Eastern Illinois University Logo
Localities |

Using Postcards as Historical Evidence


Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois


Coles County



Additional Resources

Postcards as Historical Evidence

Postcards, like photographs are an item familiar to everyone. Everyone, as a child or adult, has purchased a postcard as a souvenir, sent one to a friend or loved one, or received one. Today researchers, students, and teachers have a wealth of teaching materials available at their fingertips to use for projects or in the classroom. These sources include everything from photographs and letters to census records, maps, and newspapers. However, postcards are a source often disregarded.



History of Postcards

Anatomy of a Postcard

Postcards as Evidence




Digitized Postcard Collections

Booth Library Postcard Collection:The Booth Library Postcard Collection has as its focus the rich history of Illinois communities and includes numerous images of educational institutions and libraries.

Naper Settlement Collection: The digitized postcard collection of Naper Settlement found here includes postcards of Naperville. The collection includes postcards featuring parks, nature, businesses, and homes.

The Curt Teich Postcard Archives. Newberry Library, Chicago




All of the images on this site are from the collections of the DuPage County Historical Museum and the Museums at Lisle Station Park. “Using Postcards as Historical Evidence” stemmed from a paper completed in Dr. Barnhart’s Research Methods in American Local History course, Fall 2014. Project by Brian Failing.