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Early 20th Century Postcard Collection Donated to Putnam Museum

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One of the historic postcards that were donated to the museum.

Earlier this month, Hudson Highland residents Barry and Mary Jean (MJ) Ross donated their Hudson River Postcard Collection to the Putnam History Museum. The collection is comprised of 240 distinct early 20th Century postcards. The postcards feature scenes of the Hudson River Valley – and related views, activities, landmarks, and landscapes – from New York Harbor to the river’s source north of Albany.

It is one of the most comprehensive Hudson River postcard collections and provides a thoughtfully curated and comprehensive journey throughout the early 20th century Hudson River Valley.

Barry Ross started the collection when, about 15 years ago at a Cold Spring antique emporium, he saw, among the photos, paintings, and other ephemera, a postcard of the Highlands. 240 cards later, the Ross’ believe now is the time to find a permanent home for the collection so that it can be made available for research and – more importantly – enjoyed by the public.

With that goal in mind, the “Barry C. and Mary Jean (MJ) Ross Hudson River Postcard Collection” will be cataloged, digitized, and made available on both the Putnam History Museum’s digital database ( and the larger New York Heritage database website.

New York Heritage ( is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and others who are interested in learning more about the people, places, and institutions of historical New York State. The site provides immediate free access to more than 170 distinct digital collections that reflect New York State’s long history.

Museum Executive Director Cassie Ward said the collection will also be shown at the museum through various exhibitions and programs in the months and years to come.

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