What is it in the human psyche that drives the will to collect things? The object of the mania—insects, coins, stamps, exotic beer bottles, comic books, salt shakers, Tito Puente memorabilia—may vary from one individual to the next, but that same impulse courses through them all.
But the subject today is deltiology—that is, postcard collecting. Devotees of this pastime manage to amass gargantuan holdings of these colorful pieces of the past with a zeal that matches the most avid adherents of the stamp and coin cults. Deltiology is, in fact, the third largest collecting hobby after philately and numismatics. Since there have been postcards for just about every place on the map and anything else one could name, it’s natural that a longtime deltiologist eventually would have to specialize, or simply have a household overstuffed with the hoard.