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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 10: Research Materials (RM)Add to your cart.
Item 1Add to your cart.
Lackey, Bernard B. Handbook for Issues of Edward H. Mitchell, Publisher. North Springfield, Virginia: Bernard B. Lackey, 1975
Item 2Add to your cart.
Lowe, James L, and Ben Papell. Detroit Publishing Company Collector's Guide. Newton Square, Pennsylvania: Jame L. Lowe, 1975.
Item 3Add to your cart.
Sperling, John. The Detroit Index. New York: John Sperling, 1955.
Item 4Add to your cart.
Hedspeth, Bert E. The Gateway to Cardland: Specialty Catalog. Denver: Bert E. Hedspeth, 1939.
Item 5Add to your cart.

Iris' Postcard Auction Booklets:

1st (Closing Date March 20, 1980)

2nd (Closing Date June 30, 1980)

3rd (Closing Date November 5, 1980)

4th (Closing Date April 1, 1981)

5th (Closing Date June 28, 1981)

6th (Closing Date September 30, 1981)

7th (Closing Date December 22, 1981)

8th (Closing Date March 30, 1982)

9th (Closing Date June 30, 1982)

10th (Closing Date October 1, 1982)

11th (Closing Date April 6, 1983)

12th (September 14, 1983)

13th (January 11, 1984)

14th (June 13, 1984)

16th (June 5, 1985)

Item 6Add to your cart.
Bernhard, Willi. Picture Post Card Catalogue. Hamburg, Germany: Willi Bernhard, 1972.
Item 7Add to your cart.
Book Supply List. Newton Square, Pennsylvania: Deltiologists of America, n.d.
Item 8Add to your cart.
Bourcy-Beckley, W. The Post-card Handbook. Los Angeles: W. Bourcy-Beckley, 1954.
Item 9Add to your cart.
Cartolina de 'Epoca E Gli Illustratori Italieni. Rome: Litografia Berus, 1979.
Item 10Add to your cart.
Fletcher, F. A, and A. D. Brooks. British and Foreign Exhibitions and their Postcards: Part 2: 1915-1979. A. D. Brooks & F. A. Fletcher, 1979.
Item 11Add to your cart.
Lawson, Ken and Tony Warr, ed. The Postcards of Tom Browne. London: Postcards for Pleasure, 1978.
Item 12Add to your cart.
Lowe, James L. Lincoln Postcard Catalog. Folsom, Pennsylvania: Better Postcard Collector's Club, 1967.
Item 13Add to your cart.
Luff, Moe. 1953 Catalog of United States Postal Slogan Cancels. New York: Moe Luff, 1953.
Item 14Add to your cart.
Lund, Brian and Mary. Picture Postcards: A Collector's Guide and Handbook 1985 Annual Edition. Nottingham: Reflections of A By Gone Age, 1985.
Item 15Add to your cart.
Neudin Cartes Postales de Collection. Joelle Neudin, 1980.
Item 16Add to your cart.
Neudin Cartes Postales de Collection. Joelle Neudin, 1980.
Item 17Add to your cart.
Pictoris Priced Pictorial Catalogue and Handbook, 1980. Wilts, England: B. P. H. Publications Ltd, 1979.
Item 18Add to your cart.
R. F. Picture Postcard Catalogue, 1985. Essex: R. F. Postcards, 1985.
Item 19Add to your cart.
Smith, J. H. D. IPM Catalogue of Picture Postcards and Year book 1986. Cornwall, England: IPM Publications, 1985.
Item 20Add to your cart.
Smith, J. H. D. IPM Catalouge of Picture Postcards, 1975. London: International Postcard Market, Ltd, 1974
Item 21Add to your cart.
Smith, J. H. D. IPM Catalogue of Picture Postcards, 1976. London: International Postcard Market, Ltd, 1975.
Item 22Add to your cart.
Spock, Thomas F. Large Letter Catalog. Carbondale, Illinois: Speede Service, 1949.
Item 23Add to your cart.
Stanley Gibbons Postcard Catalogue 1985. London: Stanley Gibbons Publications Ltd, 1984.
Item 24Add to your cart.
Supplement to Pioneer Postcards, September 1958.
Item 25Add to your cart.
The American Card Catalog: The Handbook for all Card Collectors. Syracuse, New York: J. R. Burdick, 1946.
Item 26Add to your cart.
The American Card Catalog: The Standard Guide on All Collected Cards and their Values. Syracuse, New York: J. R. Burdick, 1953.
Item 27Add to your cart.
Wallace, Chas L. The Catalogue of Poly-Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany 1905-1906-1907. 1974.
Item 28Add to your cart.

American Postcard Journal. Syracuse, New York: Don and Sue Bodow

    Volume 6 Number 6, December 1980

    Volume 7 Number 7, 1981

    Volume 7 Number 3, August 1981.

    Volume 7 Number 2, April 1981.

    Volume 6 Number 5, October 1980

Item 29Add to your cart.
Smithsonian Magazine Volume 5 Number 1. April 1974. Smithsonian Associates, Washington D. C. Gibson, J. Timberlake. "Story of Postcards Goes Back A Century."
Item 30Add to your cart.
The Literary Digest, Volume 49 Number 13, September 26, 1914. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. illustrations of military postcards on page 567.
Item 31Add to your cart.
Lund, Brian and Marie. 1980 Picture Postcard Annual. Nottingham: Reflections of a Bygone Age, 1979.

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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