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Wish you were here

Recent office move reveals vintage Memorial University postcards

Campus and Community

By Mandy Cook

In the age of instantaneous information, the simple postcard can’t hope to compete.

Before the advent of social media, though, postcards were a popular method of providing a snapshot of one’s vacation or even a quick hello instead of committing to a lengthy letter (remember those, too?).

1/ Inside the booklet

Photo: Chris Hammond

2/ Thomson Student Centre

Photo: Ben Hansen

3/ Main Dining Hall, Paton College

Photo: MUN photo

4/ The Quadrangle, Chemistry-Physics building

Photo: Ben Hansen

5/ Henrietta Harvey Library

Photo: Ben Hansen

6/ Chemistry-Physics building

Photo: Ben Hansen

7/ Reflecting Pool, Chemistry-Physics building

Photo: Ben Hansen

8/ Arts-Education building

Photo: Ben Hansen

9/ Paton College

Photo: Ben Hansen

10/ Queen's College and Long Pond in winter

Photo: Lord Taylor of Harlow

11/ Marine Sciences Research Laboratory

Photo: Ben Hansen

The envelope-less, thin cardboard modes of communication have been so popular during the past 175 years or so — the hobby of collecting postcards, termed deltiology, is surpassed only by coin and stamp collecting — Memorial produced its own versions, which highlighted the St. John’s campus circa 1970.

Thanks to a recent office change in the Chemistry-Physics building, a stack of the vintage postcard booklets came to light. Scenes of student life and campus features are pictured on the front of each; Memorial’s ceremonial crest and directions for postage and the address are found on the back, plus the former names of some buildings and spaces.

Most of the postcard images were taken by former Memorial University photographer and honorary graduate, Dr. Ben Hansen; one image, of Long Pond in winter, was taken by former Memorial president and vice-chancellor, Lord Taylor of Harlow.


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