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PLAYING CARD COLLECTING INFORMATION


Playing cards manufactured around the world are very popular with collectors as they are very much part of the history of printing and lithography, and often depict historical events, social trends and advertising for the common products of the era.

There are a number of official societies and institutions currently in operation that promulgate the hobby of collecting playing cards. Please see below for more information.


Card Collectors Clubs: Societies promulgating the hobby of collecting playing cards


52 Plus Joker was formed to cater to the interests of American deck collectors. It's the American playing card collectors organization.52 Plus Joker Organization


Cost to join: $25 per year (US) / $35 per year (int)
Newsletter: Clear The Decks

52 Plus Joker was formed to cater to the interests of American deck collectors. Its purpose is sharing information & stimulating interest in the collecting of playing cards & related items. Many members have interests which go far beyond playing cards.

52 Plus Joker was formed to cater to the interests of American deck collectors. It's the American playing card collectors organization.




International Playing Card Society - Founded in 1972 to promote the study and collection of playing-cards and card games worldwide.International Playing Card Society

Cost to join: £28 per year (Uk) / £36 per year (int)
Newsletter: The Playing-Card

Founded in 1972 to promote the study and collection of playing-cards and card games worldwide.


International Playing Card Society - Founded in 1972 to promote the study and collection of playing-cards and card games worldwide.




Chicago Card Collectors Club, Inc. was founded in 1951 as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Illinois. They primarily focus on collecting single cards, rather than full decks.Chicago Card Collectors Club

Cost to join: $25 per year (US) / $30 per year (int)
Newsletter: C.P.C.C. Bulletin

Chicago Playing Card Collectors, Inc. was founded in 1951 as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Illinois. They primarily focus on collecting single cards, rather than full decks.


Chicago Card Collectors Club, Inc. was founded in 1951 as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Illinois. They primarily focus on collecting single cards, rather than full decks.




English Playing Card SocietyEnglish Playing Card Society

Cost to join: £22 per year (Uk) / £29 per year (int)
Newsletter: The Newsletter

The EPCS was formed in 1984 with the purpose of bringing together collectors, researchers, Museums, archivists, libraries, manufacturers and interested persons who wish to increase their knowledge of English playing cards.


English Playing Card Society



PLAYING CARD MUSEUMS: major playing card collections on display


Bibat. Museo Fournier de Naipes de Alava located in Vitoria, Spain.Bibat. Museo Fournier de Naipes de Álava

Located in:
Vitoria, Spain
Admission: Free

Bibat. Museo Fournier de Naipes de Alava located in Vitoria, Spain.

The collection of playing-cards, xylographic and lithographic plates, contemporary tools, wrappers plus a specialized library which form the Fournier collection was amassed by don Felix Alfaro Fournier, the grandson of the firm's founder, beginning with two decks found in his grandfather's writing desk after his death in 1916. It was greatly enhanced by the purchase of the De La Rue collection when it came up for auction at Sotheby's in London in 1970. It has also been enlarged by public donation, both by private individuals & by other playing card manufacturers.

Read more about Bibat. Museo Fournier de Naipes de Alava...



Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum located in Stuttgart, GermanyDeutsches Spielkartenmuseum

Located in:
Stuttgart, Germany
Admission: Free


Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum located in Stuttgart, Germany.


This museum was originally that of the A.S.S. playing-card company, formed after World War II from the remnants of the pre-war Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken (V.A.S.S.) company. The company relocated in Leinfelden, near Stuttgart, and began again to form a museum collection in 1950 by acquiring the collection of 15th and 16th century cards formed by Martin von Hase over a period of almost 30 years. In1972 the A.S.S. museum purchased the collection of the Bielefeld Spielkartenfabrik. This assemblage had a distinguished history of its own: it was founded in 1950 and augmented by the acquisition of the collection belonging to the art historian Werner Jakstein.

Read more about Deutsches Spielkartenmuseum...




Le Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.Le Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer

Located in:
Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
Admission: €4.20

Le Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.

This collection has as its foundation the donation in 1930 of the collector Louis Chardonneret and has much interesting material. From 1986 the collection has grown, particularly by acquiring the collection of mainly modern cards formed by the late Robert Thissen and some rare early cards. A new building now houses the museum, which stages both permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as talks and demonstrations.

Read more about Le Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer...



Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library located on the Yale University campus.Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Located in: New Haven, CT
Admission: Free

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library located on the Yale University campus.


This library, located on Yale University's campus, houses the Cary Collection. The playing-cards, card sheets, wood blocks, metal plates, ephemera, and prints acquired by Melbert B. Cary, and bequeathed to the Yale University Library by his wife, form one of the world's distinguished collections of such materials. The Collection contains well over 1,000 complete or partial packs of standard playing cards, approximately 200 sheets of standard cards, and about 30 blocks and plates used for the printing of standard cards. It also houses part of the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck - the most expensive deck in the world.

Read more about the Cary Collection at the Beinecke Library...



Miike Playing-Card Memorial Museum located in Fukuoka, Japan.Miike Playing-Card Memorial Museum

Located in:
Fukuoka, Japan (see map)
Admission: ¥310

Omuta City Miike Karuta Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the birthplace of Karuta (a Japanese card game) and is Japan’s only municipal museum dedicated specifically to Karuta. It is said that Karuta was first invented in Miike at around the end of the 16th century, having been influenced by the Portuguese. The museum holds over 9,000 rare and valuable Karuta items and exhibits, such as the “Ogura Hyakunin Isshu” (which is the most famous traditional anthology of recognized poets on cards), “Iroha Karuta” used during the Meiji and Taisho Eras (1868 - 1926), and “Tensho Karuta”, an imitation of a Portuguese card game. The museum also offers an introduction through images to Karuta and playing cards.

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