Sometimes a picture is worth more than a 1,000 words. Just ask Cynthia Harris.
The New Jersey librarian was at a flea market in 1989 when she bought an old postcard of the high school her mother attended. It sparked a lifelong passion.
“I haven’t stopped since,” Harris recently told The Jersey Journal.
A former teacher, Harris works at Jersey City Free Public Library, where she is manager of the New Jersey Room, a historical research department.
She has amassed a one-of-a-kind collection of more than 2,300, rare, historic postcards of Jersey City and Hudson County. Some date back to the early 1900s.
Harris researches the locations and people featured on the postcards, which she organizes in binders and tallies on a spreadsheet.
Some of the postcards are highlighted in “Changing Jersey City: a History in Photographs,” a book co-authored by Harris and Leon Yost.
Harris is always searching for new additions to the collection. She’s paid as much as $120 for a postcard.
“I know there’s more out there, so that keeps me hunting,” she said.