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Maynard Sundman Lecture Series

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum's Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting.


National Postal Museum Hosted the 13th Annual Sundman Lecture:
“Parks, Postmarks and Postmasters: Post Offices within the National Park Service”

August 18, 2016

Paul Lee
Paul Lee

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The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum hosted the 13th annual Maynard Sundman lecture Thursday, Aug. 18, from noon to 1 p.m. Admission was free. “Parks, Postmarks and Postmasters” combined the real-life drama and human interest of the people, places, and events that created our national park system with a study of the post offices and postmasters that connect them to the outside world.

Speaker Paul Lee was born in West Virginia in 1944. After earning degrees from Wittenberg and James Madison universities, he became a high school biology teacher and held summer jobs in Rock Creek, Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. He eventually left teaching and became a full-time National Park Service (NPS) employee. As an interpretive planner, Paul developed dozens of visitor centers, exhibitions and media presentations at NPS sites in the U.S., American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. He retired in 2000 and lives in Colorado, where he volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library in Denver.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum's Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting.


Maynard Sundman

photograph of Maynard Sundman
Maynard Sundman

Maynard Sundman's love of stamp collecting began in 1927. As a child, Maynard was fascinated by these tiny bits of paper and all the history and culture they held.

At 19, Maynard started a mail-order stamp business with $400 he had saved, operating out of his parents' home in Connecticut. After serving in WWII, he founded his second firm, Littleton Stamp Company, with his wife, Fannie Kasper Sundman.

The company branched into coins for collectors in the 1950s. In 1974, the Sundman family purchased Mystic Stamp Company of Camden, New York. Maynard's son Donald is president and his son David, is President of Littleton Coin Company in Littleton, New Hampshire.


Previous Lectures

Chris West

A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps

Chris West, the author of A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, explored America's rich philatelic history. From George Washington's dour gaze to the charging buffalo of the western frontier...
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Chris West

A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps

Chris West, the author of "A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps" explored his country's recent history through its most fascinating, beautiful, and eccentric postage stamps. From Queen Victoria's...
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Sally Andersen-Bruce

The Art of the Stamp

The 2012 Sundman Lecture focused on the art, process, and philosophy of contemporary stamp design. It featured speakers from the stamp designing and collecting community, including Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee member...
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Robert Odenweller

The Philately of New Zealand: Innovation Born of Necessity, 1855-1955

Robert Odenweller is a researcher, writer, and mentor. His research has produced the seminal works The Postage Stamps of New Zealand: 1855-1873 The Chalon Head Issues, and...
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Charles Verge

The First Canada-US Joint Issue: The 1959 St. Lawrence Seaway Commemorative and its Famous Invert

Historian Charles Verge, is past-president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, curator of the...
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Eliot Landau

Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War

Eliot Landau’s award-winning philatelic exhibition Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War was on display at the Postal Museum. Landau’s exhibition combined philately, ephemera, and...
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Janet Klug

100 Greatest American Stamps

Mystic Stamp Company president Don Sundman and American Philatelic Society past president Janet Klug talked about their new book, 100 Greatest American Stamps. In this lively...
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Scott Trepel

The Miller Collection and The Era of Private Bank Note Company Stamps 1842-1892

Writer, researcher and auctioneer, Scott Trepel, guided the audience on a tour of the classic era of U.S. philately, displaying examples from The New York Public Library's legendary...
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Roger S. Brody

Second Purpose

Roger S. Brody, a specialist in early twentieth century U.S. stamps, was introduced to the world of stamp collecting at the age of ten, when he was given a general world-wide album filled...
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Michael Sefi

The Royal Philatelic Collection: An Inside View

Michael Sefi has been the Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection at Buckingham Palace in London since January 2003. He was previously the Deputy Keeper of the Collection...
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David R. Beech

The Legendary Grinnell Missionaries

David R. Beech, Curator of the British Library Philatelic Collections, became interested in philately at the age of nine and had the usual general collection before specialising in...
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Guido Craveri

The 1847's: America's First Stamps

At the age of eighteen Guido Craveri became the youngest collector to win a FIP gold medal. Today he is Chairman Emeritus of the National Postal Museum's Council of Philatelists...