Box 6]

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Millville   [Box 6]

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Milton   [Box 6]

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Oak Orchard   [Box 6]

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Ocean View   [Box 6]

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Rehoboth Beach   [Box 7]

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Seaford   [Box 7]

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Selbyville   [Box 7 Box 7]

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Series II.

Maryland   [Box 7]

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Series III.

Middle Atlantic   [Box 7]

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Series IV.

New Jersey   [Box 7]

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Subseries IV.A.

Burlington County   [Box 7]

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Burlington   [Box 7]

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Subseries IV.B.

Salem County   [Box 7]

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Pennsville   [Box 7]

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Series V.

New York (State)   [Box 7]

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Series VI.

Pennsylvania   [Box 7]

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Subseries VI.A.

Bucks County   [Box 7]

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Bristol   [Box 7]

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Subseries VI.B.

Chester County   [Box 5]

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Kennett Square   [Box 7]

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Subseries VI.C.

Delaware County   [Box 7]

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Chester   [Box 7]

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Series VII.

Virginia   [Box 7]

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Subseries VII.A.

James City County   [Box 7]

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Jamestown   [Box 7]

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Series VIII.

Oversize postcards   [Album 8]