Knowing her mother graduated from the school in 1932, she decided to purchase the postcard for $5, starting what would be a huge part of her life. “I haven’t stopped since,” said Harris, who works in the New Jersey Room at the Jersey City Free Public Library. Now 27 years later, Harris has collected nearly 1,500 Jersey City-themed postcards and another 800 depictingscenes from across Hudson County. Sitting inside a study room at the Five Corners Branch Library, Harris showed off a snippet of her collection to The Jersey Journal. Organized by category inside different color binders, the postcards show scenes from schools and storefronts, and various phases of Kennedy Boulevard’s development. She keeps a detailed Excel spreadsheet of every card in her collection. “If I had started at 18, and not 37, I would have a lot more,” she said. A former Jersey City teacher, Harris said one of her favorite types of postcards to collect areimages of the city’s schools. Her particular favorite in her collection is a postcard of a group of children standing outside School 11 during a Dutch festival. Harris decided to change careers after battling a serious illness, choosing to go back to school to pursue a library degree. careerShe was later hired to work for the Jersey City library, a position she described as her “dream job.” The oldest postcard in her collection dates back to 1903, before it was legal to write on the back of the piece of mail. Before 1907, messages on postcards could only be displayed in a small box on the front. Her collection — while having not been publicly displayed — was featured in “Changing Jersey City: a History in Photographs,” a book she penned with Leon Yost.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2016/08/nj_librarian_portrays_jersey_city_history_with_pos.html
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