Symposia and Lectures

Wednesday, May 31, 2023:
Research Conversations: Rural Mail Carriers in Central Appalachia with Emily Hilliard

4:00 – 5:00 pm ET.

Online and at the National Postal Museum

Emily Hilliard is the Program Director for Folk and Traditional Arts at Mid Atlantic Arts. She received an Archie Green Fellowship in 2021 from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for her project "Rural Free Delivery: Mail Carriers in Central Appalachia." The project documents the expressive culture and experiences of twenty-five rural mail carriers and clerks in the upper mountain South (VA, WV, KY, OH, NC). It focuses, in particular, on the function they serve as lifelines in their community, as well as how rural post offices are invaluable community hubs in remote areas.

September 14, 2022:
Book Talk – Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family

7:00 – 8:00 pm ET.

Online and on the ground floor of the National Postal Museum

A book signing was held after the talk in the museum atrium for those attending in person.

Between Home and the Front presents previously unpublished letters from the Walters family's collection held by the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This collection includes the exchange of correspondence between the home front and frontline, a perspective not often seen in historical records. The publication provides a glimpse into the emotions and news that Private David Walters of the 5th Indiana Cavalry and his wife Rachel shared in their correspondence. Rachel became the hub of communication for the family, often receiving missives from David's brothers, Isaac and John Wesley, both of whom served with Indiana units, and relaying the information to friends and family.

Thursday, May 6, 2021:
The US Post and the Making of the American West

Online, via ZOOM

On May 6 Cameron Blevins discussed his new book, Paper Trails: The US Post and the Making of the American West, in conversation with historian Robert Dalton Harris.

October 6 - 22, 2020:
Fourth International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately

Online, via ZOOM

The Symposium reviewed the latest advances in technical studies of postage stamps. Leaders in the field presented their work and answered questions.

October 12 – 14, 2017:
Third International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately

London, England

The symposium was co-sponsored by the Institute of Analytical Philately, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the Royal Philatelic Society, London, which hosted the event.

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

Chicago, IL

The symposium was held in conjunction with CHICAGOPEX.

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

American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, PA

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

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

Tysons Corner, VA

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.

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

National Postal Museum

From 17 – 22 October 2007, the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) met in Washington, D.C., 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.