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Paul Swanson Postcard Collection

This private collection has been compiled by Mid-Continent member Paul Swanson. The collection consists of several hundred postcards, depicting a variety of railroad images from the Golden Age of Railroading (1880-1916). A unique feature of this collection is that a majority of these postcards are real photo” postcards. The images are searchable and viewable through a database intended for personal use only. Any and all public use is strictly prohibited without written permission. Public use includes all recognized forms of reproduction, publication, and/or display for any purpose. To request permission for public use, contact the Collection Manager.

Click here to enter the database.

METADATA: Each image is assigned metadata to help identify subject matter:
  • RAILROAD NAME—Abbreviations are used
  • STATE—USPS abbreviations are used (i.e. "WI" for Wisconsin)
  • CITY
  • POSTMARK DATE—The date of postmark, if available. Helps approximate the date of image.
  • KEYWORD(S)—Identify subject matter within the image (see samples below).
  • REMARKS—Handwritten remarks or printing on postcard that may add historical information pertinent to the image.

SEARCHING TIPS: You may search by any of the metadata fields above, or keywords. For example, type “WI” and all matches for Wisconsin-identified postcards will be displayed. Type “depot” and all matches featuring a depot building will be displayed.


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