The American Philatelic Research Library,the American Philatelic Society, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum jointly produce the Postal History Symposium, which has been held since 2006. The symposium provides a forum for philatelists, academic scholars, postal historians, and the interested public to discuss and present research that integrates philately or the history of postal operations into the broader context of world history.

Coming Soon - Details for the 2020 Symposium will be posted in the very near future.

 

Past Symposia

Papers and Presentations

2018 - "WWI and its Immediate Aftermath"

"WWI and its Immediate Aftermath"

10th Postal History Symposium

November 1-2, 2018
Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Washington, DC

Symposium Session 1: Postal Employees and Communication Networks
  • "Civilian and Military Organization of Mail Operations for the American Expeditionary Forces" - Lynn Heidelbaugh
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "The First World War, Female Telegraphists and the General Post Office’s Employment Priorities" - Joanna Espin
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "U.S. Army Signal Corps Telephone & Telegraph in the Great War" - Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "World War I Impacts on Chile's Security Printing Plant Development" - Bill Lenarz
    (abstract | presentation)
Exhibit Presentations
  • “War Savings and Thrift Stamps-Helping Fund the Great War” - Harry Charles
    (abstract | presentation)
  • “Red Cross Activities Before, During and After WWI (1912-1923)” - Jack Elder
    (abstract | presentation)
  • “Prisoner of War Camps in Japan, 1914-1920. Opportunities for Exploration, Research and Study” - Harold Krische
    (abstract | presentation)
  • “The Versailles Peace Treaty: The Role of Diplomatic and Military Mail” - Ravi Vora
    (abstract | presentation)
Symposium Session 2: Censorship and Surveillance
  • "Zanzibar Mails – WWI" - Gary DuBro
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "Civilian Postal Censorship in India During the World War I Era" - Robert Gray
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "Postal Censorship of the Press during World War I" - Nancy Pope
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "The Revolution Will Not be Mailed: The US Post Office’s Role in Antiradicalism During and After World War I" - Adam Quinn
    (abstract | presentation)
Symposium Session 3: The Mail
  • "The Mail of Prisoners of the Great War: Picture Postcards and Aid-Related Cards" - Alexander Kolchinsky
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "Returning to a Country They No Longer Recognized" - Kevin Lowther
    (abstract | presentation)
  • "Write that Letter Home: Senders, Recipients, and the Content of World War I Correspondence” - Jim Miller
    (abstract | presentation)
2016 - How Postal Treaties Influenced Post Office Reports

How Postal Treaties Influenced Post Office Reforms

9th Postal History Symposium

June 2, 2016
Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City

Symposium Keynote
  • James Peter Gough RDP FRPSL
Symposium Session 1
  • A Non-Treaty Postal Agreement of the United States Post Office Department with the British Post Office as a significant early step towards the development of United States airmail to foreign destinations - Murray Abramson
    (read abstract | presentation)
  • Newspapers in the Mails: Postal Unification of the British American Colonies - Diane DeBlois & Robert Dalton Harris
    (read abstract | presentation)
  • 1836 Anglo-French Postal Convention (AF1836) - Geoffrey Lewis
    (read abstract | paper | presentation)
Symposium Session 2
2014 - Development of Transoceanic Air Mail Service

Development of Transoceanic Air Mail Service

8th Annual Postal History Symposium & Aerophilately

September 12-14, 2014
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
The 2014 Symposium was held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the American Air Mail Society.

Symposium Keynote
  • “A Pan Am Flight Cover Literally Changed My Life” by Jon E. Krupnick
    (YouTube Video)
Symposium Session 1
Symposium Session 2
  • The Bathurst Connection: The Centrality of Gambia to the Development of Transatlantic Air Mail- Gary Wayne Loew
    (read abstract | presentation | paper | YouTube Video
    This paper was published in Cameo, vol. 16, no. 3 (October 2015) and is re-posted here with permission.)
  • Development of Transpacific Airmail Routes by the Naval Air Transport Service - William Fort
    (read abstract | presentation)
Symposium Session 3
2012 - Blue & Gray: Mail and the Civil War

Blue & Gray: Mail and the Civil War

7th Annual Postal History Symposium & U.S. Classics 2012

November 2-4, 2012
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
The 2012 Symposium was held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the United States Philatelic Classics Society (USPCS).

Postal History Society Talk
  • The Fort Sumter Issue of 1961: A Commemorative in Conflict – David M. Frye
    (abstract | presentation)
Postal History Symposium Session 1
  • How the Post Office in Elmira, NY met the challenges of the American Civil War – Alan Parsons
    (abstract | presentation)
  • Decorated Envelopes as Weapons of War – Ken Lawrence
    (abstract | presentation | paper)
  • American Civil War Postage Due: North and South – Harry K. Charles, Jr.
    (abstract | presentation)
  • Balancing the Books: Newspapers & the Postal Business of the Confederacy – Diane DeBlois & Robert Dalton Harris
    (abstract | presentation | paper)
Postal History Symposium Session 2
  • The Madison, Florida Postmaster Provisionals: Anatomy of a Postal History Research Project – Patricia A. Kaufmann
    (abstract | presentation)
  • “Cold Mountain”: Philatelic Props Developed for the Movie – Thomas J. Richards
    (abstract | presentation | paper)
Postal History Symposium Session 3
  • Confederate Generals’ Mail, 1861-1865 – Brian Green & Alexander Green
    (abstract | presentation)
  • Economic Activity Following the Civil War Indexed by Postal Money Order Data – Terence Hines & Thomas Velk
    (abstract)
  • Union and Confederate Soldiers’ Stationery: Their Designs and Purposes – Steven R. Boyd
    (abstract)
  • Where are the Confederate Route Agents? – Douglas N. Clark
    (abstract | presentation | paper)
2011 - How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails

How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails

6th Annual Postal History Symposium

September 16 – 18, 2011
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Use the links noted here to view the Papers/Presentations and Abtracts from the 2011 Symposium:

2010 - Stamps and the Mail: Imagery, Icons, & Identity

Stamps and the Mail: Imagery, Icons, & Identity

5th Annual Postal History Symposium

September 30 - October 1, 2010
Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Use the links noted here to view the Papers/Presentations and Abtracts from the 2010 Symposium:

2009 - “Postal Reform” Reform

“Postal Reform” Reform

4th Annual Postal History Symposium

October 30 – November 1, 2009
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Use the links noted here to view the Papers/Presentations and Abtracts from the 2009 Symposium:

2008 - When the Mail Goes to War

When the Mail Goes to War

3th Annual Postal History Symposium

September 26-27, 2008
Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Information about the symposium is available - see details

2007 - Technologies, Technologists & Networks

A Symposium on the History of Communication Technologies

2nd Annual Postal History Symposium

September 30, 2007
Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Use the links noted here to view the Papers/Presentations and Abstracts from the 2007 Symposium:

2006 - What is Postal History

What is Postal History

1st Annual Postal History Symposium

November 3-4, 2006
Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Use the links noted here to view the Papers/Presentations and Abstracts from the 2006 Symposium:

 

Engage with us