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Philo Holcomb, Jr. World War I postcards

Identifier: RHC-140

Scope and Contents

Collection contains numerous postcards and souvenir postcard booklets, as well as travel guides, maps, and other ephemera, primarily depicting locations, art, and architecture in France and Germany. The collection also contains a smaller amount of similar materials relating to Monaco, Netherlands, Canada, and the United States. While most postcards are blank, some contain personal notes from their collector, Philo Holcom, Jr., and others contain messages that Holcomb sent home to his family in Georgia. The collection illustrates aspects of post-World War I Europe from an American veteran tourist's point of view.


  • Majority of material found within 1917-1919


Language of Materials

Holcomb's notes are in English, but many postcards, travel guides, and maps are printed in French, German, and Dutch.

Access to the Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

The collection is the physical property of Grand Valley State University, but all literary rights are retained by the original creators of materials, their estates, heirs, or third parties. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure appropriate permissions for publication beyond the bounds of fair use.

Biographical Note

Philo Holcomb, Jr. (1893-1970) was a native of Atlanta, Georgia who worked as a telegrapher for Western Union, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in Fort Moultrie, South Carolina in August 1917. By late October of that year, he was deployed to France as a Private First Class and was promoted to Sergeant First Class by his discharge in 1919. After his discharge, Holcomb spent several months traveling through France and Germany, collecting postcards, travel guides and maps. Some postcards he sent home to his family in Georgia, while other he apparently retained or used to record his notes on the places depicted on the cards. When he returned home, he returned to Western Union for employment.

Biographical details supplied by Caliban Book Shop.


1.54 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Caliban Book Shop, May 2018.
Philo Holcomb, Jr. World War I postcards
In Progress
Annie Benefiel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States