The postcard collection

Vista del Coliseo y área circundante, Roma. Pulse para ampliar

The postcard collection

The postcards of the journey were part of a larger collection with very varied subjects, meticulously sorted according to geographic origin, numbered, dated and annotated. Although Emilio Camps must have been aware of the fashion for collecting postcards in the first decades of the 20th century, both this collection and other graphic collections of the author must have been intended for study and teaching purposes, bearing in mind the difficulty of obtaining graphic material for these purposes at the time the author must have been making his collection, approximately between 1930 and 1950.

It is a large collection of 1,250 postcards, most in black and white, only 28 in colour (the chromolithographic process was still very expensive in 1930). The thematic and geographic variety of the commercial postcards, the majority of the collection, covers a very complete range of well-known photographers and/or studios, as well as important European printers and editors of the period between the wars. In contrast, another part of the postcard collection is the author’s photographs revealed in postcard size, which was quite common at the time. Some have been stamped and posted, and added to the collection later. In general, they date from around 1930, although images in some of the commercial postcards could be dated from 1900-1920.

The subjects are very varied. However, they can be grouped into views of cities, monuments and sites, details of architectural elements, archaeological and art objects in different museums in four countries: the great majority in Italy and France, and a small number in Switzerland and Spain. In short, they show themselves as a unique, select documentary source, from which interesting information can be drawn about art, cities, museums, and even social and ethnographic matters.