Deltiology - Collecting Postcards as a Hobby

Today, as we continue our overview tour of collecting hobbies, we’re going to take a look at Deltiology, the practice of collecting postcards. It is said that this is the third most popular hobby, ranking just behind coin and stamp collecting.

Why Collect Postcards?

The neat thing about postcard collecting is that they are generally less expensive than comparable collectibles and are available in thousands of different subjects. If you want to specialize in postcards for a particular region or city, you can do that. If you want to collect postcards with a particular theme, such as Disney or horses, you can easily build a nice collection of cards. Postcards have been around in their modern form since the mid 1800’s so there are plenty of choices available.

People also enjoy exchanging postcards with others who live elsewhere in the world. This is a way to exchange something more than just an email with people who live in locations you would like to visit or just want to learn more about. There are postcard penpal programs that you can join to help you find postcard exchange partners.

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How to Collect Postcards

Well, given that the choices are so many, it’s best to focus on a particular niche if you want to build a coherent collection. Most people settle on a particular region or particular style of postcard. Some people love to collect vintage postcards with their inked artwork while others prefer more modern photographic postcards.

One of the important things about being a Deltiologist, a collector of postcards, is knowing how to protect your cards from damage. You will want to keep your cards in acid-free, high quality, polyethylene or Mylar sleeves. Avoid using cheap sleeves and avoid exposing your collection to sunlight.

As with other collectibles, postcards are graded from Mint all the way down to Fair. In general, a mint condition card should be absolutely factory perfect. As handling and age occur, and mailing of the card, this downgrades the condition.

That wraps up this overview of Deltiology, the hobby of Collecting Postcards. Do you have any thoughts to share about collecting postcards? If so, leave a comment below.


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Comment by Fergus Mayhew
2008-07-11 03:23:52

I’ve collected postcards casually for a few years, but I’ve never heard the term deltiology before. Nice to know that I’m a deltiologist.

I got interested in postcards through my brother. He collects postcards of European railway trains, and it seemed like an interesting hobby. Since I am not deeply interested in European railway trains, I instead started collecting postcards of the early days of the State of Israel. There are some great cards available, and I enjoy learning the history that lies behind the cards.

Comment by Don
2010-01-04 10:23:08

Thanks for you information on deltiology!

I’ve been using for some time now. It is great fun!

I also use a third party address to forward postcards to me.

If you are interested in receiving or exchanging a card from me, then send a card (with address) to:

Celebrity Postcard Exchange
Attn: Don Morrison
6206 Wade Road, Suite 230
Baytown, Texas USA 77521

I will get one to you as soon as possible!

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