"Glasgow The Postcard Collection" by Adam Smith is a lovely book that does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. There's a short introduction setting out the history of Glasgow, and then we are straight into the meat of the book which is, as you'd expect, a collection of reproductions of postcards of Glasgow. These are set out one or (mainly) two to a page, and come with extensive captions that help set the views in context and point out interesting features.
This is not one of publisher Amberley's "through time" series, and the views are not compared and contrasted with modern photographs of the same scenes. This can at times mean that some of the significance of changes over time is only obvious to someone who knows the city well: but on the other hand it does mean that far more - twice as many in fact - postcards can be included.
The book is divided into five themed sections. "Dear Green Place" looks at the many parks and gardens of Glasgow. What is particularly nice is that the format gives space for multiple views of some subjects. There are four postcard views of the Botanic Gardens, for example; while there are six views of the 1938 Empire Exhibition, which took place in the city. One is of the rear of a postcard which helps bring the subject to life by revealing that "the weather has been most truly awful most of the time". The summer of 1938 was, the caption tells us, one of the wettest on record.
Other sections cover "The River Clyde"; "Landmark Buildings"; "Up Sauchie, Doon Buckie, Alang Argyle"; and "Around the City". The first two and last of these are fairly self explanatory, while the third covers the commercial heart of the city, with the title coming from a stroll around the main shopping streets. It's interesting to see how little so many of the city's landmark buildings have changed over the years. At the other extreme it is remarkable just how much the River Clyde has changed. Postcards show lines of steamers at the Broomielaw in the city centre, though a postcard depicting the paddle steamer "Waverley" shows that not quite everything on the river is different.
This is probably a book that will be enjoyed most by people who know Glasgow and can appreciate both the change and the continuity it illustrates. But that's a lot of people and this is, as we said at the start of this review, a lovely book.