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Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink! Saucy Postcards Back on Display

After a ban placed on sexy seaside postcards back in the 1950s the popular saucy cards will finally be seen again from public display racks.

The postcard collection includes 1300 cards that were held at the University of Kent in the British Cartoon Archive after they were confiscated for violating the obscenity laws that were in place from 1951-1961.

Anyone can view the collection which will be scanned and place for viewing on the internet due to a £150,000 project grant that was funded by the JISC.  They will also be on display at two separate exhibitions over the summer- one held at the Templeman Library at the University itself and another that will open at the end of May in the old Magistrates Court in the city of Margate.

The funding will also be used to scan up over 14,500 political satire cartoons from British cartoonists over the past decade including work featured in the Guardian by Steve Bell and work featured in the Daily Mail by Mac.

The British Cartoon Archive at Kent holds the national collection of cartoons of political and social comment published in British newspapers and magazines – more than 120,000 original drawings by over 350 cartoonists plus 85,000 newspaper cuttings. Its website at already provides access to 140,000 catalogued cartoons.

Head of the Archive, Dr Nick Hiley said: “We are very pleased to be able to make both these fascinating collections available freely to a much wider audience.

“The seaside postcards in particular have already created a lot of interest. Not only are many of the cards still amusing, but they represent a landmark in social and legal history. They are a vivid illustration of how our notion of obscenity has changed over time – these postcards were considered offensive 60 years ago, but far more risqué material is now widely available via the internet.”

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