Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Hoffman/Boaz Postcard Collection


Collection ID:
Boaz, Joyce
Hoffman, David
Hoffman, Iris
Some materials are in
Physical Description:
0.66 Cubic feet
2 boxes
Collection documents both negative and positive images of African Americans, primarily on postcards, as drawings, cartoons, and similar art forms collected mostly during the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
Collection consists of 932 postcards documenting African American life and culture in American society beginning in the late nineteenth century.


Collection is arranged in one series.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Materials were collected between 1946 and 1970 by David and Iris Hoffman and Iris's sister Joyce Boaz. Most of these materials were purchased in antique shops during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was an effort led by black Americans to end institutionalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement, racial segregation, and the negative portrayal of them in American society. It was the intention of the donors to create a collection that would visually document the historical changes in the way African Americans were treated and perceived in the United States. The Hoffmans and Boaz were able to amass 932 postcards depicting both positive and negative images of African Americans in drawings, cartoons, and similar art forms.


Vanessa Broussard-Simmons
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by David and Iris Hoffman in December 1987.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, 1988.

Digital Content

See all digital content in NMAH.AC.0281

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Hoffman/Boaz Postcard Collection, 1898-1920, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box X, folder XX, digital image file XXXXXXX.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Susie Paige Afro-American Greeting Card Collection NMAH.AC.0263
Archives Center Ethnic Imagery Collection NMAH.AC.1138
Victor A. Blenkle Postcard Collection NMAH.AC.0200
Coon Chicken Inn Records and Graham Family Papers NMAH.AC.1153
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana NMAH.AC.0060


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Postcards -- 1900-1950 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture postcards -- 20th century -- United States Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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