As any Olivetian knows, Olivet College is a beautiful place. There are countless pictures of the college in every season, and students and faculty alike love to show off those gems. This has always been true of Olivet, and evidence can be seen in the Olivet College Archives. Postcards, an everyday object and common souvenir for tourists, have the ability to tell Olivet’s history.
One of the Archives’ gems is several postcard collections that have been donated by Sarah Engle Lawrence, an Olivet College alumni and donor, and Marty (Mason) Jennings, an OC alumni and current director of alumni engagement, among others donors.
Aside from the beautiful views and interesting snapshots, there is a lot students and faculty can learn from the postcard collections. The old railroad station, mill, and countless businesses can be seen in the photographs, some dating as far back as the early 1900s. In addition, the messages scripted on the hundreds of postcards tell stories of past Olivetians and friends. Like our text messages and Tweets, Olivetians of the past used these postcards to communicate and share the views of Olivet. In fact, these postcards were mailed not just around Michigan, but around the country.