Writing a family history that has excitement when you don’t feel like a creative writer is challenged. However, you can enrich your family history projects through pictures from the past, such as post cards!
My Geiszler and Brown family lines have resided in Ohio for at least 100 years. A few years back, I wrote the first draft of my direct Geiszler and Brown ancestors. I’m working towards publishing final drafts for each family member.
The Ohio Postcard Collection offers images from across the Buckeye State,
If I’m writing about an ancestor’s military history, I can find postcards of the Columbus, Barracks. Look at the building and other scenes that make this building more than just words on a page!
If my ancestor was a baseball player or attended baseball games in Cincinnati around 1907, check out this ballpark postcard!
If I had an ancestor that had medical issues, served as a health care provider, or attended a college, such this one in Oberlin, Ohio, then the postcard collection can help. Use hospital and university postcards to enhance your family history.
Are these Postcards Copyright Free?
I’m not a legal expert. The Ohio Postcard collection advises that it’s our responsibility to determine the usage rights for such postcards. Copyright.gov states,
“For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.”
This paragraph suggests that images published, such as these post cards, are in the public domain and free of restricted use beginning with 1923. You will have to double check those facts. If they hold true, then start using these postcards in your family history projects.
If your ancestors aren’t from Ohio, then check state archives to see if such digital post card collections exist.