Postcard Storage Ideas
How should postcards be stored?
There are many so answers to that question. I have listed several ideas from other traders on how they store/display their collection. No matter what method you choose remember this: keeping your cards in a quality, acid-free, storage material and away from light is the most important thing you can do to help preserve the quality of your collection. Some definite things to avoid are storing your cards in plastic containers for long periods of time and keeping them in photo albums with the film & sticky back. Both of these methods will eventually deteriorate the cards just like they do photos. You only want to use the newer materials because the older ones contain high amounts of acid. Many collectors keep their best cards in polyethylene sleeves or in special archival storage boxes or pages. You don't want to use plastic sleeves containing Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) because it contains plasticizers that can over time leaving an oily residue on your postcards. PVC is easily recognized by its distinct "plastic" smell unlike archival quality materials which generally have very little if any odor at all.
Barbara L: I started keeping mine in shoeboxes and now I am still using a shoebox but that is for cards that need to be filed or are tradable. I have my other cards in a plastic file box with a lid. I have them separated with cardboard into subjects.
Claude B: I use photo albums (4x6) to store my p/cs. I classified them by different countries and also by different topics.
Stephanie: I went to Office Max and got one of the biggest plastic index card holders I could find. I got the big one so that it will fit all the larger size postcards I get. I sort them by state, and the international ones I just keep in a section marked 'international'.
Mary Kay: I store my postcards either in acid free photo pages in binders, or in cardboard boxes made specifically for postcards.
Melissa: How I file/store my postcards depends on how I value them. Generally I tend to use photo boxes: better than a shoe box, standard size so they stack well together, they have those little metal label holders on the front end so I can pull out a box and usually know what type of cards are inside. I keep my Disneyland postcards in the rigid sleeves, as they get viewed a lot. I write the corresponding 'Nickel Tour' number on the back of the sleeve so I can keep them in the proper order after careless little hands have gone through both boxes (what's the point if they can't be enjoyed) Most other cards I keep in the thin sleeves unless again, if it is a special-to-me or a more valuable card, which are kept in the rigids. I do not like albums anymore, too much time to rearrange them in the pages. I do have a postcard rack I purchased from a drug store that was moving. I toss in cards recently received from family and friends so I have the messages handy, I put Disneyland cards I've bought from other sources that have been mailed and I can't tell what the number in the stamp box is (I NEVER remove stamps)and I also put here local interest postcards (in rigids!) so when friends, family come over there is always a little bit of my hobby to interest them.
Unknown: I use boxes designed for postcard storage that I order from a dealer in supplies in the USA. Shoe boxes also work well, if they are sturdy enough, or plastic containers with a similar shape and size. For oversized cards (larger than 4X6 inches), I use a much larger rectangular plastic container. I used to keep all my parrot cards in two albums, but I like to be able to pick up the cards and look at the backs, so I took them out and put them in a separate box, filed by type of parrot. It's easier for me to file and find duplicates that way. I file most of my cards by topic, such as Animals, Birds, Historical, Transportation, People, Buildings, Roadside, & Miscellaneous. I subdivide these by more specific topics. For example, under Animals, I have a category of Cats, which is broken down into kinds of cats, domestic and the many wild types. I have separate collections of cards filed by Place, one for Foreign and one for USA states. I subdivided these by country/state/city. I file my continental and regular-sized cards in postcard sleeves, but I don't have sleeves to fit most of my oversized cards.
My Postcard Collection ~ My Preferences
Postcard Traders Info ~ Useful Postcard Links
History of the Postcard ~ Postcard Storage Ideas
Postcard Sizes and Definitions ~ Round Robins
Tips For Trading ~ Where to find cards
Back to Michelle's Postcard Pages Index