The Newberry collection includes postcards received as part of family papers, business archives; and as collections formed by individuals, focusing for example on travel postcards, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the city. In 2016, the Curt Teich Postcard Archives Collection was transferred to the Newberry from the Lake County Discovery Museum, in Wauconda, Illinois, which served as its home since 1982. When received at the Newberry, it was estimated at 2.5 million total items and over 500,000 unique postcard images. The core of the collection is the Records of the Curt Teich Company, which includes over 360,000 images produced by the company from 1898 and 1978, over 110,000 production files documenting the creation of the company’s postcards, and additional company records. Several additional postcard collections and archives have been added to the Teich Archives Collection over the past 35 years, including the Detroit Publishing Company Collection, the Dexter Press Records, the John High Collection, the V. O. Hammon Company Collection, the Leonard A. Lauder Raphael Tuck Collection, and many others. For descriptions of all available postcard collections, with brief descriptions of the collections’ contents, consult the listing of abstracts.
The Curt Teich Postcard Archives Collection connects with and provides rich visual resources for many of the Newberry’s strongest collections: Chicago and the Midwest; local and family history; travel and tourism; fairs and expositions; the growth of cities; printing, graphic design, and advertising.
With the addition of the Curt Teich Postcard Archives Collection, the Newberry became the largest public collection of postcards and related materials in the United States. In order to highlight its importance as a vast, comprehensive, unique collection supporting study of the history, impact, and technology of the format, postcards were designated a Core Collection in 2017. The Newberry continues to build the postcard collection selectively through gifts and acquisitions of coherent postcard collections that enhance existing holdings and relate to other core collections at the library. See our Postcard Collecting Policy for more information.
Additional Areas of Strength:
- Amusement parks
- Art nouveau and Alphonse Mucha
- Chicago and the Midwest
- Graphic design and illustration
- Postcards printed by Raphael Tuck & Sons
- Printing history and technology
- Route 66
- World’s fairs and expositions