Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Marks 30 Years!

National Postal Museum 1992 MAIL Magazine

FLASHBACK MAIL MAGAZINE MAY/JUNE 1992:  One of the special highlights at MAILCOM 1992 was the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum exhibit. Museum Director Jim Bruns (center) and associate Tom Woodruff (left) discuss the Museum’s progress with Associate Postmaster General Edward Horgan. Later that evening, Bruns was presented a check in the amount of $1,000 from the Granite State Postal Customer Council to help fund the Museum’s 1993 opening.

From the National Postal Museum:  How it all started…

A 107-year quest to find a permanent home for the nation’s philatelic and postal history treasures comes to an end with the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on July 30, 1993.

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The National Philatelic Collection was established at the Smithsonian Institution in 1886 with the donation of a sheet of 10-cent Confederate postage stamps. Generous gifts from individuals and foreign governments, transfers from government agencies and occasional purchases have increased the collection to today’s total of more than six million items.


From 1908 until 1963, the collection was housed in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall. While in this location, a vast transfer from the Post Office Department to the Smithsonian occurred in 1911, significantly increasing the collection to include objects of postal history. In 1964, the collection was moved to the museum that is now known as the National Museum of American History.


There, the collection expanded to include additional objects of postal history and stamp production. The collection was then moved to its present location and the National Postal Museum opened on July 30, 1993.
In addition to one of the world’s largest collections of stamps and philatelic materials, the National Postal Museum has postal history material that pre-dates stamps, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes and mailbags, postal uniforms, equipment, and much more.

The museum is also home to the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the largest gallery in the world dedicated to stamps and philatelic material.

Click for Smithsonian National Postal Museum