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California Historical Society collection of historic postcards

Identifier: 0399

Scope and Content

The six boxes of postcards in this collection contain images from all over the world, but the strength of the collection is in its images of Los Angeles and its environs in the early to mid-20th century. Many of the postcards are even older, especially some of the European ones which appear to be from late 19th to early 20th century. Though the bulk of the collection is the postcards that depict views of geographic features and urban scenes, there are a number of postcards with images of famous paintings, cartoons, holiday greetings, etc.


  • circa 1900-1979


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



This small collection of postcards came to USC chiefly through the California Historical Society. Many of them appear to have originated with the same few families, based on notes and addresses on them. The images are of geographic subjects especially California, but there are also many European scenes and some non-geographical postcards.


The postcards are organized by geographical location or by theme. The geographically-organized postcards progress from most local (Los Angeles) to most global (countries outside the United States).

Related Archival Materials

Lillian I. Allard collection of California Postcards, Special Collections, USC Libraries.

Finding Aid for the California Historical Society collection of historic postcards
Jacqueline Morin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States