The Fourth Annual Postal History Symposium
October 30 – November 1, 2009
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Call for Papers Deadline -- July 1, 2009
American Philatelic Society, American Philatelic Research Library,Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Post Office Reform
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.
The Symposium will be held in conjunction with U.S. Classics 2009, the national philatelic exhibition hosted by the U. S. Philatelic Classics Society. Panels will be interspersed with opportunities to view award-winning exhibitions of classic stamps and postal history. On Friday evening, October 30, 2009 there will be a reception and the keynote address will be delivered by Richard John, professor of history and adjunct professor of communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His publications include Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse. The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s banquet for Classic 2009 will be on Saturday evening.
Located 15 miles from State College, Pennsylvania, the American Philatelic Center is home to the 40,000 member American Philatelic Society, the largest stamp collecting organization in the nation, and the American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) dedicated to supporting and advancing postal and philatelic scholarship.
Proposals for symposium papers may be submitted either as individual papers or in panels. Possible themes for papers include - examination of the reform impetus behind these revolutionary postal reforms; the economic impact of post office reform; the effect of reform on letter writing and correspondence patterns; post office reform as related to the telegraph and private express companies; how reform changed the method of payment for conveyance of mail from the recipient paying the fee, to the sender prepaying in the form of a postage stamp; transportation of the mail by private carriers replaced by the government postal system; cancellations were developed to prevent the reuse of stamps; categories of types of mail with varying fee structures; and biographical studies. Papers outside the post office reform theme will be considered.
Deadline for proposals — July 1, 2009
Proposals should be no more than one page and be accompanied by a one-page curriculum vita with contact information (e-mail, phone, and address).
Please e-mail complete proposals to NPMResearchChair@si.edu.
Notification of accepted papers will be issued in mid July.
Conference papers will be posted on the National Postal Museum Website and will be considered for possible publication. Conference co-chairs are David L. Straight, Virginia L. Horn, and Thomas Lera
Winton M. Blount Chair in Research
Smithsonian National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Avenue NE
MRC 570 PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
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