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How to organize my postcard collection

Collecting vintage postcards is still a popular hobby, and even today when postcards are no longer sent in the number that they once were, there is a growing number of people looking to the past. Vintage postcards can be collected from a number of sources; Internet auctions, postcard shows and even secondhand stores being just a few.  As a collection grows though, many postcard collectors look to ways to organize a vintage postcard collection.

Vintage postcards tend to be stored either in postcards albums or in special storage boxes or cases, and whilst it is easier to view postcards in an album, it is sometimes easier to organize in a box. This is seen at any postcard show, when the majority of dealers will have their postcards on sale from boxes, which are subdivided by topic. There is no right or wrong way for organizing a vintage postcard collection, and many collectors have their own individual method for arranging their collections. There are though some commonly seen methods amongst collectors and dealers.

In most cases postcards are either organized in terms of topic or geographic location. Popular topics include postcards of vehicles, people and famous landmarks. With such things there is a basic method of organizing which simply groups all like postcards together. Thus if all of the vintage postcards are of castles, then all postcards of Windsor Castle are grouped together and all those of Edinburgh Castle are put together.

Some postcard collectors also try to organize their vintage postcard collection by date, and initially this is a perfect valid method. Organizing by date is an especially good method when the vintage postcards represent one thing over a number of years, often postcards of a particular place. Some vintage postcards can be differentiated into age periods just by looking at them, but in many cases the only way to discern the approximate year is by looking at the stamp and postmark, assuming the postcard is in used condition.  

The organizing of any vintage postcard collection is of course up to the individual collector. Ideally though there should be some sort of referencing associated with the individual postcards. This could be just a reference to topic of the postcard, age, and how much was paid for it, but some postcard collectors enjoy cataloging all of their postcards.  They know that this also makes it much easier to pass the collection down to the next generation.