Explore Your Archive: Bristol in old postcards

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

Allie Dillon, Senior Archivist (Public Services)

Explore Your Archive logoFrom 8 to 16 November 2014, Bristol Archives is joining the national Explore Your Archive campaign. We want to encourage people to discover historic Bristol through old postcards on the Know Your Place website. Would you like to use the postcards to tell your own stories – or could you volunteer for us?

As part of Bristol University’s Know Your Bristol On The Move project, our wonderful volunteers have already researched over 1,000 postcards and uploaded them to the site.

The postcards come from the Vaughan postcard collection – a set of almost 10,000 local images collected by the late Roy Vaughan and donated to Bristol Archives.

Our volunteers have done some great research to discover where the photographs were taken and when, as well as digging out some of the stories behind the pictures.

photo of ss chicago city on a mapWe now know, for example, that this photo of the SS Chicago City was taken when this Bristol ship was returned for repairs after being struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat in 1917. This is just one of many photos of the Bristol and Avon docks that were recently uploaded.

There are several areas of Bristol with postcards and stories still to be added, such as Stapleton, St Anne’s (Brislington), St George, Blaise Castle Estate, Henbury and Kings Weston.

To mark Explore Your Archive week, we have several events planned, with different ways to get involved – follow the links to find out more:

Explore Your Archive: postcard volunteers needed!

During Explore Your Archive week, we’re hoping that even more volunteers help to add postcards to Know Your Place, so we’re running extra volunteer sessions. If you’re interested in exploring old photographs, why not join us? There’s no need for a long-term commitment and we’ll give you plenty of support.

Explore Your Archive: create a Story Map

Gloucester Road Story MapWe also want to share our postcards with you! This photo is a Story Map for Gloucester Road – would you like to create a Story Map to tell the story of your neighbourhood or share an aspect of Bristol’s history? We’ll help you to use images from Know Your Place to build a webpage to share on your own website or social media.

Explore Your Archive: Discovering the ‘White City’

Don’t miss our free talk on Saturday 8 November, when author Clive Burlton will be giving a free talk about Bristol’s White City, which he researched using postcards from the Vaughan collection. He’ll be joined by Bristol University’s Stephen Gray with a virtual reality tour created using the postcard images.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be sharing lots of photos from the collection.

And watch out for us if you visit Millennium Square – our pictures will be broadcast on the Big Screen from 8 – 16 November 2014.

Explore Your Archive: a world without records is a world without memory.

3 comments on “Explore Your Archive: Bristol in old postcards

  1. Mr R Morley

    I am seeking pictures of a relative’s shop in Queens Road, Bristol.

    Newberys furniture store.

    Any help would be welcomed


    1. Bristol Archives

      Hi Mr Morely. There is a photograph within our collections that shows the Newbery’s premises on Queens Road (RefNo. 42562/Ph/1/13/265). There are also advertisements for the furniture business within an edition of the magazine, “The Bristolian and Clifton Social World” (RefNo. 40156/6). The catalogues for these documents are available at http://archives.bristol.gov.uk.

      You are welcome to visit our public searchroom to view them. Details of our opening hours and visitor guidelines can be seen on our website: http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-archives/your-visit/


  2. Ken Coombes

    I have a few old ( Circa 1913 ) postcards of Bristol and do not know where to post them ???


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