Friday, July 2, 2010

Organize Postcard collection

Collecting vintage postcards is still a popular hobby, and even today when postcards are no longer sent in the number that they once were, there is a growing number of people looking to the past. Vintage postcards can be collected from a number of sources; internet auctions, postcard fairs and even secondhand stores being just a few. As a collection grows though, many postcard collectors look to ways to organize a vintage postcard collection.

Vintage postcards tend to be stored either in postcard albums or in special storage boxes, and whilst it is easier to view postcards in a n album, it is sometimes either to organize in a box. This is seen at any postcard fair, when the majority of dealers will have their postcards on sale from boxes, which are subdivided by topic. There is no right or wrong way for organizing a vintage postcard collection, and many collectors have their own individual method for arranging their collections. There are though some commonly seen methods amongst collectors and dealers.

In most cases postcards are organized in terms of topic. Popular topics include postcards of vehicles, people and famous landmarks. With such things there is a basic method of organizing which simply groups all like postcards together. Thus if all of the vintage postcards are of castles, then all postcards of Windsor Castle are grouped together and all those of Edinburgh Castle are put together.

Some postcard collectors do try and organize their vintage postcard collection by date, and initially this is a perfect valid method. Organizing by date is an especially good method when the vintage postcards represent one thing over a number of years, often postcards of a particular place. Some vintage postcards can be differentiated into age periods just by looking at them, but in many cases the only way to discern the approximate year is by looking at the stamp and postmark, assuming the postcard is in used condition.

The organizing of any vintage postcard collection is of course up to the individual collector. Ideally though there should be some sort of referencing associated with the individual postcards. This could be just a reference to topic of the postcard, age, and how much was paid for it, but some postcard collectors do go in for much more detail in their cataloguing.

The majority of people do prefer some order in their lives, and this does extend to hobbies. A collection of postcard that is ordered in some way, be it type, topic or some other form of ordering is much more pleasing aesthetically than a collection that is just random postcards put together.

Collecting postcards is now one of the world's most popular hobbies, and often ranks third behind stamp collectors and coin collectors with numbers of enthusiasts. As with many forms of collecting though there is often some difficulty in knowing just how postcards should be stored and displayed.

Many collections of postcards are inherited but equally postcards collectors can start from scratch. No matter what the source it is amazing just how quickly a large collection of postcards can be accumulated. Old postcards can be easily and cheaply picked up from car boot and jumble sales, and every weekend there are stamp and postcards fairs being run around the country. Accumulating postcards leads to the issue of how postcards can be stored safely, and then how they should be displayed. Storage and display though in some case may be the same thing.

Traditionally postcards have always been stored in postcard albums. The older style postcard albums would often seen postcards glued onto pages, something that of course that totally destroys the back of the postcards. Less destructive methods of securing postcards into albums though also saw use of adhesive photo corners, or clear cellophane sheets. Many people though were not satisfied with the use of traditional postcard albums and instead set out to make their own. It is actually a fairly easy process that simply involves the use of A4 paper, adhesive photo corners, a hole punch and a ring binder. Making a postcard album in such a way also has the added benefit of being able to add annotation to describe the postcard without marking the postcard itself. The use of these traditional postcard albums though have the downside as well of only showing off one side of the postcard. There is often a lot of interest to be had from viewing the rear of postcards, to read the anecdotes of those staying on holiday or visiting some attraction.

In recent years postcard collecting has been acknowledged to be big business for a select number of companies, and as a result new methods for displaying postcards have been developed. New postcard albums are made through the use of plastic leaves that postcards slide into. These clear leaves ensure that both the front and the back of the postcard can be clearly viewed. Additional leaves are also easily purchased ensuring that as a postcard collection grows matching pages for the album can also be added. Additionally annotations can be easily added by simple placing card into empty leaves next to the postcards.

As collections grow though it may not be cost effective, or space efficient, to buy albums for displaying postcards. Many people will therefore resort to storing their postcards in storage boxes, often old shoeboxes or similar, but also specially designed postcard storage boxes are available. This storage method often just result in postcards being put one next to each other, with the face and backs of the postcards facing each other. This though can damage postcards, and so it is always advisable to ensure that postcards are first put into paper envelopes to protect the cards from damage.

Collections should be on display, and the use of an album is a relatively simple way to display postcards, and takes up relatively little space. Although postcards will not be on continual display in this method it does ensure that postcards are protected from damage.

Happy Postcard Collecting.

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