Sunday, April 3, 2011

Online Jewish Postcard Collection

Singer sewing machine store in Serbia
(sign says "Singer" in Cyrillic)
Over many years Stephanie Comfort has assembled a sizable collection of postcards with Jewish images and themes, and now she has digitized them and made them available for free on the Web at  She has postcards from every inhabited continent and particularly focuses on pre-World War II Eastern Europe.

I found it easier to navigate using the site map rather than the search, because I wasn't sure how she had items listed.  One disadvantage of the site map, however, is that the list is not consistent for each continent.  For example, Africa has places, people, and synagogues, but Asia has synagogues, people, and places. Asia People has "India People and Places", but Asia Places has "Iran People and Places" and "China People and Places."  (Can you tell I'm an indexer?)

It appears that you can view the images either on her Web site or on Flickr.  The images were easier to view on Flickr because they were larger there.  Flickr says her collection is more than 12,000 images, but some appear to be duplicates (e.g., two files of the same David Pinski postcard).  What worked best for me was to find an image on her site and then search with keywords from her description in her photostream on Flickr.

Overall it's a fascinating collection, and I am sure I will spend a lot of time browsing through it.  She allows use of an image on your site if you credit her and link to her home page.

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