By Ginny A. Roth ~
This National Postcard Week, celebrated May 1-7 2022, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of a second collection of hospital postcards. Donated by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the collection builds on a previous acquisition donated by W. Bruce Fye and adds to the wealth of the Library’s visual material documenting the history of hospitals.
This collection consists of over 2,500 postcards and provides a visual record of primarily U.S. hospitals, sanitoriums, and other related buildings. In addition to the United States, 3 other countries are represented, Canada, the Czech Republic, and England. Prior to coming to NLM, the collection was part of the Center for Hospital and Healthcare Administration History, sponsored jointly by the AHA and American College of Healthcare Executives.
Each of the 50 states are represented in the collection by at least one postcard and some, like this one featuring the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City were addressed and mailed. One postcard has a postmark of April 25, 1951, Bronx Central Station, and, as indicated by the handwriting on the verso (back), was sent to Mrs. Hill of Gloversville, New York by Mrs. Winchester of New York City and reads:
My specials are – geographic (mts., nolls [sic], etc.), interior views, light houses, churches, homes famous people, birds, old mills, wind mills and odd & unusual views.
Although most of the postcards are color, there are several black and white photo postcards such as the following two featuring Menninger Psychiatric Hospital and Sanitarium in Topeka, Kansas and St. Dominic’s Convalescent and Holiday Home in Kelvedon (England).
This robust collection is currently being processed and NLM looks forward to making the collection publicly available.
For questions about this historical collection and/or others held by the NLM, including how to consult them, please contact the History of Medicine Division Reference staff via NLM Customer Support or call (301) 402-8878.