Greetings from the SmithsonianA Postcard History

See how Washington, DC and Smithsonian visitors have shared their trips with others by taking a historic look at the Smithsonian through the picture postcard.

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People use postcards to correspond with each other, but the way they have used postcards to communicate has changed over time. The postcards in this gallery show how postcards began as a quick way to send short communications between individuals, but have since evolved to be used for longer communications and for requests between academics. While the typical use for a postcard is to report on having a nice time on vacation in a new place – “wish you were here” – several of these postcards were used to send routine, short notes. The first section of this gallery contains postcards also found in the individual museum galleries that have messages on them. The second section of this gallery contains postcards mailed to or from Smithsonian staff throughout the years.