This Collections Care Thursday we're learning about disaster response in the field of cultural heritage! Postal Museum Preservation Specialist Rebecca, an ICCROM-certified Cultural Heritage First Aider (ICCROM is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), gave a lunchtime lecture for staff and the public this Wednesday. Rebecca discussed...
View details ⇨
Normally their purpose is to add interest to the display of postal vehicles in the museum's atrium, but on this #museumselfieday even the postal employee sculptures are getting into the act! #museumselfie #museumselfieday2017
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
This Collections Care Thursday we're talking about emergency preparedness! The Collections Department met this week to discuss the many different supplies staff members might need to respond to a disaster (leak, fire, earthquake, etc.) where artifacts and/or records are involved. Since the locations of our artifacts and records vary from large storage areas to public exhibits to small file...
View details ⇨
Today in 1935 pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart began the world's first solo flight from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. After an 18 hour flight from Honolulu, she landed successfully in Oakland, California. Known for transporting mail aboard her planes, Earhart carried this letter across the Pacific Ocean.
On this first Collections Care Thursday of 2017, we are sweeping out the old and bringing in the new! Well, not literally, but we ARE going to talk about the routine cleaning of exhibits. The Collections Department has a schedule for cleaning exhibits on a regular basis. Cleaning of exhibit cases may involve sweeping, vacuuming, glass cleaning, and dusting panels, props and objects. Some...
View details ⇨
In the mid-20th century, the Post Office Department provided codebooks to its postal inspectors. They were expected to use codes while sending sensitive information by telegraph. This Cipher Code handbook, which went into effect today in 1941, contained instructions for using the ciphers while sending messages. [ S.si.edu Link ]
Happy New Year! This Baby New Year stamp was actually issued for the year 2000, but we'll make it work to wish you all a wonderful 2017!
Today is your last chance to give to the Fund for Innovation and Excellence! Your donation provides essential dollars that allow the National Postal Museum to support new opportunities and to continue our amazing programs and exhbiits! Donate here: [ S.si.edu Link ]
2016 has seen the Collections Department work on and complete many fascinating projects, but one of the most visually exciting was our cataloging of the Postmaster General's stamp art collection. We saved one piece of stamp art to share with you this holiday season - these are the original knitted designs from 2007's Holiday Knits stamps. Happy Holidays, and Happy Collections Care Thursday,...
View details ⇨
We're wishing a joyous Kwanzaa to everyone who is celebrating today! The fruits and vegetables on this year's Kwanzaa stamp symbolize the abundance of African first harvest celebrations.
If you're celebrating today, Merry Christmas! This year's holiday window stamps feature scenes of Christmas on a snowy night.
Lily Spandorf and the 1963 Christmas Stamp The 1963 Christmas stamp.The temperature was in the low 40s and there was a light breeze and drizzle, but Lily Spandorf would not be deterred. A familiar visitor all around Washington, D.C., the Austrian-born free-lance artist was determined to make one of…

Lily Spandorf and the 1963 Christmas Stamp

blog.stamps.org
Happy Hanukkah to everyone beginning their celebrations tonight! This year's Hanukkah stamp features a a holiday menorah in the window - a warm and welcoming sign!
This Collections Care Thursday finds our staff out at another offsite storage facility! This past year the Smithsonian began a decontamination project at one of our buildings which had lead contamination, most likely due to the historic printing equipment stored within it. This area had been inaccessible to staff for many years, and we were delighted to get a chance to view the progress of the...
View details ⇨
It's Collections Care Thursday! Setting up light meters around NPM is one way that Preservation staff test whether an exhibit case is safe for particular artifacts. Light damage is irreversible, and therefore is always a concern. If a gallery seems dark to you, or if you notice that artifacts have been rotated over time in a given exhibit, it's a sign that staff are adjusting artifacts'...
View details ⇨
In 1833, the SS Royal William became the first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely by steam. Typical of early transatlantic steamships, the wood-hulled paddle steamer carried sails for auxiliary power. This letter was carried by the ship in 1838, and was marked in pencil with the date "December 12."
It's Collections Care Thursday! Today the collections, curatorial and exhibit staff took part in a lunch-time webinar about the impact of portable fire extinguishers on collections. There is ongoing research in the field, but utilizing a combination of smoke detection, closed metal cabinets and sprinklers can greatly aid in the mitigation of destruction from fire and soot. Now we're better...
View details ⇨
One of the most sobering items in the National Postal Museum’s collection is one of the smallest. It is a simple registration mail handstamp that was used to mark the date a mail piece was received and processed. What makes this ordinary piece striking are the date on the stamp—“Dec. 6 1941”—and where it was used—aboard the USS Oklahoma. The handstamp was recovered from the Oklahoma after it...
View details ⇨