Ziperman Postcard Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxSaT SC.005

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Ziperman Postcard Collection


  • ca. 1890-2010 (Creation)


10.5 linear feet (40 boxes)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Margaret L. "Peg" Ziperman was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1915. She received her bachelor's degree at American University and completed graduate work in English Literature at Indiana University. She later earned a second graduate degree in Library and Information Science.

As the wife of an officer in the Army Medical Corps, Dr. H. Haskell Ziperman, Peg had the great fortune to live in many locations and travel the world over. It was during these travels that Peg began to collect postcards documenting the places she visited, as well as those she did not.

Peg spent much of her retirement as a volunteer librarian at the McNay Art Museum Library in San Antonio, Texas. She was a member of the Friends of the McNay, a benefactor of Trinity University, a member of the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Chamber of Music Society, and a member of the Alamo City Theatre Board of Volunteers. She passed away in 2017 at the age of 102.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Postcards have long been popular as an inexpensive way to communicate with loved ones, commemorate travel, or see world landmarks without leaving home.

The earliest known post card was printed in England in 1870; in the early years, most post cards were issued by government postal agencies. It wasn't until the United States Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act in 1898--allowing private publishers to print postcards, which would then have a stamp affixed for mailing--that postcards entered the mainstream as a popular means of communication. Initially, consumers were only permitted to write an address on the back of a postcard; it was not until 1907 that "divided back" postcards were authorized by the United States Post Office.

The period between 1898 and 1918 is considered the "Golden Age of Postcards." Most postcards were manufactured by high quality printers in Germany and Austria; World War I shifted the production of many cards to the United States, where quality diminished.

Deltiology is the collecting and study of postcards, and has been a popular past-time since their inception. Margaret "Peg" Ziperman collected postcards throughout her life, both to document her travels and postcards of places she had never been. She was a longtime resident and active community member in San Antonio. Mrs. Ziperman continued to add postcards to the library's collection until her death in 2017 at the age of 102.

System of arrangement

This collection maintains the original order in which Peg Ziperman arranged her postcard collection. As such, many category titles use outdated, inaccurate, or offensive geographic names.

Postcards are divided into five series: Travel (International), Travel (United States), Fine Arts, Miscellaneous, and Oversized. Within these series, Ziperman created subseries based upon localities, attractions, artists, genres, and topics. Series 6 contains related materials, including photographs and materials on deltiology.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Postcard inscriptions are predominately in English, but many other languages are represented within the collection.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Donated to the library by Peg Ziperman beginning in 1988; continued accruals until her death in 2017.

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


No further accruals are expected.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Digitized copies of some items in this collection are available online at

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Ziperman Postcard Collection, circa 1890-2010. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, San Antonio, Texas.

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions


Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by Colleen Hoelscher, October 4, 2018.

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Accession area

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