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Real Photo Postcard Guide
The People’s Photography

Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh

Cloth $39.95    |    0-8156-0851-9    |    2006

Lavishly illustrated, this encyclopedic volume provides the most comprehensive look at the history and culture of real photo postcards to date.

"... if this handsomely produced book isn’t the definitive general guide to understanding, valuing, and collecting photo postcards, nothing is."
Matt Damsker, Photography Central

"...an absolute must for any serious collector whether they be photo historians or people who have the responsibility of collections of photographs under their care."
Editor, Postcard Pillar, Wellington, New Zealand

"Real Photo Postcard Guide is beautiful! It is a large, hardcover book with glossy pages, hundreds of quality images, most reproduced at almost full size, and hundreds of pages of well-written text. . . . The Real Photo Postcard Guide is a great combination of scholarly work, presented with all the scholarly bells and whistles, published ‘coffee table book’ style that will attract those with little or no previous interest in postcards while education even the serious collector. It’s a book with substance and style meant to be savored and digested."
Postcard Collector magazine

"Photo postcard collectors and fans of photo postcard art have plenty to enjoy in REAL PHOTO POSTCARD GUIDE: THE PEOPLE’S PHOTOGRAPHY. Such art dominated the U.S. Photo market during the first third of the 20th century, but until now hasn’t received a comprehensive coverage. The authors have plumbed archives and conducted original research to cover photo postcard history, art, and specifics on dating and preserving a collection. Over three hundred photo postcards from archives and private collections across the country display a fine range of black and white images. Any serious photography library or collector’s handbook holding must have this."
The Midwest Book review

"I would not be surprised if this book becomes a bible for serious collectors of real photo postcards."
Bruce Nelson, The Postcard Collector

The Independent, London, review page 1 (large image)

The Independent, London, review page 2 (large image)

The Real Photo Postcard Guide is an informative, comprehensive, and practical treatment of this wildly popular American phenomenon that dominated the United States photographic market during the first third of the twentieth century. Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh draw on extensive research and observation to address all aspects of the photo postcard from its history, origin, and cultural significance to practical matters like dating, purchasing, condition, and preservation.

Illustrated with over 350 exceptional photo postcards taken from archives and private collections across the country, the scope of the Real Photo Postcard Guide spans technical considerations of production, characteristics of superior images, collecting categories, and methods of research for dating photo postcards and investigating their photographers.

In a broader sense, the authors show how "real photo postcards" document the social history of America. From family outings and workplace awards to lynchings and natural disasters, every image captures a moment of American cultural history from the society that generated them.

Bogdan and Weseloh’s book provides an admirable integration of informative text and compelling photographic illustrations. Collectors, archivists, photographers, photo historians, social scientists, and anyone interested in the visual documentation of America will find the Real Photo Postcard Guide indispensable.

Robert Bogdan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Social Science at Syracuse University. He is the author of many books including Exposing the Wilderness: Early Twentieth-Century Adirondack Postcard Photographers and Adirondack Vernacular: The Photography of Henry M. Beach, both published by Syracuse University Press. His column on real photo postcards is a monthly feature in the magazine The Postcard Collector.

Todd Weseloh was the librarian/archivist at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse and has been an active collector of postcards since 1976.

8 1/2 x 11, 304 pages, 367 black-and-white photographs, appendixes, bibliography, notes, index

Real Photo Postcard Guide

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