The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is digitizing and placing online, a unique postcard collection. The Forrest Lamar Cooper Postcard Collection consists of nearly 4,600 color and black-and-white postcards. Most of the cards in the collection spans the years 1892 to 1927, predate World War I and are concentrated on a theme of Mississippiana. The cards feature scenes of small towns, mineral springs, agricultural and forestry activities and railroads. All of the cards in the collection are identified to some degree and can be accessed through a keyword (description, city, county, state) search on the agency’s website and by subject headings through the MDAH online catalog.
MDAH began scanning these postcards during April 2007, creating preservation-quality, negative TIFF images. These were then converted to web-friendly, positive JPEG images by the Electronic Archives section and made available online.
The MDAH reformatting staff is scanning the cards in the roughly geographical order into which Cooper had arranged them. New images of cards will be added to the site as they are completed, until the entire collection is available online. Images that have been scanned thus far may be searched by keywords or browsed by clicking on the "Browse Collection" link.
Forrest Lamar Cooper began collecting postcards in the early 1970s, when he purchased two old postcard albums in a local antiques store. Cooper used about fifty items that were related to Mississippi subjects as a foundation for this collection and traded or sold the unrelated cards. He has acquired postcards by purchase or trade throughout the state, during extensive out-of-state travel, through correspondence with other traders, and attendance at annual trade shows.