The Ille-et-Vilaine Archives now preserve almost 30,000 postcards of Brittany. This documentary collection was built from the 1980s onwards through regular purchases and donations and continues to be enriched today. Every postcard is systematically described and digitized to allow for wide dissemination.
The Ille-et-Vilaine Archives collection consists mainly of documents from the early 20th century, the golden age of postcards. Production expanded rapidly during this period thanks to the widespread use of the collotype process, which was more flexible and less expensive than the photographic techniques previously used and produced a very high-quality matte image. Local printing developed very quickly, with many village grocers and tobacconists beginning to produce postcard models. Their inside knowledge of their local areas meant that they could immortalize scenes from daily life and village celebrations, as well as photograph local manors and other stately homes.
Throughout the twentieth century, publishers continued to produce and disseminate postcards on various themes, allowing us to take stock of the way our local area developed over this hundred-year period.
This collection includes views of religious buildings, civilian and military structures, rural heritage (wash houses, mills, fountains), leisure and day-to-day life, commercial, industrial and artisanal life, railway stations and railways, etc. In short, plenty to explore from Brittany past and present!