History of the SCCS
TheSouvenir Card Collectors Society was founded in 1981 by Dr. Curt Radford,
the first not-for-profit national organization of souvenir card and
intaglio-printed vignette collectors and dealers. Dr. Radford remains the
Society's president emeritus. The group's first project was to establish
a numbering system for the growing amount of cards. Members approved a
modified system originated by Frank Bruns, who published the first catalog
of souvenir cards in 1980.
In1989, Dr. Radford produced a comprehensive catalog of the then-known cards,
followed by a supplement issued as Vol. 11, #2 of the Souvenir Card Journal.
Since that time a number of new categories of souvenir cards have been
catalogued, including many issued by the SCCS and its members. In 2008, SCCS
president William Kriebel produced a Visual Reference guide for known souvenir
cards and intaglio prints, and has since added several updates, the last in 2015.
Three active chapters of the Society have been established. In 1985, Chapter 1
was launched, based in Washington, DC, and in 1993, Metro Chapter 4, based in
New York City. (Chapters 2 and 3 were based in Texas, but never got off the ground.)
Chapters 1 and 4 regularly issued their own souvenir cards. In 2018 the Metro
Chapter was dissolved, but in 2021 Chapter 5 was started in Florida.
Issuance of official cards peaked in the early 1990s and collector demand,
particularly for philatelic cards, waned in later years. American Bank Note
Company ceased printing cards in 1996. The Bureau of Engraving & Printing
no longer issues cards for philatelic shows and its Intaglio Print Program
currently releases three or four cards a year, down from 14 in 1993. Retired
BEP pressman Michael Bean has stepped in to fill the niche, independently
printing hundreds of intaglio cards in a variety of categories for more than
twenty-five years. A loyal core group of members continues to collect souvenir
cards in celebration of the fine art of intaglio engraving.