University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids

Navigation Aids

University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids
Search Finding Aids

Main Content

Miscellaneous postcards of India

Ms. Coll. 1204

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Miscellaneous postcards of India
circa 1880s-1920s
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1204
0.4 linear foot (1 box)
Language Note:
Printed captions and identification in French, German, Italian, and English.
This collection consists of post cards of India, the bulk of which document missionary work in India and Sri Lanka during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Cite as:
Miscellaneous postcards of India, circa 1880s-1920s, Ms. Coll. 1204, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

Return to Top »


Traces of Christian churches or missions in India date back to the Apostolic Age and early Christianity. By the late 1800s, many countries and Christian sects had established churches or missions in various regions in India. Europeans sent not only their religious ambassadors to India, but also their armies, merchants, explorers, and tourists.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of post cards of India, in particular images documenting missionary work, the British Army, and tourism. The bulk of this collection consists of more than 180 post cards whose subject is missionary work in India and Sri Lanka in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These post cards are primarily from Belgian and French religious organizations, though there are also examples of German, Italian and English missions. All the post cards, save for a few in Asia and Africa, are of missionaries at work in India and Sri Lanka. For the most part, the post cards all come from the following religious orders: Les Capucins français aux Indes (Paris, France), working in Rajputana; Catéchistes-Missionnaires de Marie-Immaculée (France), working in Bangalore, Kumbakonam, Nagpore; Congrégation des Filles de la Croix de Liége (Belgium), working in Bombay, Anand; Chanoinesses – Missionnaires de Saint-Augustin (Héverlé-lez-Louvain, Belgium); Congrégation de Saint-Joseph de Cluny (21, rue Méchain, Paris, France), working in Tindivanam, Pondichery; Franciscaines de Sainte-Marie-des-Anges (France); Jésuites Missionnaires (Lyon, France); Le dernier du prêtre indien (Louvain, Belgium); Lievenspenning voor Indische Priesters (Leuven, Belgium); L’istituto Delle Missioni Estere di Milano (Italy); Missionnaires Oblats de Marie-Immaculée (Paris, France); Missions des Pères Capucins (Antwerp, Beligium), working in Punjab; Mission des PP. Carmes Déchaussés (France or Belgium); Mission des Religieuses Ursulines de Thildonck (Belgium), working in Bengale; Missiën der Paters Oblaten in Ceylon (Belgium); Mission du Maduré (France); Missionnaires de St. Augustin (Belgium); Missions Etrangères de Paris (France); Missions Salésiennes (France); Œuvre de Stain-Pierre-Apôtre (Paris and Lyon, France), working in Verapoly; and Propagation de la Foie (France). The post cards include images of orphanages, children taking lessons, various daily activities at the missions or orphanages, farming scenes, preaching scenes, sisters with their charges, group shots of families or villages, photos of famine victims, and some landscapes. Almost all are black and white though a few are colorized. Many of the cards include a fundraising appeal.

The military post cards consist almost entirely of cards published by the National Army Museum (Camberley). These cards depict British and Indian military officers as painted by Major A. C. Lovett, possibly around 1910. Groups pictured include the 1st Duke of York's Own Lancers; 2nd King Edward's Own Gurkha Rifles (Sirmoor Rifles); 3rd Sappers and Miners; 4th Gurkha Rifles; 6th Gurkha Rifles; 10th Duke of Cambridge's Own Lancers (Hodson's Horse); 12th Cavalry; 14th Murray's Jat Lancers; 15th Ludhiana Sikhs; 18th King George's Own Lancers; 26th King George's Own Light Cavalry; 27th Light Calvary; 39th Garhwal Rifles; 45th Rattray's Sikhs; 125th Napier's Rifles; 127th Queen Mary's Own Baluch Light Infantry; Baluch Horse, Scinde Hours, Jacob's Horse; Bikaner Ganga Risala; Carnatic Infantry (representatives from 6 regiments pictured); Corps Present at the Siege and Assault of Delhi, 11857 (representatives of 14 regiments pictured); Dogras (representatives from 5 regiments pictured); Former "Hyderabad Contingent" Cavalry; Frontier Force; Governor-General's Bodyguard; Imperial Service Troops (representatives from 15 regiments pictured); Indian Artillery (No. 31 Mountain Battery); Indian Cavalry (representatives from 7 regiments pictured); Pioneer Regiments (representatives from 11 regiments pictured); Punjab Frontier Force; Punjab Regiments (representatives from 14 regiments pictured); Rajput Regiments (representatives from 6 regiments pictured); Rajputana Infantry (representatives from 7 regiments pictured); and Queen's Own Corps of Guides (Lumsden's). It is possible that these were painted to document the uniforms and many of Lovett's prints were published in Indian Army Uniforms Under the British from the 18th century to 1947 by W.Y. Carman ( Call no.: UC485.I4 C3 1961). Lovett also served as the illustrator for  The Armies of India, by G. MacMunn ( Call no.: UA842 .M225 1980). There is also one photo postcard of the 101 Company Royal Garrison Artillery at Attock, which was a fort located in the Punjab on the left bank of Indus.

The final group of postcards appears to be more tourism-centered and consists largely of landscapes and buildings, some of which are unidentified. Post cards that are identified document Kirkee, including the Factory Barrack, the railway bridge, the railway station, and the Wesleyan Church. There is also one postcard identified as Bund Tomb Poona. Several postcards document Indians working, including a fuel seller and a group working in a river; an unidentified dam; and an unidentified building. This group also contains an unidentified portrait of a woman, a photograph of an individual who is being whipped, and a letter addressed to "Son" from S.W. Wagstaff in which he mentions postcards.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2016 May 9

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Clémence Scouten

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Multiple purchases, 2004-2010.

Return to Top »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Great Britain. Army.
  • India. Army.
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
Geographic Name(s)
  • India--History--British occupation, 1765-1947--Photographs
  • India--Photographs
Personal Name(s)
  • Lovett, Alfred Crowdy, 1862-1919
  • Military
  • Missionaries

Return to Top »

Collection Inventory

Missionary post cards, 1920-1963 (Bulk, 1920-1930) .

Box Folder

Various orders, Asia and Africa, undated.

1 1

Various orders, Belgian, undated.

1 2

Various orders, English and unknown, undated.

1 3

Various orders, French, undated.

1 4

Various orders, Italian and German, 1920's.

1 5

Various orders, Sri Lanka, circa 1926.

1 6

Les Capucins français aux Indes, undated.

1 7

Catéchistes Missionnaires de la Marie-Immaculée, circa 1925.

1 8

Congrégation des filles de la Croix de Liége, circa 1924.

1 9

Congrégation de St. Joseph de Cluny, undated.

1 10

Franciscaines de Ste-Marie-des-Anges, 1935-1937.

1 11

Jésuites Missionnaires, undated.

1 12

Le dernier du Pretre Indien, 1925.

1 13

Lievenspenning voor Indische Priesters, 1932-1945.

1 14

Missions des Pères Capucins, undated.

1 15

Mission des PP. Carmes Déchausés, circa 1930.

1 16

Mission des Religieuses Ursulines, 1923-1926.

1 17

Mission du Maduré, circa 1934.

1 18

Missionnaires de St. Augustin, 1934-1947.

1 19

Missions Etrangères de Paris, circa 1928.

1 20

Missions Salésiennes, undated.

1 21

Œuvre de St. Pierre Apôtre, circa 1954.

1 22

Propagation de la Foie, undated.

1 23

Military cards, circa 1910.


Travel and scenery, undated.