The lecture is presented as part of the Caribbean Genealogy Library’s continued work with the Michael and Jane Sheen Postcard Collection. The Sheen Postcard Collection includes over 1000 historical postcards of the Danish West Indies from around 1880 to 1917, and the US Virgin Islands from 1917 to around the 1950s.
The presenter is Katherine Hamilton-Smith, founding curator of the Teich Archives, the world’s largest public collection of postcards. She will explain that the first picture postcards were published for the 1889 Paris Exposition, celebrating the completion of the Eiffel Tower, and that in the United States, the first picture postcards were printed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The documentary power and significance of picture postcards will be discussed, the role Illinois played in the history and development of postcards, and the picture postcard as a cultural icon. The lecture will also give examples of different types of cards, postcard trends, and different postcard themes that have existed. The presentation accompanying the lecture is a lavishly illustrated PowerPoint including postcards that demonstrate the topics and key points of the lecture, and that highlight scenes from the US Virgin Islands.