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Smiths Falls and District Historical Society speaker series: A history of 19th century Canadian postcards

April 18, 2018
Smiths Falls Record News, Inside Ottawa Valley

The Smiths Falls and District Historical Society welcomes you to the latest instalment of their annual heritage speaker series featuring Dr. Sarah McLean Knapp. On Thursday, April 26, Knapp will delve into the world of 19th century postcards and a discussion of early Canadian graphic arts.

“The postcard emerges as a mediator of modernity, a means to identify and possess the totality of the city at a time when it was in fact fragmented physically and socially” (Prochaska, D.; 2010, pp.xii).

The study of postcards provides insights into the history of graphic design and the curating of designed objects, collected as proof of our history. Historic postcards collections present us with a moment in time, which is both an industrial printed moment, as well as the social moment recorded on the card itself. It raises questions about collections (what has been formally collected by cultural institutions and what exists in old shoeboxes and drawers passed from one generation to the next). It also presents a glimpse at a historic social moment, what is remembered?

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