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Have An Old Postcard? Upload it to Geneanet!

Posted by Sean Daly on Nov 17, 2021

When researching ancestors, we often discover a place associated with them – where they were born and grew up, where they married and lived, where they moved to. The hometowns and villages of immigrants are always of interest. The Geneanet postcards database is a fabulous resource of nearly half a million postcards from Europe (especially France) and elsewhere, uploaded by members such as yourself. And postcards can be linked to profiles in your family tree! Learn how to do this in a few easy steps.

Screenshot - Geneanet Postcards page

First, some ground rules

  • Old postcards are best, before 1960 please.
  • No photo credit should be shown on the postcard. Uploaded postcards will have the CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0 Creative Commons license.
  • Prepare a high resolution JPEG format file. A scanner is better than a smartphone for this. The image size should be at least 1280 pixels in either width or height. A good approach is to scan at high optical resolution (say, 300 or 600 dpi) to a lossless format like TIFF or PNG, then resize to a smaller JPEG copy for publication. Crop the image so that only the postcard shows; avoid blurry or partial images. Be aware that each successive save of a modified JPEG file degrades the quality, so it’s best to crop a lossless TIFF or PNG image before converting it to JPEG.
  • There is a file size limit of 14MB; good quality JPEG images will be well under this limit.
  • If you are interested in contributing a Now and Then image (postcard plus modern photo of the same place), be sure the geolocalization is activated on your smartphone or camera.

Here’s how to upload your postcard

Log in to Geneanet and under the Projects menu, select Postcards:

Geneanet - Upload a postcard page

In the lower right hand corner, click on Upload a postcard. This screen will appear:

screenshot - loaded postcard filename

Drag and drop, or select your JPEG file through your system’s file selection dialog windows. Note: the site only allows the upload of one image at a time.

Next, select a theme:

screenshot - select a theme

By default, the image is tagged as Unique view: a single photo. if the postcard has several views, such as the sights of a city, select Multiview.

The following fields are optional, but will help other Geneanet members find your postcard. Enter the year; if you are not sure, try your best guesstimate, as users may filter their search by decade or century. Be sure to enter only a number. For the place, start typing the town or city name; the place will likely be already in the database. If not, you can click on “or add a place”.

The next step is to indicate – if known – as precisely as possible where the postcard’s photo was taken. You may enter the address, add GPS coordinates, or (if the town/city is already in the system) move the pointer on the map.

screenshot - postcard location

Next, add information about the publisher which may be present on the postcard. And finally, verify that the Creative Commons license attribution box is checked then click on the red Save button. If you have another postcard ready, you can click on the green Save and add a new postcard button instead.

screenshot - Your postcard has been updated

If you wish, you may edit the image and its metadata at this time or later. Postcards are moderated before publication, to assure the quality of the Geneanet database. Thanks to genealogists like you, everyone can learn about a place from your postcards!

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