Collecting Policy

This is a codification of how I decide which images to add to my collection. This will be useful in the future as I can then more easily justify an inclusion (and just as importantly an exclusion).

But first, a short note on diversity and racial representation within my collection: You will notice there are few (if any) people of color or non-cacuasion ethnic groups in my collection. The reasons for this are probably historically complex, but for me the reasons are much simpler; my collection focuses primarily on the Midwest (which was not exactly known for being a hotbed of diversity in the late 1800’s), I seldom come across any cards where the subjects are not white, and lastly, when I do, these cards are generally cost prohibitive.

Current Collecting Policy

  1. Image must be compelling. There is little reason to collect imagery that is unmoving.
  2. Card must be untrimmed and in good shape.
  3. US-centric with a focus on the Midwest.
  4. Preference given to photos that are not obviously taken in a studio.
  5. No post mortem photos.
  6. Emphasis on interesting fashion, hair styles, or items of interest in the photo (toys, musical instruments, pets).
  7. Identified subjects are more desirable.

I primarily collect cards of attractive young women and girls, as well as handsome men, and men with interesting facial hair. I find babies to be boring.

In rare cases I am willing to violate my collecting policy depending on the card itself. I will take a damaged card if the imagery is particularly of interest. Sometimes a card just “speaks” to me and I can’t exactly explain why I want it. I may buy a card just because of a hat or because of the subject’s expression or because it was taken by a specific photographer. I make allowances for cards that come in a lot.

My cards are generally not for sale, but if you find you can’t live without a specific card, reach out and we might be able to come to an agreement. I am open to trades.

I may update these guidelines at any time.

Last updated 12/10/2018 by Christopher L. Jorgensen

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