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John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, 1880-2007 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, 1880-2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Primary Creator: Adams Postcard Collection (1892-2007)

Extent: 282.0 Boxes


I. San Diego (SD)

II. California (CA)

III. US Views (USV)

IV. Publisher (PB)

V. Foreign Views (FV)

VI. Topical (TOP)

VII. Card Types  (CT)

VIII. Russell Raitt Donation (RR)

IX. Carol Wilson Donation (CW)

X. Souvenir Albums (SA)

XI. Research Materials (RM)

XII. Albums (ALB)

XIII. Oversized Materials (OV)

Date Acquired: 00/00/1989. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Adams, Jane Ford--Art collections, Adams, John R., 1900-1994--Art collections, Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)--Pictorial works, California--Pictorial works, Cities and towns--United States--Pictorial works, Mexican-American Border Region--Pictorial works, Political postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego, Political postcards--Specimens, Postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego, Postcards--Specimens, San Diego (Calif.)--Pictorial works, San Diego County (Calif.)--Pictorial works, Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)--Pictorial works, United States--Pictorial works

Forms of Material: Ephemera

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection consists of over 100 years of history and communication through postcards. The postcards are diverse in size, format, and subject. The collection contains more than 4,500 postcards of San Diego County, and 8,500 postcards representing parts of the state of California and the development of California. Individual states in the U.S. as well as other countries of the world also have categories in the collection. Postcards are also arranged by publisher, type, and topic. Also included with the collection are research materials related to postcard collections and collecting, albums of postcards, and a balsawood postcard file box. The collection has been broken down into distinct categories, both topically and geographically. Each box is identified with its category abbreviation and box number.

In the Topical Series, there are 10 subseries. Subseries I: Greetings encompasses general holiday, birthday, romantic, religious, and miscellaneous sentiments, as well as the popular European "Gruss Aus" and its American descendant, the "Greetings From" type of card. Subseries 2: Art includes reproduced paintings, drawings, sculptures, museum pieces, and other art. Subseries 3: Comics includes comic postcards (usually drawn characters), including comic art involving early 20th century stereotypes of Germans, African-Americans, and other minority groups. Subseries 4: Places includes postcards from specific places such as monuments, but also many postcards from miscellaneous places around the world intended to depict foreign costumes and ways of life. Subseries 5: People includes famous people and performers, as well as general depictions. Subseries 6: Events includes various world expositions, wars, and famous disasters. Subseries 7: Nature includes postcards of various animals and plants. Subseries 8: Politics includes promotional postcards for candidates in presidential and other elections, as well as promotional material for various causes, such as temperance and suffrage. Subseries 9: Sports includes depictions of a variety of international sports. Subseries 10: Transportation depicts varied forms of transportation, with a significant strength in military transportation.

Biographical Note

Postcards began circulation as a convenient means of quick and often colorful communication in the mid-to-late 19th century. Both American and European publishers took advantages of the postcard craze of the early 20th Century as millions of postcards of a variety of subjects and topics were produced, circulated, and collected. The popularity of postcard collecting diminished during World War I and postcards have never achieved quite the popularity they initially held, but postcards are still widely produced, circulated, and collected worldwide for various reasons and occasions.

Subject/Index Terms

Adams, Jane Ford--Art collections
Adams, John R., 1900-1994--Art collections
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)--Pictorial works
California--Pictorial works
Cities and towns--United States--Pictorial works
Mexican-American Border Region--Pictorial works
Political postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego
Political postcards--Specimens
Postcards--Private collections--California--San Diego
San Diego (Calif.)--Pictorial works
San Diego County (Calif.)--Pictorial works
Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico)--Pictorial works
United States--Pictorial works

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 1998, 1993, 2005

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: San Diego (SD)],
[Series 2: California (CA)],
[Series 3: U.S. Views (USV)],
[Series 4: Publisher (PB)],
[Series 5: Foreign Views (FV)],
[Series 6: Topical (TOP)],
[Series 7: Card Types (CT)],
[Series 8: Russell Raitt Donation (RR)],
[Series 9: Carol Wilson Donation (CW)],
[Series 10: Research Materials (RM)],
[Series 11: Albums (ALB)],
[Series 12: Oversized Materials (OV)],

Series 6: Topical (TOP)Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: GreetingsAdd to your cart.
Box 1: Holidays: New Year'sAdd to your cart.
Box 2: Holidays: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, 4th JulyAdd to your cart.
Box 3: Holidays: EasterAdd to your cart.
Box 4: Holidays: EasterAdd to your cart.
Box 5: Holidays: Halloween, ThanksgivingAdd to your cart.
Box 6: Holidays: ChristmasAdd to your cart.
Box 7: Holidays: ChristmasAdd to your cart.
Box 8: Holidays: Christmas, Leap YearAdd to your cart.
Box 9: BirthdayAdd to your cart.
Box 10: RomanticAdd to your cart.
Box 11: Religious; Family; Friendship; Best/Good WishesAdd to your cart.
Box 12: Miscellaneous GreetingsAdd to your cart.
Box 13: Gruss AusAdd to your cart.
Box 14: Greetings From; Poems, Songs, and SayingsAdd to your cart.
Box 15: Patriotic; FraternalAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: ArtAdd to your cart.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Art by Publisher: Stengel's (Germany), Sborgi (Italy), Hermes (Austria), Lapina (France), Hoesch (Italy), Rotograph (Germany), Arthur Schurer (Germany) E. R. Weiss (Germany), Continental Art Company (Chicago)
Box 17Add to your cart.
Box 18Add to your cart.
Box 19Add to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Box 21Add to your cart.
Box 22Add to your cart.
Box 23Add to your cart.
Box 24Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: ComicsAdd to your cart.
Box 25Add to your cart.
Comics: General and Stereotypes (German, Asian, Native American, African-American)
Box 26Add to your cart.
Box 27Add to your cart.
Box 28Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: PlacesAdd to your cart.
Box 29Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous Places; Foreign Costumes
Box 30Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous Places and Foreign Costumes: Asian, Indian, European, Mexican, Native American, Tribal, Veiled
Box 31Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous Places and Foreign Costumes
Box 32Add to your cart.
Bridges; Interior Homes, Celebrity Homes, Presidential Monuments, Presidential Homes, Theatres and Halls, Observatories, Colleges
Box 33Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous Places
Box 34Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous Places
Sub-Series 5: PeopleAdd to your cart.
Box 35Add to your cart.
African-Americans; Native Americans
Box 36Add to your cart.
Composers; Performers; Authors
Box 37Add to your cart.
Actors and Actresses
Box 38Add to your cart.
Actors and Actresses (Silents, Early Talkies, Theatre); Foreign Leaders and Royalty
Box 39Add to your cart.
Foreign Leaders and Royalty
Box 40Add to your cart.
Police and Firemen; Cowboys and Cowgirls; Military and Soldiers
Sub-Series 6: EventsAdd to your cart.
Box 41Add to your cart.
Expositions: Trans-Mississippi 1898; Paris Expo 1900; Pan-American (Buffalo) 1901; Toronto 1903; St. Louis 1904; Lewis and Clark 1905; Franco-British 1908; Alaska Yukon 1909; Hudson Fulton 1909; Grand Gent 1913; Denver 1913; Paris Expo 1925; Philadelphia 1926; Century of Progress 1933-34
Box 42Add to your cart.
Expositions: Great Lakes 1936; Texas Centennial 1936; Golden Gate 1939; New York World's Fair 1939-40; New York 1961-63; Miscellaneous Fairs and Expositions; Miscellaneous Events; Disasters
Box 43Add to your cart.
Civil War; Revolutionary War; World War I; World War II; Mexican Revolution; Mexican-American War
Sub-Series 7: NatureAdd to your cart.
Box 44Add to your cart.
Goats; Cattle; Pigs; Reptiles: Fish; Marsupials: Flowers; Orchids: Nuts and Fruits; Vegetables: Farming; Domestic Cats; Wild Cats
Box 45Add to your cart.
Birds; Horses; Donkeys: Deer
Sub-Series 8: PoliticsAdd to your cart.
Box 46Add to your cart.
Presidential Elections and Campaigns
Box 47Add to your cart.
Elections and Campaigns
Box 48Add to your cart.
Causes: Women's Suffrage; Feminism; Temperance; Prohibition (Mexico); Labor; Political Cartoons
Sub-Series 9: SportsAdd to your cart.
Box 49Add to your cart.
Baseball; Football; Boxing; Wrestling; Bullfighting; Horseracing; Hunting and Fishing; Olympics; Swordfighting; Tennis; Golf; Water Sports; Surfing; Winter Sports
Sub-Series 10: TransportationAdd to your cart.
Box 50Add to your cart.
Ocean Liners; Sail Boats; Cruise Ships; Small BOats; Military Ships; Ship Interiors
Box 51Add to your cart.
Freighters; Tankers; Military Ships; Paddle Wheelers;
Box 52Add to your cart.
Airplanes; Automobiles; Balloons; Zepelins; Commerical Airlines: Military Airplanes; Rockets; Shuttles; Trucks; Motorcycles
Box 53Add to your cart.
Airplanes; Automobiles; Balloons; Zeppelins, Commercial Airlines; Military Airplanes; Rockets, Shuttles, Trucks, Motorcycles
Box 54Add to your cart.
Military Airplanes; Military Ships (WWII)

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: San Diego (SD)],
[Series 2: California (CA)],
[Series 3: U.S. Views (USV)],
[Series 4: Publisher (PB)],
[Series 5: Foreign Views (FV)],
[Series 6: Topical (TOP)],
[Series 7: Card Types (CT)],
[Series 8: Russell Raitt Donation (RR)],
[Series 9: Carol Wilson Donation (CW)],
[Series 10: Research Materials (RM)],
[Series 11: Albums (ALB)],
[Series 12: Oversized Materials (OV)],

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