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Interregional Conference “Postcards in the Collections of Libraries and Museums. Study, Storage, and Popularisation” was Held at RSAL

Interregional Conference “Postcards in the Collections of Libraries and Museums. Study, Storage, and Popularisation” was Held at RSAL

The event organisers were the Section of Art Libraries and Museum Libraries of the Russian Library Association, the Russian State Art Library (RSAL), and the Union of Postcard Collectors of Russia.

Primarily, the annual scientific and practical conference held on 11 November 2023 at RSAL was a platform for professional communication; conversation with experts; and the exchange of experience related to the research, preservation, and popularisation of postcards in libraries and museums. In addition to demonstrating that the topic has not lost its relevance, the topic’s increasing demand was illustrated. Thanks to the in-person-remote format of the conference, it enabled the participation of a large number of speakers and listeners from different cities of Russia.

The event brought together leading library specialists: the Russian State Art Library, the Russian National Library, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, the Voronezh Nikitin Regional Universal Scientific Library, the Ulyanovsk Book Palace – the Lenin Regional Scientific Library, the Pushkin Library-Museum of the Central Library of Belgorod, and the National Library of the Udmurt Republic.

Conference participants included employees of Russian museums – the State Russian Museum, the Arkhangelskoye Museum-Reserve, the Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum, the Nizhnevartovsk Shuvaev Local Lore Museum, the Murmansk Regional Art Museum, the Dmitrov Kremlin Museum-Reserve, the Saratov Radishchev State Art Museum, the Oldenburg Palace Complex, the M.V. Lomonosov Museum, School No. 1530 “The Lomonosov School,” the Belgorod State Museum of Folk Culture, the Krapivensky Museum of Local Lore, and the Department of the Museum-Estate of L.N. Tolstoy “Yasnaya Polyana”.

Messages from representatives of libraries and museums touched on interesting subjects concerning the history of the formation of postcard collections, their informational and educational capabilities, primarily as a historical and cultural source, and their study and preservation. In many speeches, special attention was paid to the methodological issues of attribution, scientific description, and the exhibition of postcards. Many participants presented rich illustrative material reflecting the wide variety of collections.

Well-known collectors — members of the Union of Postcard Collectors of Russia — took part in the discussion and shared the results of their research on the history of the emergence and development of postcards.

The conference concluded with the awarding of the title “Honorary Reader of RSAL” to the famous collector, professional deltiologist, and longtime friend of the library — Arsen Melitonyan. It was he who took the initiative to create the Club of Postcard Lovers at RSAL. Over the course of many years, Arsen has provided active support to the library in the creation of many exhibition projects and expert advice in the acquisition of RSAL’s specialised collection.

All participants appreciated RSAL’s high level as an informational and methodological centre in the field of collection formation and postcard description techniques. For many years, the Centre for Visual Information of RSAL has paid special attention to libraries and art literature departments, which are at the forefront of the formation of postcard collections.

In the final discussion, the participants unanimously noted the growing popularity of the topic of postcard collections and the friendly atmosphere of the event, which promoted professional communication.