CX Project

The Physical Social Network

The Physical Social Network

A prototype, which will explore past writing practices through a physical, interactive experience with a digital collection of Edwardian postcards.

1 Commercial Partner
4-5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton & Hove BN1 1EE
4 Academic Researchers
CX PhD Student
Lancaster University
Senior Lecturer in Digital Literacies, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University

The early British postcard was a fascinating and unique method of communication. Popularised in the Edwardian age (1901-1910), the postcards allowed for a cheap, easy, and fast means of sending short messages. Up to six deliveries a day were made in major cities and 6 billion cards were sent throughout the period. In her work with the Edwardian Postcard Project, Dr. Julia Gillen collected more than 3000 cards from the period and successfully digitised 1000 cards, both images and their messages. In doing so, she created an Edwardian digitised postcard archive, which can be accessed via a website where people can explore the social interactions of the period. Brighton Museums, an established centre for postcard scholarship and major centre of travel and tourism, is an ideal partner and a choice venue for encouraging public interaction. In addition, the Keep Archives in Brighton holds a significant collection of Edwardian postcards (128), which will also be drawn upon as content for the exhibition.

Whilst an online collection of postcards is a way of accessing more than 100 years of history, the digital side of the project is in a disjunctive state compared to its physical intrinsic nature. As such, the current project is looking at the developing of a physical prototype to allow for a different way of interacting with the digital archive.

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