Library of Congress Digitizes Stunning Collection of Early Panoramic Postcards

In project that began in 2008, the Library of Congress has finally completed scanning this incredible collection of old panoramas

panoramic card

panoramic card

The Library of Congress has an absolutely unparalleled collection of all types of historical documents and records — many of which require extreme care to properly look after. Which is why it comes as no surprise that the Library's stunning set of over 400 panoramic postcards has taken since 2008 to properly digitize, and make their way online.

The early years of the 20th century saw an explosion of popularity of panoramic postcards, measuring some 3.5 inches tall and 10 inches long. Representing 39 different states, the Library of Congress received more than 400 of these, generally as copyright deposits. When the Library inventoried the postcard collection back in 2008, they deemed these worthy of greater attention, and it's only now that the entire set has been released fully online.

Library of Congress

The cards required special attention and care, as many where original photographic prints, known "real photo" postcards. As explained in a blog post

It took a few years to gather the resources necessary for scanning and cataloging. Then, the Library’s Duplication Services carefully captured the digital images, and a talented team in the Prints & Photographs Division created the catalog records, finishing up last week.

If you're interested in historic panoramas, the LoC has a collection of more than 4000 large format panoramic photographs, which should provide hours of browsing for history fans.