Sunday, 26 January 2014

Postcards from the past

Snail mail is always something I've been passionate about, as I was growing up I was always on the hunt for new pen pals and loved sending postcards to everyone back home when ever I went anywhere. It's really saddens me that snail mail is on the decline, it's such a wonderful thing to receive a handwritten letter. So when I was told about Postcrossing last year I knew I had to sign up! But I immediately hit an unexpected problem: it's actually become really quite difficult to buy a variety of different postcards locally. I was lamenting this problem to my mother, and she gifted me an unexpected treasure:

This is my aunt's postcard collection, something I didn't even know existed. She was my aunt through marriage and an absolutely fascinating woman whom I've always wished I could of known better (unfortunately she died when I was young). She was American and her father's job took her family all over the globe when she was growing up (she fluently spoke 12 languages as a result). It seems she collected postcards of everywhere she travelled between 1965 - 1974.

The postcards are mostly of art prints from various museums and galleries as well as local views and landmarks. There are postcards from the far corners of Europe, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Singapore, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, to name just a few. Almost all of the postcards are dated of when she bought them, it provided a wonderful little peak into her life.

It seems these postcards have been tucked away in this paper bag since 1974.

A very small selection were sent to her from friends and family, but most of the postcards are blank except for the dates.

This was all alone in the bottom of the box, I wonder where it's of?

I'm certainly not going to be using these postcards for Postcrossing, they're much too personally valuable to be thrown away in such a manner. But I shall be using a couple to send to others I feel would enjoy and appreciate them, it would be far too selfish to hide them away for only myself and I feel it would be a wonderful way of remembering her.

I also feel inspired to create my own personal postcard collection. A postcard to commemorate each adventure feels like a very simple thing to do, and I love the idea of building up a collection as wonderful as this one for perhaps my own future children to pour over one day.


  1. What a fantastic collection! Your aunt sounds like quite the woman and what a brilliant idea for her to follow through with. I can imagine how nice it must have been for your mother to brings these out and surprise you with, and trying to piece together her life and her travels through the dates she cleverly wrote on the back.
    What a lovely idea to send some of the postcards to other people that would appreciate them as having a piece of your aunt with them. And how great that it has inspired you to start your own collection. What a mystery about that slide. Being the romantic I am, I would keep it in my purse always with the thought that one day in my travels I may stumble across the place.

  2. How magnificent! those cards really speak about what kind of person she was and the sorts of places she'd been! i definitely wouldnt give them away either, but i hope the people who receive them are very grateful and understand what they are all about.

    Postcrossing - what a clever idea! I am always getting free postcards from the stand at my work entrance. they usually advertise different events happening in Sydney, so i suppose they could be used for such a thing. Perhaps you'll receive one from Sydney one day!

  3. Wow! What a beautiful collection you have there! If you're having troubles finding a variety of postcards, maybe you could look around at Antique stores. That's where I found some really good ones when I was heavy into Postcrossing. And if you're interested in gaining more pen pals, you should look into the snail mail community on Instagram. I've connected with some wonderful people by using the hashtag #penpals #snailmail #mail #postcards...etc


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