With digitization of notable collections increasing it’s wonderful to learn about new and fascinating archives. This week we briefly feature the Bell Historical Postcard Collection at the University of Hawai’i. Originally donated to the university as a scrapbook by Mr. and Mrs. Bell in 1993, the materials therein were said to be gathered in the 1920s (though specialists working with the collection have found some items from the ’30s). The collection contains 344 postcards, prints, and bromides, all created before the second world war.
Digitized in 2017, the collection can now be browsed on Hawai’i’s website, either from the images and titles or by selecting browse options by Creator, Format, or Subject. Among the subjects that appear in the collection one will find mundane scenes of nature and cultivation like bamboo or fields as well as historical or well-known sites like the tombs of the 47 Ronin and Yokohama harbor. Anyone interested in these early representations of twentieth century Japan should definitely spend some time perusing this fascinating collection!