This is Some Place

This is Some Place is a book archiving old postcards postmarked in the Boston area from the 1890s to the 1930s. The book focuses on small details of the original ephemera and presents these moments of mail exchange as important methods of communication and interaction during the period. The messages from a set of postcards purchased from the Rhode Island Antiques Mall are presented in a contemporary, legible typeface alongside the images of places long since changed.

The colorful details of the postcards include the official postage stamps, the handmade postal marks, small mysterious drawings and symbols by the sender, the lines printed on the original postcards, and the tinted photos on the front.

The first person text on the postcards is paired with text from Gunnar Björling’s modernist poetry book You Go The Words. The essence of Bjorling’s style was a use of the most common and meaningful words used in language, and the same words are often used in these very minimal postcard correspondences. The written messages are the equivalent of today’s text messages. Postcards were often sent out with messages so brief as “Be at the train at 3.”

The postcard imagery in the book is organized by the local railroad station on the postal route where these postcards were picked up, presenting an alternative map of lost personal experiences of places surrounding Providence.