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Symposiums and Lectures


Maynard Sundman Lecture Series

The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting.


November 1 – 2, 2018:
The Tenth Annual Postal History Symposium: WWI and Its Immediate Aftermath

The Tenth Postal History Symposium will be held at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.

Call for Papers (Deadline for one-page proposal: June 15, 2017)

Send questions to: NPMResearchChair@si.edu


June 2 – 3, 2016:
The Ninth Annual Postal History Symposium: How Postal Treaties Influenced Post Office Reforms

The Ninth Postal History Symposium was held June 2–3, 2016 during the World Stamp Show – NY 2016 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.


November 18 - 19, 2015:
Second International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately

The symposium was held in conjunction with CHICAGOPEX.


September 12 – 14, 2014:
The Eighth Annual Postal History Symposium: Development of Transoceanic Air Mail Service

The eighth Postal History Symposium was held in conjunction with Aerophilately 2014, a national all-air mail philatelic exhibition with FIP recognition and worldwide participation hosted by the American Air Mail Society.


November 12 – 14, 2012:
First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately

In addition to two days of technical presentations, there was a half-day workshop, including hands-on experience with the NPM forensic equipment.


November 2 – 4, 2012:
The Seventh Annual Postal History Symposium: “Blue & Gray: Mail and the Civil War”

The 2012 Symposium was held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society at the American Philatelic Center near State College, Pennsylvania.


June 3, 2012:
The George W. Brett Centennial: U.S. Stamp Researcher Extraordinaire Symposium

This symposium honored George W. Brett’s achievements and addressed his legacy. Presenters included Roger Brody, Rodney A. Juell, James Kloetzel, Cheryl R. Ganz, Michael Plett, Richard D. Bates, Daniel A. Piazza, Steven J. Rod, and Thomas Lera.


September 16 – 18, 2011:
The Sixth Annual Postal History Symposium: “How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails”

The Symposium was held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the United States Stamp Society (USSS) at the American Philatelic Center near State College, Pennsylvania.


September 30 - October 1, 2010:
Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History: “Stamps and the Mail: Imagery, Icons, & Identity”

Stamps, as official government documents, can be treated as primary resources designed to convey specific political and esthetic messages. Other topics and themes for the symposium are: Stamp design’s influence on advertising envelopes and bulk mailings, censorship of stamps as propaganda as used on letters, and the role of the citizens' stamp committee or organizations that generate the designs.


October 30 – November 1, 2009:
The Fourth Annual Postal History Symposium

The introduction of postage stamps in 1840 represented a complete overhaul in the organization and operating principles of the British Post Office. The subsequent rapid introduction of stamps to nearly every country in the world before the end of the 19th century is tangible evidence of the worldwide adoption of similar post office reforms. The 2009 Postal History Symposium will bring together collectors of classic stamps with scholars and public historians of postal reform and post office operations to examine these highly collectable cultural objects through the lens of the post office reforms that gave rise to them.


September 26 and 27, 2008:
Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History

The 2008 Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium jointly sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society was held on September 26 and 27, 2008. This was the third annual national conference for academic scholars, philatelists, and industry experts to discuss their research into the history of postal organizations and systems.


October 21 - 22, 2007:
Further, Farther, Faster: Transportation Technology and the Mail

This Postal History Symposium, the second national conference sponsored by the American Philatelic Society and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, provided a forum in which philatelists, academic scholars of postal organizations and systems, public historians, and the interested public discussed and presented research integrating philately and the history of postal operations within the broader context of American history. 


October 17, 2007:
Technologies, Technologists & Networks: A Symposium on the History of Communication Technologies

From 17 – 22 October 2007, the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) met in Washington, DC, and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. As part of that celebration, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum hosted a one-day symposium on the history of communication technologies on October 17, 2007.


November 3 - 4, 2006:
What is Postal History?: The Blount Symposium on Postal History

Rarely do scholars of postal organizations and systems meet and discuss their ideas and research with scholars of philately. In an attempt to bridge this gap, the National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society hosted a national conference on November 3 and 4, 2006, to bring together these two research groups.