Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: Historic Postcards of Jefferson City

Missouri State Archives
Historic Postcards of Jefferson City

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Historic Postcards of Jefferson City
Source: Missouri State Archives


Jefferson City, named in honor of the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, became the capital of Missouri in 1821. It is situated on the Missouri River in Central Missouri, and in 2010 had a population of 43,079. It is also the county seat of Cole County. As the center of state government, Jefferson City is home to many government buildings including the Missouri State Capitol (built 1917), the Governor’s Mansion (built 1871) and the Missouri State Penitentiary (built 1836). The State Penitentiary, once the oldest prison west of the Mississippi, today is a popular tourist attraction. Jefferson City is also home to Lincoln University, a historically black university founded by veterans of the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored Infantry after the Civil War.

The Collection

This collection contains 298 postcards of Jefferson City, Missouri that date from 1898-1960. Images include government buildings, street scenes, stores, banks, courthouses, schools and colleges, and residences. The postcards were selected from two collections housed at the Missouri State Archives: The Dr. Arnold G. Parks Postcard Collection, 1905-2006 and the Alice Fast Postcard Collection, 1906-1950. Postcard collecting, or deltiology, is ranked as one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, just behind coin and stamp collecting. Picture postcards came into vogue in the United States around the time of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Printed picture cards are often artist renditions of a scene, and are recognized by distinct pixilation when examined closely. Real photo postcards, on the other hand, use a photographic process to print the image directly to photographic paper. Smooth transitions between tones are evident with a magnifying glass, rather than the dot effect of a printed card. Some will also have a silver sheen in the darker areas when viewed at an angle due to the silver used in photographic processes.

Rights and Reproductions

Use of digital images found on this website is permitted for private or personal use only. This material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Copyrighted materials may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of Fair Use, outlined in section 107 of copyright law. Publication, commercial use, or reproduction of any images or accompanying data from this collection requires prior written permission from the copyright holder. User assumes all responsibility for obtaining the necessary permission to publish (including in digital format) from the copyright holder. To order a reproduction from the archival TIFF file or inquire about permissions, contact Missouri State Archives at: (573) 751-3280 or email archref@sos.mo.gov.

How to Use This Collection

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Related Sources

Jefferson City Materials:
Capitol Construction Photographs

Historic “Blue Book” Photograph Collection

Postcard Collections:
Mary Alice Hansen Postcard Collection

Frenchtown Postcards

Historical Images of St. Charles County Postcards

Historical Postcards of Springfield, Missouri

Joplin Historical Postcards

Kansas City Postcards

Postcards from the St. Louis World’s Fair and Exposition

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