The nucleus of the postcard collection, dating from the early
1900s, originates with the acquisition of the John G. Olmstead papers
in 1967 and in 1973. Since then, miscellaneous postcards from other
sources were added as received. There are postal card series or
subseries in quite a number of other personal papers collections
where the cards form an integral part of those collections.
Scope and Content
The bulk of postcards are either picture cards or occasion cards,
but others fit neither category. Picture postcards are arranged
by location: states, cities within states, foreign. Occasion cards
are organized under the headings of Babies, Birthdays, Christmas,
Easter, Halloween, New Years, St. Patricks Day, Thanksgiving,
and Valentines. Approximately 500 postcards depict views of Oberlin,
including campus scenes, churches and tabernacles, commencement
scenes, dormitories, houses, the Memorial Arch, the Oberlin Inn,
Oberlin College buildings, streets, storms, and the town of Oberlin.
Images are both black and white and in color. Many images of buildings
and street scenes predate the employment of a college photographer;
thus, these postcards are valuable for providing unique views of
Oberlin before 1917.