to the Collection:
George D. Brightbill, Associate Archivist of Temple University's Urban
Archives from 1990 to 1999, assembled this collection to serve as the
foundation for a history of postcard publishing in Philadelphia. When
Mr. Brightbill retired from Temple in 1999, he donated his collection
of thousands of postcards and related materials to the Library Company
of Philadelphia, along with his own carefully compiled finding aid.
The collection is organized into four series. The first series, the
largest, arranges postcards into a long detailed inventory ordered by
subject. That inventory has been divided up here into separate web documents
linked to their subject headings, given in the table below.
Only more general information is provided for the other three series.
The second series contains a small group of "real photo" postcards
(usually unique original photographs on cards, generally portraits of
individuals) produced by Philadelphia-area studios. The third series
consists of pamphlets dealing with postcards, especially those in the
first series. The fourth series consists of miscellaneous oversize postcards.
These other three series are not fully catalogued in the inventory,
but are discussed in the Series Description.
Mr. Brightbill devised two appendices, one giving Printer and Publisher
Codes and Addresses, the other on Printer and Publisher History. On
the website is also a small sampling of digitized images of the postcards,
meant to give a better idea of what the collection's contents actually