Ask the Old Guy – January/February/March 2019

Dear Old Guy,

I have been considering starting a collection to get me out and about, and to help me get through this winter. I have decided on collecting postcards and would appreciate any advice on the subject. Hope you can help.

Wilma Robertson, Hamilton.

Hello Wilma,

People collect postcards for all kinds of reasons and this will certainly be a great way to get out and about. “DELTIOLOGY” (the official term applied to the hobby of postcard collecting) is one of the top three collectibles in Canada today, along with coins and stamps. Billions of postcards have been produced since the late 1800s, providing collectors with a huge market to choose from.

Starting a collection shouldn’t be that costly and postcards don’t require a large space to display your finds. I would suggest limiting your collection to a few areas of interest. Some people acquire postcards based on places they have visited in an effort to add to a memory of an event or experience. Collectors  also concentrate on specific times in history, local towns, or countries that are depicted in the cards. Humorous cards can be another area of interest or postcards by certain photographers or artists. Condition, as with most collectibles, is of utmost importance to the value of cards so make sure that you store your cards away from direct sunlight and in a dry location. Look for cards with crisp sharp corners, without folds or writing on the front. Watch out for cards that have been stored improperly that smell musty and might be faded.  I would also suggest attending postcard shows to find out what’s hot and what’s not. You will find that most postcard dealers are approachable and eager to share their knowledge with you.

There are two important shows coming up this winter that are advertised in the Wayback Times Events Calendar. The first is the 38th annual Toronto Postcard Club Show held at the Japanese Cultural Centre on February 24th and the second is the Postcard Memories Show at the Bingemans Centre in Kitchener, March 17th. As a reader of the Wayback Times you are also probably aware of Mike Smith’s article on postcards in every issue. It is always a great source of information on postcards and Mike has also published many excellent books on the subject. You can visit his website:  and find a great assortment of publications to choose from to help you with your new hobby.

I’m sure you will enjoy collecting postcards and meeting some of the great people involved in Deltiology.


The Old Guy

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