Archive of the month: Jesus College Christmas Cards
Along with decorating Christmas trees, attending carol services and enjoying mince pies, sending and receiving Christmas cards is one of the staples of the festive season.
The tradition of exchanging Christmas cards has been popular in Britain since the mid 19th century with Summerly's Home Treasury Office on Bond Street in London commercialising the idea by selling printed Christmas cards in 1843.
Although no 19th century examples survive in the College Archives, there is an array of later Christmas cards that have been printed for the College, often specifically for the Master and Master’s wife to send to members of the College. Some designs proved very popular, however, and were made more widely available.
The following is a selection of some of these cards from the earliest survivals in the Archives to those of the 21st century. The artists of some of the mid-20th century cards have been difficult to identify, so any suggestions as to who they might be would be very welcome.