Skip to main content

About Greetings from Milwaukee

Bliffert Collection


The Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Postcard Collection consists of about 12,000 postcards on a broad range of local, regional, national and international subjects. Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert, who have been actively collecting postcards since 1945, donated the collection to the UW-Milwaukee Libraries beginning in September 1998. Although the collection is still being processed, it may be accessed upon request in Special Collections at the UWM Libraries. Greetings from Milwaukee: Selections from the Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Collection is a virtual collection of selected images from the larger postcard collection, and serves as an introduction to the overall collection. Due to the Blifferts' interest in historic images of their hometown, the collection contains many postcards with images of Milwaukee. This digital presentation focuses on a portion of those Milwaukee postcards produced primarily by Milwaukee publishers.


From the late 19th century to the 1960s, there were numerous postcard publishers active in Milwaukee. The two largest, the L. L. Cook Co. and the E. C. Kropp Co., produced thousands of cards on every imaginable subject. Most cards have images of parks, buildings, street scenes, churches, hotels and restaurants, making them invaluable as a resource on historic Milwaukee. Many of these postcards show scenes of Milwaukee that are now vastly different; many older buildings have been torn down and replaced, parks have been landscaped with less Victorian flair, and raccoons no longer reside in the County Zoo.


Digital Project


The digital project contains 755 postcards, accompanied by detailed image descriptions. The digital collection consisting of 200 images was originally created in 2004. The collection was expanded in 2006 and in 2009. An additional 555 postcards were selected from the Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Postcard Collection and incorporated into to the project. All postcards included in the digital project focus on Milwaukee scenes and landmarks.


The postcards were researched and indexed as part of the project to provide additional points of access. Two types of subject headings were used: terms from the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms (TGM I), which consists of thousands of terms and numerous cross references for the purpose of indexing visual materials, and alternate terms that were deemed appropriate to the local images on the postcards. The collection can also be searched by criteria such as the postcard publisher's name, the title from the card, and the printing process.




Project Staff:

Michael Doylen, Head, Archives, UWM Libraries
Flo Kardoskee, Graduate Student, School of Information Studies
Amelia Klem, Library Services Assistant, Special Collections, UWM Libraries
Krystyna K. Matusiak, Digital Collections Librarian, UWM Libraries
Ling Meng, Digitization Intern, School of Information Studies
Dang-Giao T Nguyen, Digitization Intern, Digitization Unit, UWM Libraries
Max Yela, Head, Special Collections, UWM Libraries

Metadata Consultant: Steve Miller, Head, Monographs Department, UWM Libraries


Contact Us

Please send us your comments or suggestions regarding the collection
To: Ask an Archivist at
Phone: (414) 229-5402
Address: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Golda Meir Library
PO Box 604
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604



Copyright © 2004 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Greetings from Milwaukee: Selections from the Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Collection is published by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

The images may be copied by individuals or libraries for personal use, research, teaching or any "fair use" as defined by copyright law. Please include this statement with any copies you make. Noncommercial, non-subscription Internet editions created for an educational purpose may freely link to the site or individual pages. Anyone interested in any other use of these images, including for-profit Internet editions, should obtain permission from the UWM Libraries.


UWM Libraries
Created: June 2004
Updated: October 2012

Select the collections to add or remove from your search