Denver Postcard Club
Copyright considerations: Before using postcards in your publication, examine copyright issues carefully and get permission for use, if needed. The copyright guide issued by the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York is a good source to help ensure you have not infringed on the owners rights to postcards' original images and messages.
Postcard "tours" are a distant relative of the well-
attended travelogues that were popular in the early 1900's.
Presentations and publications using postcards can bring elements of information, storytelling, illustration, and entertainment to your audience, and can significantly increase the enjoyment and retention of your message. Projected visuals, such as PowerPoint slides, allow many people to view your images at the same time, however, passing around postcards to your audience can further increase their appreciation for the details of postcards and is particularly engaging for small groups. Some ways to use postcards in presentations and publications are described below.
Guided and Unguided Postcard Tours: A guided postcard tour can start and end at a geographic location as a vehicle would, and may be based on actual or imagined travel using an automobile, train, airplane, horse, wagon, or zeppelin. A trip that ends where it begins is called a "circle tour". The "tour guide" should let the audience know the purpose or theme of the "trip", and where they will start, what they will see, and where they will end. Postcards are arranged in a sequence along the "tour route". Often scenes for geographic or geological points of reference, buildings, monuments, or events are integrated with social histories, community events, and personal experiences. The tour can be restricted to a particular time period (for instance, from 1910-1920), or can intermingle time periods to illustrate the changing character of the area.An unguided tour presents the town or region without a storyline, social theme, or historical context. The presenter can provide the audience with a "feel" for the subject through the variety in visual images and messages. A guided or unguided "tour" approach can also be applied to historical events (like a presidential inauguration), regional characteristics (cuisine, crafts, manufacturing, architecture), or other themes (motels, amusement parks, zoos).
Illustrating Books and Stories: Writers who have an idea for a book or story often collect materials, including postcards, to further their projects. Postcards can illustrate key points, or even form the backbone of a publication. While many stories that use postcards are historical in nature, imaginative tales have been developed from particularly unique or intriguing cards. Browsing postcards can be a good way to think about the structure of a story or book. Moreover, once a story or book is published, authors can meet their publisher's expectations by developing presentations with their postcards to promote their story.
Postcards can also spice up short articles that inform audiences about your topic, and many publications welcome such articles, including local and national postcard clubs, antique and collectible clubs, and historical societies. It is best to contact the organization's leaders or publication editor before submitting your writing and images.
Postcard Collection Books and Articles: Hundreds of books have been published on the extensive postcard collections of their authors. They are often issued by small publishers or are self-published. Such books provide a useful resource for collectors, even though they can go quickly out of date or out of print, and any pricing that is included may no longer be accurate. In general, the more information that is included about the cards (such as artist, publisher, date of publication, distributer, photographer, other cards in a series), the more valuable the book will be for serious collectors. Postcard clubs and periodicals also publish articles that focus on postcards to tell stories and illuminate topics. Postcard World and Barr's Postcard News are two periodicals that publish articles about postcards and the topics they cover.
Marketing and Advertising: Museums, historical societies, and businesses often use postcard images on their brochures and web sites to market their organizations. National and regional advertising agencies sometimes buy vintage postcards to use as-is or to manipulate the images as a basis for advertising campaigns.