Educating Young Readers and Citizens of Tomorrow Through Postcards: Paola Lombroso Carrara’s Reading Education Project

The article on “Paola Carrara Lombroso and picture postcards as educational products: a way to educate young readers and citizens of tomorrow”, written by Sabrina Fava, was published in «Historia y Memoria de la Educación», 19 (2024): 355-375,  the academic journal of the “Sociedad Española de Historia de la Educación” (i.e., Spanish Society of History of Education – SEDHE).

Sabrina Fava is Full Professor of History of Pedagogy and History of Children’s Literature at the Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione, Università  Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. As an expert of the outstanding contribution provided by Paola Lombroso Carrara  (1871-1954) to reading, literacy and children’s literature edcuation and promotion in rural schools at the beginning of the XX century, Sabrina Fava presents the project of postcards that were coloured and sold by pupils to raise money to fund small libraries, and analyses the features and characters of those postcards (that are available at the School and Children’s Book Museum – MusLI in Turin).

The author reflects on the role of postcards as powerful media, able to reach a wider audience both in terms of visual education and as swift communicative tool. In Italy, 1909, in  the magazine for children «Corriere  dei  Piccoli»  (1908-1995), Paola Carrara Lombroso launched the project “Bibliotechine per le scuole rurali” (Libraries for rural schools), inviting its young readers to play an active role by colouring and selling  postcards created by Italian artists, and then raising money to buy and donate books to rural schools. The article analyses a sample of postcards illustrated by well-known artists such as Mussino, Golia, Altara, Bologna and Gugù in order to shed light on the way childhood was represented. Toys, books, expressions and clothes are visual evidence of the multiple perspectives.

Full text:

(Postcard courtesy of MusLI)

Luisa Marquardt,