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In August, the Newberry Library in Chicago accepted a donation of nearly 2,000 postcards collected by longtime Palmyra residents, Warren and Katherine Head.
Their sons, Wallace and John Head, arranged for the donation with help from Will Hansen, vice president and curator at the Newberry Library.
The Newberry, a research library that manages exhibits and programs which have been free and open to the public since 1887, maintains extensive holdings of postcards.
“The postcards recently contributed from the Warren and Katherine Head collection, dating mainly from the first two decades of the 1900s during what is known as the early ‘golden age’ of postcards, are a welcome addition to The Newberry’s postcard archives,” Hensen said.
Warren Head died in June 2009, and Katherine died in March 2018.
“Our parents enjoyed going to the auctions and postcard-club meetings, learning about the different styles and themes of postcards, and sharing their findings with other postcard collectors,” said Wallace Head. “They often hosted postcard displays in Palmyra and elsewhere.”
“Placing some of the postcard collection with a library of The Newberry’s caliber and public-facing character ensures that our parents’ work can be appreciated by many people, and within a cultural and historical context,” said John Head.
The postcards donated to The Newberry – which Wallace characterizes as “the cream of the collection” – constitute only a small fraction of the entire Warren and Katherine Head postcard collection.
John said he and Wallace have saved some cards for their own families and the remainder have been sold to other interested collectors.
Wallace lives with his wife, Audrey, in Charleston, S.C.
John lives with his wife, Lucia Orth, in Kansas and Washington State.