Monday, February 24, 2014

New Massachusetts State House Postcard Collection Available in Special Collections

The State Library's collection of postcards depicting the Massachusetts State House has grown significantly over the past several years. The new additions (Souvenir no. 68.2) include postcards from approximately 1904-1970. Seen together, they depict the evolution of the architecture of the State House, from the original Bulfinch building to the Brigham addition, which was completed in 1895, to the final configuration of the building with the addition of the East and West Wings, added between 1914 and 1917.


Additionally, the postcards document the changing design and layout of the postcard.  Included are postcards with the original arrangement, when postcards were not allowed to have a divided back and correspondents could only write messages on the front of the postcard.  This configuration changed in 1907 when the Post Office allowed citizens to write on the address side of a postcard and could have a divided back, with messages on the left and the address on the right.  Many of the postcards are postmarked, with mailing addresses and messages both routine and mysterious.

Caitlin Walsh
Special Collections Intern