Postcards Collecting Hobby: What Is, Tips, Ultimate Beginner Guide

postcard collecting beginner guide

Just as explorers collect memories from every corner of the globe, you can embark on a journey through time and space with postcard collecting. This hobby, known as deltiology, offers you a window into diverse cultures, historical epochs, and artistic movements.

To kickstart your collection, it’s essential to hone in on what fascinates you—be it vintage landmarks, famous artworks, or exotic locales. You’ll learn to discern the nuances of eras and designs, which not only adds depth to your collection but also potentially increases its value.

For those eager to navigate the vast world of deltiology, understanding the basics and connecting with seasoned collectors can transform a casual interest into a passionate pursuit. Stick around to uncover strategic tips and insights that will elevate your collecting game.

What is Postcards collecting hobby?

collecting postcards for fun

Deltiology is the collection and study of postcards, a hobby that allows individuals to capture a piece of history, art, and the diverse cultures of the world without leaving their homes. It’s more than just accumulating these pieces; it’s an exploration into the lives and times of others, offering a unique perspective on the world through small, tangible snapshots. Deltiology opens a window to the past, showcases artistic endeavors, and shares personal and communal stories from around the globe.

  • Brief historical background or origin: The hobby of collecting postcards, or deltiology, began shortly after postcards themselves were introduced in the late 19th century. The Golden Age of postcards, from 1898 to 1918, saw millions of postcards mailed and collected around the world, sparking the initial surge in their collection.
  • Why it’s gaining or losing popularity? Deltiology is experiencing a renaissance in the digital age, where physical mail has gained novelty and sentimental value. Amidst the ephemeral nature of digital communication, collecting tangible pieces of history and art offers a nostalgic and deeper connection to the past and different cultures. Additionally, online platforms and social media have made it easier for collectors to connect, trade, and share their collections, thus broadening the appeal of this hobby.
  • Who is this hobby for? This hobby is for anyone with a curiosity about the world, a love for history, art, and culture, and an appreciation for the tangible and sentimental value of collecting. It appeals to those who enjoy learning about different places and times, as well as to individuals looking for a relaxing and educational pastime that connects them with a global community of like-minded enthusiasts.

What are different types of Postcards collecting

types of postcard collecting

Diving into the world of postcard collecting, you’ll find a diverse array of types, each offering a unique glimpse into different aspects of history, culture, and creativity.

Type Description Appeal
View Cards Feature scenic views or landmarks. Travel or architecture fans.
Real Photo Postcards Actual photographs printed on postcard stock. History enthusiasts.
Novelty Cards Showcase unique designs, humor, or special effects. Collectors of quirky items.
Tradecards Used for advertising, featuring product images or promotions. Vintage marketing aficionados.

Each type captivates with its own charm, whether it’s the breathtaking landscapes on view cards, the frozen moments in time on real photo postcards, the whimsy of novelty cards, or the historical allure of tradecards.

Benefits of Postcards collecting as a hobby

postcard collecting hobby benefits

Exploring the hobby of postcard collecting, you’ll uncover a fascinating way to connect with history, culture, and art from across the globe. This pastime isn’t just about gathering pieces of paper; it’s about embracing a world of knowledge and beauty, right from your own home.

  • Showcase of Artistic and Historical Postcards: A vibrant display of creativity and history.
  • Tangible Connection to Cultures: Physical snapshots of diverse global heritage.
  • Educational Tools: Gain insights into art, architecture, and social history.
  • Relaxing and Enjoyable Pastime: Appreciate unique designs and heartfelt messages.
  • Community Interactions: Foster connections with fellow enthusiasts.

Postcard collecting offers more than meets the eye, serving as a gateway to learning, relaxation, and community.

How to get started with Postcards collecting step by step

starting a postcard collection

Embarking on your postcard collecting journey starts with selecting a focus that resonates with your personal interests, be it artists, locations, periods, themes, or humor. Your collecting approach will guide every addition to your collection, offering a unique lens through which to view the world.

  • Identify Specific Interests: Hone in on unique themes like dinosaurs or ballet.
  • Travel Finds: Source postcards during your travels for a personal touch.
  • Understand Postcard Eras: Learn about the Golden Age or linen postcards.
  • Master Collectors’ Terminology: Get familiar with terms that define condition, rarity, and value.
  • Prioritize Your Collection: Focus on what genuinely captivates you, whether it’s the artistry, historical significance, or the joy of discovery.

This strategic approach enriches your postcard collecting experience, making every find a treasure trove of stories.

Tips and tricks for Postcards collecting

postcard collection hobby guide

To elevate your postcard collection, consider zeroing in on specific themes that spark your interest, such as vintage landmarks or festive holidays. This strategic approach not only hones your collection but also makes the hunt for new additions more thrilling.

  • Explore various postcard types, including real photo and lithographed, to add diversity.
  • Seek out unique elements like embossing or historical signatures that increase value.
  • Acquire postcards from a mix of sources: local shops, online platforms, and antique stores.
  • Join online communities to exchange tips and strategies with fellow collectors.
  • Focus on themes like animals, structures, or holidays to create a cohesive collection.

Common Challenges and Solutions

overcoming everyday business hurdles

In the realm of postcard collecting, you’ll inevitably encounter challenges like spotting fakes, managing damaged cards, and valuing rare finds, but with the right strategies, these hurdles can be overcome.

Challenge Solution Benefit
Identifying counterfeit postcards Use reference books, online forums Ensures authenticity
Dealing with damaged cards Store in acid-free sleeves, consult experts Preserves card value and condition
Accurately valuing rare postcards Seek professional appraisals Provides reliable estimates

Did you know that?

four word phrase surprising fact about knowledge

Upon delving deeper into the realm of deltiology, the hobby of postcard collecting, one discovers intriguing and less obvious facets that highlight its unique appeal beyond merely amassing vintage cards. This engaging pursuit not only connects enthusiasts to distant corners of the world but also reveals hidden stories and artistic expressions.

  • The Art of Cancellation Marks: For a subset of collectors, the focus isn’t on the imagery of the postcard but on the unique cancellation marks it bears. These postmarks can offer a fascinating glimpse into postal history, with some being rare or from post offices that no longer exist.
  • Ephemeral Connections: While most collectors prize postcards in mint condition, there’s a niche that finds beauty in postcards with personal messages. These handwritten notes offer a voyeuristic peek into the lives and sentiments of people from another era, making each card a miniature time capsule.
  • Thematic Diversity: Beyond scenic landscapes and architectural marvels, there exists an eclectic array of postcard themes ranging from the eccentric (such as oddball inventions or quirky advertising) to the sublime (like art nouveau masterpieces or natural wonders). Collectors often specialize in these niche categories, showcasing the broad spectrum of human creativity and interest.
  • Environmental Consciousness: In an age of digital communication, the act of collecting physical postcards might seem counterintuitive. However, many collectors are motivated by a desire to preserve these tangible pieces of heritage, viewing their hobby as a form of environmental stewardship through recycling and conserving paper artifacts.
  • A Gateway to Philately: Postcard collecting often serves as an entry point into the wider world of philately (stamp collecting). The stamps affixed to postcards, especially from bygone eras, can be as valuable and sought-after as the cards themselves, with some collectors transitioning to focus primarily on the stamps.

Experience Postcards collecting locally: Courses, events to learn, gift vouchers

postcard collecting experiences available

Diving into local postcard collecting courses and events can quickly transform your casual interest into a deeply rewarding hobby. By engaging with your community, you’ll gain unparalleled insights and form connections that enrich your collecting journey. Here’s why you should get involved:

  • Hands-on Learning: Postcard collecting courses offer practical skills and valuable insights.
  • Networking Opportunities: Events dedicated to postcard enthusiasts facilitate meaningful connections.
  • Thoughtful Gifts: Gift vouchers for courses or workshops make unique presents.
  • Expert Guidance: Local workshops provide knowledge on history, identification, and preservation.
  • Enhanced Passion: Participating in community activities boosts your enthusiasm and understanding.

Whether you’re starting or seeking to deepen your collection, these experiences promise to add significant value to your hobby.

What do you need to buy to get started with Postcards collecting

starting a postcard collection

Before you dive into the world of postcard collecting, there are a few essential items you’ll need to get your hobby off to a great start.

  • Postcard collecting albums or sleeves: These are vital for storing and organizing your collection efficiently while keeping them in pristine condition.
  • Reference books on postcard collecting: Gain insight into different eras, types, and values to make informed choices about your collection.
  • Magnifying glass: This tool is crucial for inspecting the fine details on postcards, including printing techniques and condition.
  • Acid-free archival materials: Protect your postcards from deterioration over time with materials that prevent damage.
  • Online forums or clubs: Connect with experienced collectors for invaluable guidance and advice, enriching your collecting journey.

With these essentials, you’re well on your way to becoming a savvy postcard collector.

Enhance Categorization Skills

improve categorization techniques

To elevate your postcard collection, mastering categorization skills is crucial, allowing you to organize by artist, location, time period, theme, or humor with ease. By honing these skills, you’ll streamline your postcard collecting process, making your collection both more accessible and visually appealing. Consider these strategies:

  • Sort by specific interests, such as animals or holidays, to bring a personal touch.
  • Dive into postcard eras, distinguishing between the Golden Age and linen cards.
  • Group by artist to appreciate the variety of artistic expression.
  • Organize by location to take a global tour from your living room.
  • Arrange by theme to create mini-exhibitions within your collection.

Enhancing your categorization skills transforms your postcard collecting into a well-structured treasure trove.

Be smart: Multitask and take Postcards collecting to the next level

elevate your postcard hobby

Maximize your postcard collecting hobby by integrating modern tools and educational resources to enhance your experience and expertise. Consider adopting the following approaches:

  • Leverage audiobooks from platforms like or while organizing or browsing your collection, immersing yourself in the history of postcards or learning about different cultures and landmarks featured in your postcards.
  • Enroll in online courses offered by platforms such as,, or to deepen your understanding of photography, art history, or cultural studies, directly enriching the thematic depth and aesthetic value of your collection.

Reinvent Postcards collecting : unconventional, innovative and creative way of Postcards collecting

revolutionizing postcard collection methods

Dive into the world of postcard collecting by exploring unconventional, innovative, and creative themes that’ll transform your collection into a captivating treasure trove. Embrace the charm and nostalgia of vintage advertisements, marvel at the uniqueness of handmade postcards, and let your imagination run wild with quirky designs.

Here’s how you can reinvent your postcard collecting:

  • Seek out postcards with vintage advertisements or movie posters for a retro vibe.
  • Explore unique postcard shapes and materials for a tactile experience.
  • Support local artists by collecting handmade or artisanal postcards.
  • Delight in the unexpected with quirky designs like 3D or pop-up cards.
  • Dive deeper into innovation with postcards featuring augmented reality or hidden messages.

Unleash your creativity and build a collection that’s as unique as you are.

Postcards collecting online communities, social media groups and top niche sites

online postcard collecting communities

After exploring the creative ways to reinvent your postcard collection, let’s now connect with fellow enthusiasts and discover unique finds through online communities, social media groups, and niche sites. Here’s why diving into these platforms can be a game-changer for you:

  • Postcrossing and Postcard United offer global exchange opportunities, expanding your collection’s geographic diversity.
  • Facebook and Instagram groups provide a space to share and admire collections, fostering a sense of community.
  • Reddit hosts dedicated threads for trading tips and sharing finds, perfect for learning and engagement.
  • Delcampe and HipPostcard specialize in postcards, making it easier to find rare or specific themes.
  • eBay offers a vast selection, from vintage to modern postcards, catering to all collecting preferences.

Embrace these resources to enhance your collection, connect with like-minded collectors, and discover postcards you never knew existed.

5 Hobbies you may also like

explore new fun activities

Exploring hobbies akin to deltiology, or postcard collecting, can expand your interests and introduce you to the enthralling world of historical and artistic collections. If the allure of postcards has captivated you, you might find these hobbies equally fascinating:

  • Philately (Stamp collecting): Similar to deltiology, philately delves into the historical and artistic significance of stamps. Collectors appreciate the rarity and condition of stamps, much like postcards, and find joy in uncovering the stories they tell.
  • Numismatics (Coin collecting): This hobby involves the collection and study of coins, offering a parallel to postcard collecting in terms of discovering historical value and significance. Each coin, like each postcard, has its own story and worth.
  • Collecting Vintage Advertisements: The charm of vintage advertisements lies in their ability to reflect the cultural and societal norms of their time, similar to the appeal of postcard imagery. This hobby offers a nostalgic glimpse into the past, through the lens of marketing and design.
  • Antique Book Collecting: For those who are enchanted by the historical era of postcards, collecting antique books can provide a similar sense of connection to the past. These books aren’t only valuable for their content but also for their historical context and the stories they encapsulate.
  • Photograph Collecting: This hobby resonates with the essence of deltiology by offering a window into the past through captured images. Collecting photographs allows one to preserve and appreciate moments in history, paralleling the way postcards offer insights into social history and artistic trends.

While looking for new hobby like Postcards collecting , try fully personalized AI Hobby generator

ai hobby generator for personalized hobby ideas

If you’re on the quest for a new hobby that captures the essence of postcard collecting’s allure, explore the possibilities with a fully personalized AI Hobby Generator. This cutting-edge, AI-powered solution is designed to recommend hobbies in an ultra-personalized manner, ensuring that your new pastime feels as unique as you are.

Through an intuitive chatbot interaction, we pose a few simple questions to understand your needs and the type of hobby you’re seeking. The more information you provide, the more tailored the list of hobbies we can generate specifically for you.

Here’s how this personalized approach can transform your search for a new hobby:

  • Receive hobby suggestions that deeply resonate with your personal interests and lifestyle.
  • Gain insights into the history and cultural significance of potential hobbies, including the intricate world of deltiology.
  • Access beginner-friendly advice to help you confidently step into your new hobby.
  • Learn about the best practices for organizing and preserving your collections, ensuring their longevity.
  • Connect with specialized communities and resources, offering continuous encouragement and inspiration in your hobby journey.

Final thoughts

summarizing the reflection process

Diving into the world of postcard collecting, you’ve uncovered a realm filled with historical charm and personal significance. As you contemplate the future of your postcard collections, remember the profound sentimental value they hold. These aren’t just pieces of paper; they’re snapshots of history, tokens of personal journeys.

Before considering selling, seek professional appraisals to accurately gauge their worth. This step ensures you’re making informed decisions, balancing emotional attachments against potential selling opportunities. Explore auction houses, private sales, or online platforms, choosing the path that aligns with your valuation and preferences.

Ultimately, your postcard collections represent a unique intersection of history, sentiment, and value—navigate this terrain thoughtfully, guided by insight and personal significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Start Collecting Postcards?

To start collecting postcards, dive into themes you love, like animals or holidays. Hit up trade shows, antique shops, and online platforms to snag unique finds. Learn about postcard eras to grasp their value.

What Do You Call a Person Who Collects Postcards as a Hobby?

You’re known as a deltiologist if you collect postcards as a hobby. This term comes from Greek, combining “delte,” meaning a writing tablet, and “ology,” the study of something. It’s a fascinating world to dive into!

What Do You Call Someone Who Collects Postcards?

You’re called a deltiologist if you collect postcards. It’s not just about gathering; it’s delving into their historical, cultural, and artistic value. You’ll find yourself joining clubs, attending conventions, and connecting with fellow collectors online.

What Do Postcard Collectors Look For?

You’re curious about what postcard collectors seek? They’re after condition, age, unique elements like censored marks, and historical significance through writing, address, and postmark. It’s all about finding those special cards that tell a story.

Share with friends