Deltiology is the technical term for collecting and studying postcards, and it’s a pastime that claims to be “the third largest hobby after collecting stamps and money” – though quite how anyone comes up with such a statistic is anyone’s guess!
For me collecting postcards is something new. It only really began when I was seeking pictorial reference material for my ‘Bub Notebook’ series of posts and I was amazed to find a (previously unknown to me) remarkable pool of historic images still in circulation.
I was immediately hooked!
I’m really enjoy seeking out old postcards of Matlock Bath and the surrounding area spanning from the late Victorian to the inter-war period. I’m not spending vast amounts of money, that’s not the point of the exercise at all, but I am really enjoying seeking out, choosing and receiving these mini ‘echoes of the past’.
I’m finding, as time passes, that I’m getting more selective, and I’m increasingly collecting images that reflect an idea I’m exploring, rather than writing posts that describe the postcards I’m collecting.
I enjoy the ‘odd’ postcards, the ones that prompt the question “I wonder why anyone thought that’d make a successful postcard?!?”
I’m not out to make money and the monitory value of my small collection of perhaps 100+ postcards holds no interest for me at all.
I’m more interested in the way that the images inform my thinking about place, about what remains and what’s long since disappeared.
And, being a bit of a nerd I quite like getting an album together too – the plastic wallet to protect each card and the old photo mounts – grand stuff!
I’m enjoying setting postcards in conversation with other postcards. It may not be a strictly scientific or historically accurate mode of presenting them, but it really works for me, and the juxtaposition of certain postcards with their neighbour is generating ideas, and that, for me, is what it’s all about…