'Groeten uit Amsterdam': The Perils and Prospects of the Use of Postcards for Urban History

Seminar, 13 August 2004

In recent years, postcards have enjoyed increasing use as historical evidence in fields including art history, anthropology, and geography. Often difficult to date and lacking provenance, the postcard as historical document presents a number of methodological challenges. Focusing on the case of Amsterdam circa 1900 – during the heyday of popular postcard collecting – the seminar will suggest possible approaches for making sense of these evocative examples of visual culture.

Nancy Stieber teaches architectural history at the University of Massashusetts, Boston, where she is also chair of the Art Department. She is currently writing a book entitled The Metaphorical City: On the visual representation of Amsterdam around 1900. Her previous book, Housing Design and Society in Amsterdam: Reconfiguring Urban Order and Identity, 1900-20 was co-recipient of the Spiro Kostof Award in 1999. She is editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Professor Stieber has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Getty postdoctoral fellowship and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)