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 rapid vernacular writing at very low cost that 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 over 2,500 cards from the period to examine the creative responses of the population to this new technology. Apart 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 and the Friends Programme of Lancaster University.
The project has a new academic publication. The bibliographic details are: Gillen, J. (2013) Writing Edwardian Postcards. Journal of Sociolinguistics 17(4) 488-521.
The Edwardian Postcard Project has a digital exhibit in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, showing until further notice. The exhibit alternates with other material but if you arrive at the museum and do not find it, the staff will be happy to switch the display for you.
For further information about the publication or project contact Julia Gillen
Site last updated: 9 September 2013
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