Value

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Photo taken in Archives at the University of Guelph

My ephemera and I 

           Monetary values of these postcards are not overly high, as there are many more historic landmarks and early postcards of larger significance. None the less, during research online regarding collections of postcards with Guelph landmarks, similar postcards to this one went for $2 to nearly 25$, according to both Ebay and Kijiji. Many people do not see them as historically useful, and may not agree with the price and purchase, as postcards might seem pointless without any writing on them from a well known person or celebrity, or that it is not a very well known feature of Guelph.

            A postcards cultural value can be difficult to discern from the monetary value, as it is usually judged against the worth within society. By isolating the postcard and looking into its historical background and significance, the cultural value can grow or diminish. Spending much time looking into the information available about the postcard production, the image portrayed, and the information that it can provide about past culture, these ephemeral cards can offer insight into past values, pastimes, and manners of communication.

            Emotional value also has an impact on the preservation or care of ephemera. If the postcard had been written on by a family member, or if someone was personally connected to the Homewood Sanitarium, this postcard would hold a higher value to them. As a momento, as well as a keepsake message, could be a final reminder of the person, and could potentially be treasured by those who may have lost them. Many families keep personal items such as journals, photos, jewelry of their ancestors, and postcards could be kept in the same way (“The History of Postcards.” The Art History Archive.). Unfortunately, this postcard does not have any personal handwriting on it, making it nearly impossible to identify or find any personal connection to it, who may have owned it, used it, or why it was kept and given to the archives.

          Personally, I have become very attached to this postcard through the research I’ve done. Being able to spend time in the archives and looking into the history and context in which the postcard has been persevered and the value it offers to historic research, it has been incredibly interesting and rewarding being able to work with it. I hope someday that I might be able to continue this style of research in an archival setting, as that is my goal in receiving my history degree. This course has been very interesting and I am so glad I had the opportunity to take part in this project!