Posted by: Kath Usitalo | May 8, 2012

Got Deltiology?

No room for Lake Erie, missing from the lower right corner of this postcard

I didn’t know it until today but I have a mild case of deltiology.

It is, according to, the hobby of postcard collecting. Postcardy, a Great Laker who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, also has a Postcardy blog with themed posts (i.e., Transportation Tuesdays) and a link to YouTube videos showcasing themes.

Mine is not a serious condition. My collection is not archived or catalogued. It is stashed in a couple of shoe boxes: one for cards I’ve received and another for blank cards.

If I’m traveling I’ll pick up a few as souvenirs and sometimes mail them to family and friends. At an antiques store I might buy a vintage card or two just for kicks or to use as a greeting card.

A vintage linen postcard of the Wisconsin Dells that tickled my fancy

My case is nothing like that of Master Deltiologist Donald R. Brown of Pennsylvania, who started collecting postcards in 1943.

He served as president of the Wolverine Postcard Club in 1960, which was located in Detroit. The group held monthly meetings at the Detroit Historical Museum.

In 1993, a half-century after he started his hobby, Mr. Brown founded The Institute of American Deltiology. He established the non-profit, located in Myerstown, PA, as a research center, gallery and library.

It consists of more than a million postcards, which he has donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation Library Collection.

This is National Postcard Week.

Why not snail mail a postcard to someone and help keep alive the craze that one writer in a 1906 article termed Postal Carditis. This is an affliction that has all been stamped out by the invasive Facebook and the tweeting habit.

Be aware, however, that in rare instances Postal Carditis has evolved into deltiology and it, according to those so affected, cannot be licked.

Related Posts:

Send A Postcard—If You Can Find A Stamp, May 2, 2011

Postcard Pix For Kicks, May 3, 2011

Lick A Stamp: It’s National Postcard Week, May 3, 2010

Go Postal, May 5, 2009



  1. Be sure to check out the “Wish You Were Here” exhibit at the Holland Museum in Holland MI. It’s a great collection of old postcards from Holland Resident Mike Van Ark.The exhibit runs through August 5.

  2. are you able to tell me the history of the postcard picture?

  3. Hi Cheryl: Not sure which postcard you’re interested in… but sorry, I’m not going to be of much help on either. I’ve had both for years. I browse antique shops and used bookstores whenever I can, so I cannot remember or tell you where I picked them up!

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