In 2010 Peter Cook, a former resident of Southampton, presented his remarkable collection of over 3,000 early picture postcards of the city to the University Library. A significant addition to the visual resources of the Cope Collection, the postcards provide both a vivid illustration of Southampton at the opening of the twentieth century and a notable record of the ‘golden era’ of postcard history.
A wide range of cards was produced in addition to those recording places and events. With as many as six postal deliveries a day, the postcard became a popular means of communication and postcard collecting itself became a recognised hobby.
This golden age was brought to a close by the First World War. Later increases in postage rates and greater access to telephones meant that postcards never regained their pre-war popularity.
The exhibition ran from 11th July to 7th October 2011.