By Katie Burke, Museum Specialist, September 12, 2017
Do you have questions about stamps, stamp collecting or the history of the postal service? Would you like to find out what our curators love about their jobs, or which exhibits have been their favorites? Well, now’s your chance – it’s “Ask a Curator Day”!
Ask a Curator Day, a worldwide Twitter Q&A, with over 1,500 participating museums from 58 countries, is taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13. Several of our expert curators will be on hand from 9 AM to 4 PM EDT to answer all your questions, so start thinking about what you’d like to ask! (We’ll be taking a break from 1 to 2:30 PM, but don’t worry – if you ask a question during that time, we’ll make sure to answer it when we get back!)
How to participate: Follow us on Twitter (we’re @PostalMuseum), and ask us questions about stamps, postal history or museum work using the hashtag #askacurator. Our curators are so knowledgeable that fitting their answers into the 140 character Twitter limit might be a challenge, but we’ll do our best!
National Postal Museum participating curators:
Nancy Pope, Historian and Curator
Nancy has worked with the items in this collection since joining the Smithsonian Institution in 1984. In 2011 she curated the museum’s permanent exhibit Systems at Work, which delves into the inside world of U.S. postal operations to answer a common visitor question: “How does my mail get where it’s going?” Nancy can field questions in all areas of postal history, but her particular interests are transportation and technology history.
Lynn Heidelbaugh, Postal History Curator
Lynn’s most recent exhibit, “My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I,” opened in April in conjunction with the centennial of the United States’ entrance into the First World War. In 2014, Lynn curated “Behind the Badge: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” an exhibition highlighting the mission and history of the agency. Lynn’s research specialties include military mail, the history of the U.S. postal service and operations, letters and letter writing culture, business history, and tourism history.
Calvin Mitchell, Curator of Philately
Calvin specializes in African American History and Philately and Military Postal History. Curator of an upcoming stamp art exhibit, “Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps,”, Calvin also played an instrumental role in NPM’s award-winning 2015 exhibit, “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights.” Calvin is ready and willing to tackle all of your philatelic (stamp-related) questions.
Our curators are looking forward to answering your questions tomorrow! And remember, Ask a Curator Day is primarily a Twitter event, but if you’re not on Twitter you can always reach the museum through Facebook, commenting on blog posts, or in a variety of other ways: