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International Playing Card Society

What is the International Playing-Card Society (IPCS)?

The International Playing-Card Society (IPCS) was set up in 1972 and, although based in the UK, now has around 270 members across the world. Many of its members are card collectors, but all members have a broad interest in the history and design of cards and card games, as well as in sharing research and knowledge in these areas. The society is also known for its journal, The Playing Card, which is issued quarterly and contains feature articles on everything to do with playing cards and card games.

The International Playing-Card Society (IPCS) Explained

The day-to-day running of the IPCS is overseen by its elected council. The society’s annual convention is just one of the things that they organise and it takes place every autumn. This conference is an opportunity for members to attend talks, tournaments, see cards on display and even purchase cards belonging to other attendees.

Members of the IPCS have access to the archive of the society’s journal, The Playing Card, and card pattern sheets. They can also find contact details for other members around the globe, which helps to further the society’s aim of connecting people with a mutual interest in cards and card playing.

Although the IPCS is one large organisation, its members have set up smaller groups in their local areas. These local societies come together with others in their country to organise playing card events, visit collections of cards from that region and network with others with knowledge of and an interest in cards.

The IPCS website is also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the history and origin of playing cards. The society has helpfully provided a brief synopsis of the past 600 years in terms of the development of design and usage of cards over this period. They have also listed out all of the conundrums and questions relating to card history which are still being researched by the society’s members today.