Postcards! Although not manuscripts in themselves, these images provide many levels of information- not simply showing us how things looked, but also what subjects were selected to be topics for postcards that visitors to a place might wish to send back home. Here in the Portland Room, we have a growing collection of local postcards- some older than newer. Each era of the city’s portrayal is equally valuable as documentation. And of course, there are the notes written by the senders! Some examples below:
Tukey’s Bridge, in the 1900s. The note on the back of the card shows it was mailed in 1907.
The Portland Exposition Building in the 1920s. Postage was 1 cent.
Portland Harbor, near the Old Port, in the early 1980s. Can you notice what hadn’t yet been built in this picture?
Yes, it’s that time of the year! Here are a few images from a recent exhibit in the Portland Room, displaying books from our collections on the topic of education and schools. We focused on the old-fashioned “3 R’s.”
A primer, a math book, and a slide rule
Reading and writing books
Portland school reports, with an old Portland Public Library card
Before the angular bank building stood at what is now 1 Monument Square, the eastern end of the Square was home to Edwards & Walker hardware store. This was the vantage point for the view below, looking west along Congress Street. The photo was taken in 1935, using a glass-plate 4×5″ camera. Before the invention of cellulose film, glass provided the needed transparent surface for photographic emulsions.
This particular photograph preserves a very brief moment, recorded 75 years ago, but the image continues to inform us!
At the right side of the image, you can see where the Library is today.