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The Institute of American Deltiology

The Institute of American Deltiology (IAD) is a non-profit established in Pennsylvania in 1993 by Donald Brown. The Institute was established to act as library, gallery and research center for the study of postcards and North American history and culture. The Institute is currently located in Myerstown, Pennsylvania.  

Postcard of the Institute of American DeltiologyDonald Brown began collecting postcards in 1943, joining postcard clubs and developing an interest in postcards throughout his adolescence. His formal college education was focused on Library Science and American Studies, which encouraged and enhanced his collecting. Over the years, Mr. Brown has developed an impressive collection and his desire to make this cards available for research led him to establish the Institute of American Deltiology.  

The IAD collection is estimated to contain over one million postcards. This collection includes secondary resources to support the collection; such as a library of books, periodicals, slides, and news bulletins. The collecting priorities for the Institute are defined as: 

  • Postcards printed and published by North American firms.
  • Real photographic postcards from all fifty of the United States.
  • Postcards relating to all 67 counties of Pennsylvania, regardless of subject or place of publication.
  • Literature of deltiology, particularly related to North American postcard collecting.

Strengths of the collection include postcards depicting Pennsylvania, Chicago and North American architecture. 

Postcard of the Institute of American DeltiologyThe Special Collections at the University of Maryland received this collection through a generous donation from Donald Brown. We currently have a small portion of the IAD collection, which will be enhanced over the coming years. For information about those postcards in the IAD collection that are not held in by the University of Maryland, please contact:

Institute of American Deltiology
300 West Main Avenue
Myerstown, PA 17067

(717) 866-7747
broiad@comast.net