The national collection illustrates and invites research into United States philately and postal operations. It contains prestigious postal issues and specialized collections, archival postal documents and three-dimensional objects that trace the evolution of the postal services.
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 and the wondrous diversity of postage stamps.
The Museum supports a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects which address topics of importance such as current and future postal operations, as well as philatelic and postal history. Our efforts are a resource and point of reference for research and wider investigation by historians throughout the United States and the world.
The impact of an exhibition is most strongly felt by the participants of a program. Facilitator-led learning brings an exhibition to life in a way that creates deep learning and long-lasting memories. Baseball America’s Home Run will present both daily programs and gallery experiences such as curated highlight tours, artifact spotlights, education equipment carts, and curriculum based programs for pre-k – 12 students. Additionally, the exhibition will offer a suite of public programs that will attract large audiences for unique and special experiences surrounding the exhibitions and its content. Provisional programming for 2020 – 2022 is currently in development.
April, 2020 Baseball and Mythmaking Talk
The National Postal Museum will host a talk that explores the truths and myths behind the early origins of our national pastime.
April, 2020 Negro Leagues Heritage Day
The National Postal Museum will host a Negro Leagues Heritage Day to honor and celebrate the rich history and legacy of the Negro Leagues. This multifaceted program will have something for everyone, from story times and live poetry readings, to panel discussions that will explore the history of the Negro Leagues through such topics as the 2010 Negro Leagues stamps designed by Kadir Nelson and the Afro-Latinx ballplayers who made their mark playing for such teams as the Cuban Giants. There will also be a Black and Afro-Latinx Baseball Book Fair, featuring the works of program participants.
May, 2020 Smithsonian Gardens Program Series
The National Postal Museum will partner with Smithsonian Gardens on a series of panel discussions covering topics that include the infestation of Ash trees and its impact on baseball bat production, the urban gardening phenomenon and its rising prevalence in ballparks, and the pros and cons of using natural grass and artificial turf in ballparks.
May, 2020 Baseball Saved Us Writing Workshop
Using the seminal 1993 book, Baseball Saved Us, as inspiration, the National Postal Museum will host a letter-writing workshop for local students. The workshop will align with the mission of Letters for a Cause, which encourages civic engagement. Students will be asked to think about the historical significance of Japanese incarceration and its relevance today.
June, 2020 Baseball and LGBTQ+ Panel
In honor of Pride Month, the National Postal Museum will explore the history of LGBTQ+ players in baseball. The program will feature a film screening and accompanying panel discussion that explore the rich history of LGBTQ+ ballplayers, from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to Major League Baseball, and the recent strides professional baseball has made to make the sport more inclusive.
June, 2020 Sally Ride Family Festival
In honor of Pride Month, NPM will honor the life and legacy of astronaut and philatelist Sally Ride. This festival will feature a variety of STEM, postal, and baseball-themed activities that highlight Ride's groundbreaking career as an astronaut, her love of philately, the 2018 Sally Ride stamp, and the impact of baseball on her life and career.
July, 2020 Nostalgia and Collecting: Baseball Cards and Stamps
The National Postal Museum will host a panel discussion regarding the history, economics, and culture of collecting, especially as it relates to the similarities and differences between the stamp-collecting industry and the baseball card-collecting industry.
July, 2020 Mamie Peanut Johnson Little League Festival
The National Postal Museum will host a fun-filled family festival for local DMV-area Little League Teams that will also highlight the career and legacy of Mamie Peanut Johnson. Players and their families will have the opportunity to celebrate their season through a wide variety of baseball and postal-themed activities.
August, 2020 Panel Discussion on Ballpark Architecture
The National Postal Museum will host a series of panel discussions regarding ballpark architecture. In particular, each panel will focus on the recent wave of retro-classic and retro-modern ballparks, the reason they have become so popular in today’s game, and their connection to older ballparks, many of which are featured on the Legendary Playing Fields stamp series.
August, 2020 Program Series on Baseball and STEAM
The National Postal Museum will host a number of programs on how advances in the fields of STEAM have shaped and changed the game of baseball. Programs will include a family festival, demonstrations, lectures, and a series of panel discussions.
October, 2020 Program on Swampoodle Grounds/Capitol Park
The National Postal Museum will host a talk on the history of Swampoodle Grounds/Capitol Park, a ballpark that actually stood on the current site of the museum! The talk will explore the history of the ballpark itself and the history of the teams that played there.
October, 2020 Panel Discussion on the History of Corn and Baseball Food
Why is it that so much of ballpark food is corn-based? The National Postal Museum, in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian, will attempt to answer this question through a panel discussion on the connection between corn and baseball food. The program will highlight the historical and cultural significance of corn to Native peoples in the Americas, the crop’s rise in economic importance over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, and its culinary evolution to ballpark staple.
November, 2020 Program Series on Baseball Players and Veterans
The National Postal Museum will host a series of talks on baseball players who also served in the United States Armed Forces. This series will feature ballplayers, such as Christy Matthewson, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, and Joe DiMaggio, who are also depicted on stamps that are featured in the museum’s exhibit, Baseball: America’s Home Run. The talks will discuss both the baseball and military careers of these players and the impact their military careers had on their baseball careers. For example, could Ted Williams potentially have surpassed Babe Ruth as the home run champion of baseball had he not been drafted into WWII? How many more RBI’s would Joe DiMaggio have had if he had not missed three full seasons during his stint in WWII? All these questions and more will be topics for discussion and debate during this fascinating series at the National Postal Museum.
November, 2020 Panel Discussion on the use of American Indian Mascots for Team Names
The National Postal Museum, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian, will co-host a panel discussion on the histories and controversies regarding the use of American Indian mascots for sports teams. Topics of discussion will include the stories of early American Indian ballplayers and athletes, like Louis Sockalexis and Jim Thorpe, the history of derogatory terms towards Native Americans and how they became used by teams as mascots, and the continuing and varied efforts of activists to change these mascots.
December, 2020 Talk on 1939 and 1969 Centennial Stamp
The National Postal Museum will host philatelists and scholars for a talk on the 1939 3c Baseball Centennial Stamp and the 1969 6c Professional Baseball Stamps. Speakers will discuss both the history of the stamps as well as the baseball history represented on the stamps.