Edwardian Postcard Project
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Edwardian Postcard Project

The early British postcard is a fascinating multimodal communications technology. In the heyday of the postcard during the Edwardian age (1901-1910), it offered an opportunity for the exchange of everyday messages with pictures at very low cost. This opportunity was not to be available again until the contemporary digital revolution. Up to six deliveries a day were being made in major cities and 6 billion cards were sent in the period. We have collected 3,000 cards from the period to examine the creative responses of the population to this new technology.

New! This site now features a searchable resource of 1,000 of our cards, together with their transcriptions. We've added historical records wherever we've been able to find additional historical information, especially from the 1901 and 1911 censuses through findmypast.co.uk.

To get started go to "search postcards" on the menu at the left. If you want just to browse our collection, get started by selecting a year. If you have any comments, suggestions or additional information, email us. Also use this address if you want to donate any cards, or scans of cards. (We regret we are unable to buy cards.)

Watch this YouTube video introducing the Edwardian postcard project

Nessie postcardApart from the light shed on writing practices of the Edwardians, our studies are revealing much about the travel patterns, social networks and concerns of the age. We are also investigating the mobilities of the postcard today, through collecting cards ourselves, interviewing and photographing at postcard fairs, and reviews of secondary sources.

The project has been funded by the Bowland Trust, the Friends Programme of Lancaster University and, in 2015, by the Lancaster University Public Engagement with Research Leadership Group.


Site updated: 3 November 2015

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