The Brightbill Postcard Collection at the Library Company of Philadelphia
Home PageIntroduction to the CollectionBrightbill's 172 SubjectsExplanation of Codes in InventoryPublisher Codes & AddressesPrinter & Publisher History

Introduction 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 look like.

The Library Company of Philadephia - 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107 - 215-546-3181
For more information regarding this collection, please contact
Sarah Weatherwax, Curator of Prints and Photographs at