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Humour Collection: Bamforth & Co. Ltd. Postcards: Home

About the Collection

Collection Ref.:             IE BL/VC/H/B
Title:                            Humour Collection: Bamforth & Co. Ltd. Postcards
Dates:                           1954 - 1985
Level of description:    Item
Extent:                          293 items
Administrative History:
IE BL/VC/H/B is in the main an incomplete sample from the 'COMIC' series of postcards published by Bamforth & Co. Ltd. held in UCC Library. This collection is part of the Humour Collection, a deposit of humour-related printed materials by Emeritus Professor Des MacHale, School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Cork to UCC Library. These postcards were transferred from UCC Library's Cataloguing Section to UCC Library's Archives Service in 2021.
Biographical History:
Bamforth & Co Ltd was a publishing, film and illustration company based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, England. It was started in 1870 by James Bamforth, a portrait photographer in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Bamforth published comic postcards, depicting situations with captions or speech-bubbles often with double-entendre / pun-like meanings of a type of humour. "With over 70,000 images produced in over 90 years by such illustrators as Douglas Tempest, Arnold Taylor & Phillip Taylor, Ben Fitzpatrick and the famous Donald McGill, Bamforth was the iconic seaside postcard." (Text from: Mercury Print & Packaging Ltd.). 


The postcards were published by Bamforth & Co. Ltd., Yorkshire as the "COMIC" Series, with each card having a specific number within this series. The arrangement is in numerical order of the postcard's number within the "COMIC" series.

Certain cards in this collection do have names, addresses and television licence numbers for member of the public from [1980s] Ireland, posted to a competition held by the national broadcaster RTÉ "Murphy's Micro Quiz".

There is also a series of postcards for other printers. These are described after the last of the "COMIC" series postcards and arranged by date order, when known. 

Disclaimer: the humour portrayed in these postcards is of its time but now dated and might be regarded as offensive in modern society but it does reflect a style and type of humour of its day. University College Cork in no way endorses the depictions of race and gender in the postcards.

Access & Use

Access: Apply via online Request Form during the opening times of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid: Item descriptions (see separate tab above, next to 'Home' tab)

Additional Collection Information

Language: English

Related Material: Bamforth & Co. Ltd., University of Huddersfield, Archives Hub UK

Copyright:  Mercury Print & Packaging, in Leeds, UK.

Collection Image

Humour Collection: Bamforth & Co. Ltd. Postcards