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Harriet Severance Munn Postcard Collection (SC-14)

Identifier: SC-14

Scope and Contents

While the majority of the cards in the albums are blank, many contain correspondence between Harriet, her sister Marjorie, and other family members. Some are addressed to Harriet and her husband John Munn, while others are addressed to Marjorie and appear to have been returned to Harriet at a later date. Other cards bear no address or postmark, but contain notes by Harriet further describing the image on the postcard. They cover a period from circa 1911 to 1928, and some of the correspondence is in French.

The first smaller volume contains over 150 postcards housed in an Italian-made album designed specifically for postcard display. The cards depict the art and architecture of Europe, primarily France (Pau, Lourdes, Carcassone, Avignon, Arles, Orange, Antibes, Grasse) and Italy (Rome, Siena). Also included is a single, loose “Graves Stereal-Graph”, also known as a stereogram or stereograph. The stereogram is entitled “Making a Welsh Rabbit” and was created by C.H. Graves in Philadelphia in 1903. On the reverse is a short poem of the same name.

The second larger volume contains over 290 postcards housed in a bound leather album engraved with the words "Souvenir Postals" and "Harriet Severance". The cards depict street scenes and architecture throughout Europe (including London, Windsor, Stratford-upon-Avon, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Trondheim), Africa (Johannesburg, Gilbraltar), the Carribbean (San Juan), and United States (Jekyll Island, GA, Norfolk, CT, Bennington, VT, Richmond, VA), works of art, and postcards with feminist themes.


  • Creation: 1911-1928

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.

Biographical Note

Sisters Harriet (1885-1960) and Marjorie Severance (1887-1958) were raised primarily in Los Angeles and were the granddaughters of the noted abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Caroline Severance (1820-1914). Some of the postcards may have been sent during the time in which Harriet moved to England after marrying John R. Munn. According to the June 10, 1914 issue of "Princeton Alumni Weekly," Munn and Severance were married in London and spent their honeymoon traveling in Norway.


0.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes; 2 albums)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of two bound albums of postcards mostly depicting art and architecture throughout Europe and the United States. The volumes belonged to Harriet Severance Munn, and many contain correspondence between Harriet, her sister Marjorie, and other family members.


The collection is organized into one series.

Series 1
Postcard Albums, 1911-1928, undated

Custodial History

Thes collection was donated by Sally Todd in 1996.

Related Materials - VMFA Library: Rare Books

  • Scenes From Every Land: Over Five Hundred Photographic Views Designed to Take the Place of an Extended Tour of the World, 1893

Processing Information

The postcards were left in their original albums. There is damage to the cover of the larger volume.

Finding Aids to Special Collections in the VMFA Archives | Harriet Severance Munn Postcard Collection
Special Collection 14 (SC-14)
Kevin Williams, Archives Intern; Finding aid encoded by Sylvio Lynch III, Archives Intern (2020)
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Archives Repository

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220-4007 United States