This Web display offers several approaches to finding
and viewing the postcards in the collection.
On Maps: The locations of the lighthouses
in the collection are marked by icons and names on stylized maps
of regions, sub-regions, or states. Clicking the lighthouse’s
name on a map will link to the page for that site.
Region/State: Sites with lighthouse postcards are grouped
within five regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic, Gulf-Southeast,
Ocean, and Great Lakes, including Canada. Clicking on the name
of a lighthouse in a particular state will link to the page for
By Name: All of the sites with lighthouse
postcards are listed alphabetically using the current lighthouse
names (which occasionally
do not match those printed on the historic postcards). Clicking
on the name will transfer the viewer to the page for that lighthouse.
Where the collection includes more than one postcard for a particular
lighthouse, all of the cards for that lighthouse are displayed
on the same page.
About the Postcard Site Pages
The site page for each lighthouse includes the structure’s
name and location, together with images of the picture and message
sides of the associated postcard(s). These images can be enlarged
by clicking on them. Site pages also contain links to nautical
charts that indicate the location of the lighthouse in question,
its status (that is, whether it is active, inactive, or no longer
standing), and the purpose for its placement. (The nautical chart
images were produced for this Web display by the National Oceanographic
and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA].) A number of chart images
identify more than a single lighthouse location, and the viewer
may need to scroll up or down, or left or right to see the entire
chart section. Additional charts are presented for some sites to
provide more detail of channel or harbor areas. For those postcards
portraying lighthouses no longer standing and not identified on
the site page includes links to historic charts (where available)
that pinpoint their locations.
Each site page also contains abbreviated background information
on the lighthouse and its history, electronic and print references
for further information, the estimated period of the postcard’s
production, and an actual date for the postcard, if the card was
postmarked or the date otherwise noted.
Some words and phrases found on nautical charts or employed to
describe lighthouse functions and attributes (such as “range” or “range
light,” “nautical mile,” “sector” lights,
and “private aid to navigation”) are not in common
usage. Their definitions may be found in the glossary.