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Virtual Exhibits

The National Postal Museum is divided into galleries that explore America's postal history from colonial times to the present. Visitors learn how mail has been transported, emphasize the importance of letters, and spotlight the creation and wondrous diversity of postage stamps.


Screenshot of Awesome Things exhibit

Awesome Things to See at the National Postal Museum

Objects displayed in the museum's various exhibits document the history of the U.S. postal service and showcase the beauty and lore of stamps. Thousands of objects are on display in the museum, each offering visitors a chance to see "the real thing."


Screenshot of Bringing the World Home

Bringing the World Home

Organizations such as the National Grange, the National Farmers’ Congress and State Farmers’ Alliance were all pushing for a free rural delivery system by the early 1890s. The struggle pitted farmer and rural associations against some Members of Congress who feared providing free delivery for the nation’s still rural-based population would be too expensive.


Screenshot of American Art on Postage Stamps

American Art On Postage Stamps: Telling The Story of A Nation

From the early colonial period to the present day, American artists have captured their interpretation of the American experience using different forms of art. These pieces of fine art have been adapted to portray famous American individuals, events, and geography on postage stamps. Postage stamps depicting fine art have become another looking glass into this country and its many themes.


Screenshot of Playing To Win

Playing To Win: American Sports & Athletes on Stamps

This virtual exhibit highlights dozens of different sports, professional and amateur athletes, and monumental moments in American athletics as depicted on U.S. postage stamps.


Screenshot of The American Indian in Postage Stamps exhibit

The American Indian in Postage Stamps: Profiles in Leadership, Accomplishment and Cultural Celebration

Historic American Indian leaders honored here on postage stamps, exemplify a wide range of reaction to the radical confrontations that would drastically affect the traditions and culture of their peoples. Some chose resistance and war; others chose a path of adaptation and accommodation to a new way of life. In all cases, these leaders of nations were elder representatives of huge extended families, and their commitment to future generations was paramount.


Screenshot The Black Experience exhibit

The Black Experience: African-Americans on Postage Stamps

Since the founding of the United States, African Americans have played a pivotal role in the shaping of American history and heritage. Their contributions to America have included the fields highlighted by the 1940 Famous Americans and many more. This exhibit showcases the black experience in the United States through the lens of American postage stamps.


Screenshot of Celebrating Hispanic Heritage exhibit

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on Stamps

Stamps illuminate what we value as a people and a culture, and the National Postal Museum’s Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on Stamps sheds new light on the many contributions of Hispanic Americans and Latinos to the exploration, culture, growth, and defense of the United States. The virtual exhibit is bilingual (English and Spanish/Español).

Los sellos realzan lo que valoramos como pueblo y como cultura, y la Celebración de la Herencia Hispana: Gente, Lugares y Eventos en Sellos Postales del Museo Postal Nacional, arroja nueva luz sobre las numerosas contribuciones de los hispano-americanos y latinos a la exploración, la cultura, el crecimiento, y la defensa de los Estados Unidos.


Screenshot of People and Places of the Pacific exhibit

People and Places of the Pacific

Beginning with the Pacific Islands and ending with the nations on the Pacific Rim, this exhibition highlights the political and cultural relationship between these nations and the United States through the medium of postage stamps.


Screenshot of Women on Stamps exhibit

Women on Stamps: Part 1

This virtual exhibit is the first in a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. In Women on Stamps: Part 1, we acknowledge the efforts of pioneering women and early government leaders who entered previously unexplored territories - from the frontier to the Senate floor.


Screenshot of Women on Stamps exhibit

Women on Stamps: Part 2

This virtual exhibit is the second in a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. In Women on Stamps: Part 2, we feature women who pioneered in the fields of health, science, education, philanthropy, aviation and athletics.


Screenshot of Women on Stamps exhibit

Women on Stamps: Part 3

This virtual exhibit is the third in a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. In Women on Stamps: Part 3, we feature women who have made significant contributions to the visual arts and literature.


Screenshot of Women on Stamps exhibit

Women on Stamps: Part 4

This virtual exhibit is the fourth in a series of four focusing on the accomplishments of women featured on stamps. In Women on Stamps: Part 4, we feature women who have made significant contributions to the performing arts.


Screenshot of Mexico Via Airmail exhibit

Mexico Via Airmail

Political leaders purposefully use print culture to promote political agendas, solidify authority, and fire patriotic emotions. The stamps issued by Mexico after its 1910-1920 revolution offer a compelling example. Among the postage stamps issued for this purpose, Mexico's airmail stamps played a significant role. The virtual exhibit is bilingual (English and Spanish/Español) and features both stamps and mail of Mexico.

Los líderes políticos a propósito usan imprimen cultura para promover agendas políticas, solidificar autoridad y encender emociones patrióticas. Las estampillas emitidas por México después de la revolución de 1910-1920, ofrecen un ejemplo exacto. Dentro de los sellos de correo emitidos con este propósito, las estampillas de correo aéreo de México jugaron un papel significativo.


Arago logo

Arago Virtual Exhibits

Arago Researchers and the National Postal Museum staff create unique exhibits that juxtapose personal selections of museum objects and exceptional private collections to present interesting interpretations and great history.


yellow tinted collage of a man in front of a computer and three people talking

People and the Post: A Digital Memory Book

The “People and the Post” site collects and publishes stories from current and former employees of the U.S. Postal Service (formerly the Post Office Department). The media-rich memory book offers 15 story categories for employees to choose from when leaving their stories, and it allows individuals to leave and supplement their memories with text, video, audio and photographs.


Two Eagle Dancers mural

Indians at the Post Office: Native Themes in New Deal-Era Murals

There is much to be discerned about these post office murals from the 1930s and 1940s, and what they can tell us about the way we see, and have seen, the world.


Russian Stamp with scalloped edge

G.H. Kaestlin Collection of Russian Imperial and Zemstvo Stamps

This virtual exhibit is presented by both the National Postal Museum and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs. It shows one of the three best museum Russian stamp collections in the world.


postal worker on a train

The Railway Mail Service

This website highlights not only a history of the RMS, but presents oral histories of some clerks who spent the “best times of their lives” braving the rails.


blue tinted photo of a pilot

Fad to Fundamental: Airmail in America

Learn how the U.S. Post Office Department created the framework for America's commercial aviation industry. From 1918-1926, a few daredevil pilots and some aging aircraft made history and bound the country together by air.


photo of a man opening a cabinet

The Pichs Collection

Explore Cuba's postal and aviation history in an ongoing research and exhibition effort to study and bring to the public an important research resource for the cultural history of Cuba, the Roberto Pichs collection of Cuban postage stamps.


a map of the world with stamps overlaid

Collecting Ancestral Homelands

Collecting stamps of your family’s ancestral homelands offers insights into your own family’s past and experiences, and so they teach you something about your own heritage. Collectors share their stories here, just click the stamps to learn more.


photo of a missile

Mail by Missile

Fifty years ago, the US Navy and Post Office Department placed 3,000 letters in a missile on board the USS Barbero submarine and aimed it at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Mayport, Florida. In this slideshow presentation, curator Nancy A. Pope reveals more about this Cold War era mail delivery experiment.


Other NPM Related Exhibits

Parcel Post: Delivery of Dreams with a black and white photo of a postal worker on a train

Parcel Post: Delivery of Dreams

Parcel post service began on January 1, 1913 and was an instant success. During the first five days of service, 1,594 post offices reported handling over 4 million parcel post packages. The effect on the national economy was electric. 


map of Hawaii with a cancelled stamp

Grinnell Missionary Stamps

In the early days of philately, rumors circulated about a cache of very rare and valuable Hawaiian missionary stamps secreted away in New England. Were the Grinnell stamps this legendary hoard? Or were they expensive fakes?