Old Postcards Display at Main Library

Old Postcards from the Great Neck Library History Collection are on display at the Main Library.

Remember postcards? Old postcards from the Library’s History Collection are on display in the lower level Gallery at the Main Library, 159 Bayview Ave.

This is a walk down memory lane for those who remember the good old days here in Great Neck. These postcards, some going back to the early 1900s, are notes to and from people who lived in Great Neck.

For decades, postcards were equivalent to today’s Instagram. The photos on the front captured a glimpse of something of interest, with a brief description on the back.

You had enough space but had to write teeny-tiny, to say you had a wonderful time and wish you were here; similar to the 140-word count of Twitter. And because good manners had taught you to only write nice things; it was a postcard after all and everyone who handled it, from the time you dropped it in the mailbox until the time that it was delivered to its intended recipient, would read it, out of sheer nosiness.

Postcards were intended to be collector’s items and have proved to be that. There are ephemeral conventions and clubs and museums created around the 3-inch by 5-inch pieces of cardstock. The cards are collected for the images, postmarks, stamps or for the charm of the script itself.

Cursive? Writing and reading cursive seems to be a special talent nowadays, so it’s a bit of fun and an adventure to decipher what others have penned in their succinct communications. You could easily spend hours marveling in the penmanship.

The Great Neck Library holds more than 400 postcards related to the peninsula’s history and its neighboring communities, dating back to the early 1900s. You’ll find images of local architecture, community highlights, events and daily Great Neck life featured on some of these cards.

Visit New York Heritage (https://nyheritage.org) and type “Great Neck Historic Postcards” in the search feature to view a majority of the collection.

Stop by the Library through the beginning of October to view a small sample of the collection, on display in the gallery showcases.

Call 516-466-8055, ext. 241 to make an appointment for a special viewing.

This month’s postcard exhibit was curated by the Library’s history custodian, Christy Orquera.



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