Souvenir: Postcards as memory, place, identity

What can a postcard tell us?

Date Saturday 25 Feb 2023

Time 14.00 - 15.00

Location Juniper Auditorium

The 20th Century saw an explosion of tourism at home and abroad, and with it the invention of the postcard.

Much like social media today, postcards were powerful visual tools in constructing ideas of place and identity, communicating political messages, and re-enforcing ideas of Empire. These souvenirs also opened-up the world for many people, providing windows to far-flung places and escapism from working structures.

Join us to hear from Dr Seonaid Rogers, Dr Susan Mains and Sue John, to consider global histories, national narratives and identities using the postcard as a starting point. Chaired by V&A Dundee Curator Mhairi Maxwell.

About our speakers

Dr Seonaid Rogers

Dr Seonaid Rogers is a historian of visual culture, tourism and narratives of national identity. Her work on postcards has included a Fellowship at the Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

Sue John

Sue John is a PhD History Researcher at the University of Glasgow, examining the material culture of the suffrage movement, with a particular focus on anti-suffrage postcards mass-produced by private manufacturers. Sue is also Director of Operations, Resources and Enterprise at Glasgow Women’s Library, the UK’s sole Accredited Museum dedicated to women’s history.

Dr Susan P. Mains

Dr Susan P. Mains is a Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law, at University of Dundee. Her work examines transnational identities and media representations of mobility, borders, and social justice in the context of Caribbean migration, creativity in Jamaica and Scotland, urban landscapes and heritage tourism.

Sincerely, Valentines – From Postcards to Greetings Cards is on now and free to visit. Did you or your family work at Valentines? We are gathering memories about life at the factory, and its significance to Dundee. We would love to hear from you! Contact us at

Image courtesy of the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums, ID: 2012-10-2

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