Recommended Books


Real Photo Postcard Guide. The People’s Photography.bogdan Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh, 2006. Extensive introduction to real photo postcards including history, physical aspects, and cultural context.  Large sections are also devoted to photographers and the scenes they photographed. In addition, the appendix contains an extremely useful guide to dating real photo postcards based on the photographic stock card used. Robert Bogdan has also authored a number of other books concerning more specific topics within the subject of real photo postcards but this is his magnum opus introduction to the field. The first and most important book anyone interested in real photo postcards should get. Quite simply the best book on the subject.



Prairie Fires and Paper Moons. The American Photographic Postcard: 1900-1920.morgan Hal Morgan and Andreas Brown, 1981. The first significant book on the subject of real photo postcards. Prairie Fires showcases a number of extraordinary real photo postcards with a section of introductory text. Overall, however, the primary focus is visual. Prairie Fires is also noteworthy for including the first guide to dating real photo postcards based on the stamp box and style of the photographic stock paper, although the utility of this guide is superceded by Bogdan’s Real Photo Postcard Guide. Prairie Fires is well worth aquiring if for nothing else the incredible images shown.


Folk Photography: The American Real-Photo Postcard 1905-1930.sante Luc Sante, 2009. One of several books to follow in the style of Prairie Fires and Paper Moons. Luc’s book includes many wonderful images demonstrating the beauty and art of the real photo postcard, but only limited text. Still, quite a collection of stunning images.



Real Photo Postcards. Unbelievable Images From the Collection of Harvey Tulcensky.wolff Laetitia Wolf and Todd Alden, 2005. Another book following in the tradition of Prairie Fires and Paper Moons. Outstanding images but only a brief introductory essay is included.




As We Were. American Photographic Postcards, 1905-1930.vaule Rosamond Vaule, 2004. A very readable narrative introduction to the field of real photo postcards. Sections include history, context, and many examples of excellent real photo postcards. A worthwhile read.





Postcards from Vermont. A Social History, 1905-1945.davis Allen Davis, 2002. A great example of the kind of historical perspective that can be uniquely gained via the real photo postcard. The focus of the text is on the evolution of the American culture and landscape from the agrarian 19th century to the fully modern 20th century as witnessed in Vermont in real photo postcards. The quality of image reproduction is only mediocre but the range of images is still impressive. A nice example of social history in a New England state.



Picture Postcards in the United States. 1893-1918.miller George Miller and Dorothy Miller, 1976.  The classic introduction to the printed picture postcard. No material on real photo postcards but an excellent text nonetheless on all aspects of the picture postcard. Includes large sections on history, scenic views, holidays, and artist cards among others.




The Postcard Age. Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection.klich  Lynda Klich and Benjamin Weiss, 2012. An incredible introduction to the artistry and beauty obtainable by postcards.  The book focuses on absolutely outstanding examples of postcards highlighting the history and art of the postcard. The scope of the Postcard Age is international and includes all manner of topics from views and events to advertising and art. A resounding answer to the argument that great art cannot be found in the postcard medium.


img044A Certain Slant of Light. The First Hundred Years of New England Photography. William Robinson, 1980.





taftPhotography and the American Scene. Robert Taft, 1938.  Classic and excellent introduction to the history of American photography.





ReillyCare and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints. James Reilly,1986. This is the classic book on the technical aspects of the photographs themselves.


Great American Post Offices.bruns James Bruns, 1997.






Postmarks on Postcards. An Illustrated Guide to Early 20th Century U.S. Postmarks.helbock Richard Helbock, 2nd edition, 2002.






warmsleyConnecticut Post Offices and Postmarks. Arthur Warmsley, 1977.





pateraThe Post Offices of Connecticut. Alan Patera, 1977.