This remarkable collection is comprised of postcards sent to and collected by Helen Littleton Burns, or members of her family, mostly between 1910-1920. She received many as Christmas and birthday greetings during her childhood (Folders 6 and 10).

The earliest postcard is dated 1907, the same year that the U.S. Government permitted the familiar back divided into message and address blocks. The reverse side of postcards usually have a vertical line to separate the message block and the address block.

Most of the cards were printed in Germany, where printing methods were regarded as the best in the world. The German-printed cards in this collection demonstrate a wide variety of images and techniques. These postcards were popular in the U.S. until anti-German feeling and rising import tariffs immediately before and during World War I made them less so. By the late 19th-century many well-known companies used trade cards to promote their products.