Copley Library Special Collections is excited to announce the launch of a new digital collection, available through the library catalog. The new semester brings students and faculty access to the “Turn of the Century French Postcard Collection” which includes almost 600 postcards from all over France, published between 1900 and 1907. Not only are the beautiful images of well-known landmarks and the beautiful French countryside available to view, but details, like printing processes, detailed locations and publishers have been added to all of the records. The postcards have also been indexed and can be searched by keyword and location.
Chère mademoiselle, merci de vos très jolies cartes,
elles m’ont fait grand plaisir.
Many of the messages on the postcards were written in French. Though the handwriting can be difficult to read, the students of FRENCH 301, Advanced Composition, enjoyed spending time with the unique and treasured materials from Copley Library. Professor Michèle Magnin utilized the materials in a writing exercise last semester. Her students created avatars, including jobs, names and identities and assumed the roles, living together in a Parisian apartment block. The postcards were then hidden and discovered by the students wherein they were tasked with deciphering the handwriting and inventing a story around the writer of the cards and its recipient. Though an arduous task, much fun was had by all.