January 2, 2013 12:27 PM Subscribe
I'd like to start a blog featuring my small collection of found (used/sent) postcards. What measures should I take for due ethical diligence?
posted by threeants to Human Relations (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have some cool old postcards that I bought at thrift stores. I'm hoping to scan them and post them on a blog. They're all sent from someone to someone else (i.e. not me or anyone I personally know). I'd like to preserve/show as much of the contents as is ethical.
--It stands to reason that generally, if someone's selling a used postcard to a thrift store, the sender (if not the recipient as well) is likely to be unaware of the sale.
--Visible names and addresses.
--The postcards are old. The most recent ones are from the 1960s. The vast majority of people involved are probably dead.
--The text is banal. People don't tend to send postcards confessing their deepest hopes and fears. They tend to write terse sentences about hotels and weather.
--There may not be much of an expectation w/r/t postcards in the first place? Anyone can read them while they're in transit (as opposed to an enveloped letter).
--There might be value in leaving names intact so people doing historical/genealogical searches on their family members could come across these...maybe? I know I'd be thrilled if I randomly came across a postcard sent by my great-grandfather or what have you.
--This is basically what historians do...right? Maybe? No?
So what should I do? Black out part of the name? Part of the address? Can I leave both intact? Is this project too ethically fraught to even embark on? Naturally, whatever I do I'll have a notice saying that if you are somehow party to one of the postcards, I'll take the entry down at your request.
Thanks for the advice!