This Collections Care Thursday, we’re taking a peek behind the scenes to see how the Postal Museum processes borrowed objects! Loan objects are brought into the museum under the terms of a written loan agreement signed by the lender and the loan coordinator. The terms of the NPM incoming loan agreement state that objects borrowed will be scanned or photographed for condition purposes upon...
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Pneumatic tube mail service, where mail was placed into canisters like this one and carried through pressurized tubes below ground for delivery, became popular in New York in the 1890s. Any number of things could go wrong in a piece of mail's subterranean journey - this letter, dated today in 1898, shows damage from a pneumatic tube accident.
It's Collections Care Thursday! One of the best natural purifiers is charcoal. So when preservation specialists want to make sure the air inside of cases is free of pollutants, they will make charcoal cassettes and leave them inside the cases for several weeks. The charcoal is placed inside trays made of archival board and covered with cheesecloth. We use archival supplies to make the...
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We're celebrating Black History Month with a Lunchtime Lecture performance of "In the Smoke of the Sting: A Journey of Three Boxers for Pianist and Baritone," featuring Jarrod Lee and Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan of the Washington National Opera!
Happy Valentine's Day! If you're hoping for an old fashioned valentine, you're in luck - the lace-and-flowers design of this 1999 Love stamp, subtitled "Victorian Hearts," was based on vintage love tokens. We're sharing it with you today: will you be our valentine?
As we continue to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, we're sharing today a British anti-slavery cover postmarked March 28, 1853. The illustrated cover depicts scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Although modern critics point out the book's use of racially stereotyped characters, in its day it was regarded as a powerful piece of anti-slavery propaganda.
It’s Collections Care Thursday, and today we're taking a little peek into the museum’s dentist’s office? No! It’s the conservation lab! From cotton diapers used to removing dust from vehicles to photography light meters used for determining light exposure on artifacts, the tools of the trade can vary, and they are often borrowed from different disciplines! Here is a metal dental tool used to...
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Whether you're rooting for the Falcons, the Patriots, or for someone to change the darn channel, this Super Bowl Sunday we've got some cool stamps for you! These early football heroes played in the days of minimal padding and changeable rules, and all four of them hold prominent places in the College Football Hall of Fame. (Why aren't all four in the Pro Hall of Fame? Because "Father of...
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This Collections Care Thursday we are looking behind the scenes at the various methods we use to track information about the collection. Historically this has taken many forms, as you can see from the old ledger and catalog cards in our photo. Early record keeping, or registration, often involved logging general information about acquisitions in a ledger—the name of the donor, a brief...
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February is #BlackHistoryMonth! Today we're sharing stamp art from the 2014 stamp honoring Charles Alfred 'Chief' Anderson, Chief Civilian Flight Instructor of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen. Anderson was a self-taught Pennsylvania pilot whose students at the Tuskegee Army Air Field included two future African American four-star generals, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. and Daniel "Chappie" James, Sr....
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Receiving a piece of mail postmarked on Antarctica is thrilling even if you're not a hardcore philatelist! That's why the Post Office Dept. arranged for 'philatelic mail' to be carried by the 1935 Byrd Antarctic Expedition II and postmarked at the Little America post office at the expedition's base camp. This cover bears an official expedition cachet showing two penguins, one delivering U.S....
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This Collections Care Thursday, we're cataloging Vatican stamps! The National Postal Museum's collection of stamps from Vatican City can be seen on our Arago website ([ Arago.si.edu Link ], but of course new stamps come out every year! We're catching up on some backlog now, so our full collection of Vatican stamps can be shown online.
To prevent stamp reuse, postmasters in the second half of the 19th century cancelled stamps with a killer mark separate from the origin/date postmark. Since the Post Office did not supply the killer, postmasters often created their own unique markers in lead, cork, or wood. Known as “fancy cancels,” these handmade killers disappeared from use after 1904 by order of the Post Office Dept.
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...
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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.