New Home for the Cover Collection

a metal cabinet drawer
Cover collection after rehousing

Folded letters, envelopes, post cards, postal stationery (aerograms, postal cards, stamped envelopes and wrappers)—if it has been sent through the mails (with or without franking), it is part of the Museum's Cover Collection. 

For more than 20 years, the cover collection has been housed in 15 large, metal cabinets with their drawers overflowing. In every conceivable size up to and beyond the standard 9 ½ inch long envelope, these objects have been almost inaccessible because of overcrowding and poor organization. Some have been damaged by the unavoidable rifling by closing drawers and thumb searches.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Museum is methodically rehousing more than 300,000 U. S. and foreign covers. As the objects are removed from old glassine paper housing, they are placed in labeled, acid-free folders and boxes and stored in new inert cabinets with roll-out drawers. When the project is completed, the entire cover collection will be physically stable and secure, to be enjoyed by researchers and visitors for years to come.

letters, envelopes, and post cards in a drawer
Cover collection before rehousing
a box of orderly papers
Box of rehoused covers