How do I Care for an Antique Postcard?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Caring for an antique postcard is important if you wish to keep it in good shape. Improper display, storage, or handling of antique postcards will often cause them to fade or become damaged. Archival storage materials are usually recommended by most experts. After the cards are protected, you can either display them in frames or racks, or they can be stored in albums or boxes.

Archival materials to store an antique postcard can be purchased either online or at an archival supply store. Clear plastic sleeves, usually made from a PVC-free plastic, along with acid-free paper are important when caring for an antique post card. The plastic sleeves protect the card from smudges as well as acids and oils from your fingers. Archival quality paper is recommended because it does not emit harmful chemicals that can alter the ink or paper of the postcard.

When selecting a plastic sleeve for your antique postcard, it is also important to choose one that is larger than the card. This will prevent tearing, bending, creasing, and other damage when inserting the postcard. It is also important to store an antique postcard in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. After your postcard has been properly protected, you can then display or store it.


Framing an antique postcard is a great way to protect and display it at the same time. Ideally, the postcard should be encased in a archival-quality plastic sleeve. Otherwise, be sure to use acid-free paper and mats when framing an antique postcard. Additionally, the front or back of the card should not be in contact with the glass. This can cause them to possibly stick to the glass and rip when they are removed.

Postcard racks are a good way to store and display antique postcards that are in plastic sleeves, especially if you are in business to sell them. These often have racks for propping the cards up. Some are very tall, while others are small enough to set on a counter or table top. Many of them also rotate.

Another way to store and protect an antique postcard collection is by arranging them in albums. Postcard albums can be purchased with acid-free pages and clear plastic sleeves already in them. A regular photo album is another choice, but in this case, it is best if the antique postcards are encased in a plastic sleeve.

For a very large collection of antique postcards, archival storage boxes are an excellent choice. These are often made from acid-free cardboard or aluminum. Although you will not be able to display them, you can have peace of mind knowing that they are safely tucked away.


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