One of the postcards of a parade through Crouch Street in Colchester, c. 1890
A private collection of postcards depicting Essex from the Victorian era to the present day are to be auctioned.
The thousands of post and cigarette cards contained in approximately 150 albums belonged to local historian, the late David May from Great Horkesley.
The cards, which feature images of everyday life and events from the past century, are conservatively estimated to fetch anything between £40-£50,000.
They will be sold by auctioneers Reeman Dansie on Saturday, 20 March.
"It's a wonderful local history collection," said collectables expert Michael Bowles.
"It was his life-long collection. [David] lived an ordinary life, but his love was postcards and cigarette cards. A great part of social history is recorded on those cards."
Events such the aftermath of the 1905 Witham train disaster are depicted
The pictures cover a wide range of notable events, such as carnivals and disaster, as well as everyday life in shops, offices, schools and homes.
There is also a large selection of images depicting the highs and lows of life Colchester Garrison throughout the 20th century.
"A great part of social history is recorded on those cards," said Michael.
Rather than being sold as a whole, the archives will be broken down into lots, which Michael believes will attract a lot of interest locally and nationally.
"They are quite rare cards - 'rare' is a difficult word because just because it is rare doesn't mean it will have a huge monetary value," he said.
"But certainly some of these cards are very desirable and haven't seen the light of day for many, many years."
As well as the cards, other items of local interest collected by David May will also be sold.