Library of Congress Digitizes Archive of Early 20th Century Panoramic Postcards



Last month, the Library of Congress finally finished a project they started all the way back in 2008: they finished digitizing an archive of 467 panoramic postcards from the early 1900′s. All of these postcards are now available online for interested folks to peruse through, learn from and enjoy.

Panoramic postcards like these first came onto the scene in the early 1900′s to document everything from sweeping landscapes to towering skyscrapers. Measuring in at 3.5 x 10-inches, they were usually folded for more compact delivery, and many of them were delicate “real photo” postcards, which is why it took the Library of Congress so long to scan them in.

Like any photography fad, even back then the technique was sometimes used just for the sake of using it. Capturing a beautiful landscape or a massive ocean liner in a panorama made sense … capturing a flock of seagulls eating fish on the beach may not have warranted a panorama.


Most are in black and white, but there are a few color postcards thrown in as well. To browse the entire selection and see what places like Jersey City, Atlantic City and Brooklyn looked like in the early 1900′s, click here to check out the entire archive.