Picture postcards

The NL collects picture postcards from the 19th to the 21st centuries.
© NL, Simon Schmid

The Prints and Drawings Department of the Swiss National Library is home to one of the most extensive collections of picture postcards in Switzerland.

Content and scope

  • Picture postcards from the end of the 19th century to the present day
  • Includes some text-only written greetings cards, official PTT postcards, picture greetings cards featuring lithographs and original photographs, and the latest postcards with views of places and landscapes produced using the latest printing techniques from agencies
  • Artists’ postcards
  • Thematic picture postcards (“kitsch” postcards featuring humorous but also political subjects, and period documents such as postcards on the First and Second World Wars)

Collection principles

The NL collects picture postcards on Switzerland

  • as a visual record of the country’s topographic structure,
  • as depictions of various cultural spaces,
  • as a visual record of Swiss and tourist communication culture and the diversity of its themes.

Research and access

  • Original postcards can be viewed on site. Please contact us to arrange an appointment.

Last modification 31.10.2022

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Swiss National Library
Prints and Drawings Department
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern
Phone +41 58 462 89 71

Print contact

Opening hours

by appointment