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Collection is a set of postcards and photographs from late 19th and early 20th century Turkey, depicting scenes and people in the Üsküdar neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey, and in other unidentified areas of Istanbul. Materials in the Üsküdar series have been individually numbered and described in English and Turkish. Materials in the Ottoman period postcard series have been translated from French and described in English.

Collection consists of individual postcards and photographs of Istanbul, may in the Üsküdar area of the city, dating from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Some postcards are blank; others have been mailed and contain correspondence. Images depicted vary but include markets, mosques, streets and houses, schools, palaces, harbor scenes, piers, and other geographic landmarks. There are images of both people and methods of transportation. Most people are anonymous, but there are some depictions (illustrations) of Florence Nightingale. Photographs are silver gelatin or photomechanical prints. Some postcards are illustrations, at times hand-colored. Items are described individually.

Collection contains postcards acquired at various times by the Rubenstein Library at Duke. Collection is organized into three main categories--International, United States, and Miscellaneous. The International postcards are arranged by country and include cards from France, Italy, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Russia. The collection includes a set of early 20th century postcards from Thessaloniki (also known as Salonica and Selanik), Greece. The United States postcards cover many states, with large numbers from North Carolina and Virginia. The Miscellaneous category contains postcards with different subjects, including modes of transportation, food, tourism, agriculture, wars and battles, heads of state, flowers and plants, advertising, love and friendship, Confederate memorials, poetry, and animals. There are cards intended to be humorous, as well as cards depicting racist stereotypes and caricatures of African American and Native American people. Also included is a series of postcards with images relating to European artists.