Welcome to the digital site of the FSU Card Archive, available through the support of the Rhetoric and Composition Program at Florida State University. This archive--which includes postcards and stereocards from the late 19th to the early 21st centuries—(re)presents various social and cultural values, some of which may be different from our own; however, we believe it is important to preserve these examples of everyday writing for academic purposes. The focal point of the archive is several thousand postcards that we have collected, preserved, and made digitally searchable across several metadata fields (e.g., date, place, image, genre, publisher, etc.). Here are some core values of this archive:
- The site is fluid. Whether by adding new artifacts, revising old one, or adding tags and exhibits, this archive will grow larger and richer in content as it used. The system is purposefully expandable so that as time and resources allow, we can archive a range of materials beyond our initial scope.
- The archivists' work on the site should be visible. We don't pretend transparency or objectivity, nor are they goals. Instead, we acknowledge our role in shaping this space and invite others to add their perspectives. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in rhetoric and composition (and the Editing, Writing, and Media English major at Florida State) are responsible for entering most of the artifacts into the archive. Our interests in visual and multi-media rhetoric, digital humanities, circulation, rhetorical ecologies, materiality, and geographies motivate much of our work in this space.
- We hope this site will be accessible and user-friendly for research outside of our disciplinary interests. While we make no attempt to hide our personal interests in these artifacts, we imagine a much wider array of research activities beyond our expertise and biases. To that end we request that you consider leaving something of yourself behind to benefit others. By requesting "contributor" access, researchers can add card, update or correct metadata fields, or develop an exhibit that future visitors can use for their research.
- We believe our work within this archive constitutes “fair use” of copyrighted materials published after 1923 for several reasons: 1) our use is exclusively for educational, non-profit purposes, 2) the original nature of the images and writing on the cards is relatively public already because of the generic conventions of postcards, 3) the number of cards we use from any particular publisher is minute compared to their overall body of work, and 4) nothing about our archive would undermine the value or sale of postcards.
- Finally, this site is merely the digital component of the archive. We also have the physical, material cards for everything you'll find here. We don't assume that digital and material archives function the same or that one could replace the other; each has its own set of affordances and constraints. Those around Tallahassee are welcome to peruse physical cards and check out those that might be helpful for your research.
We invite you to spend some time in the site. The cards can be accessed through the search functions or by browsing items, exhibits, collections, and timelines. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help or if you want additional access to the site. Check back frequently since new cards are being added to the site each month.