Thursday, October 13, 2016

Students view postcards from the Andrew J. Theising Research Collection

The Andrew J. Theising Research Collection contains a diverse assortment of items concerning East St. Louis, including approximately 339 postcards focusing on the city. Dozens of additional postcards in the Theising Collection concentrate on Granite City, Cahokia, and other places.

In the mid-1990s while pursuing research on East St. Louis, Theising, an avid collector, noticed a variety of photographs, historic documents, maps, postcards, and artifacts related to the city on eBay.

The postcards enhanced his view of East St. Louis. “I noticed how the old images,” observed Theising, “helped explain some of the issues I was trying to convey with my research.”

Student viewing samples of (enlarged) East St. Louis postcards.

Theising spent approximately $10,000.00, over the course of 10 years collecting East St. Louis materials. Those materials formed the basis of his book Made in USA: East St. Louis (2003). In the year that his book was published, Theising donated all of his East St. Louis materials to SIUE’s library.

On Thursday, October 6, and Tuesday, October 11, I coordinated a small showing of postcards from the Theising Collection in the Eugene B. Redmond Learning Center at Lovejoy Library. I had several of the postcards enlarged so that students could take a look at how East St. Louis was presented in the historical images.

• Notebook on the EBR Collection & EBR Learning Center
• Re-discovering St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the Theising Collection
• Culture, Politics & the Redmond Collection

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