The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Library has a Small Journals collection located in the center of our reading room. We are currently working to catalog this collection and add records more »
While working at the National Postal Museum (NPM) Library, we often stumble upon treasures that are waiting to be discovered. We find them in boxes of donations, tucked away on a shelf, behind cabinets, and underneath metal file drawers, but sometimes they are hidden in plain sight.
This post was contributed by Michael O’Connor, contract cataloger.
Directly across the street from DC’s Union Station is the spectacular 1914 neoclassical structure that houses the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum (NPM). Since July of 2013 I have worked as a project cataloger on NPM Library’s Small Journals Project, an effort to catalog thousands of rare periodicals from the 1800s to the present.
John Kerr Tiffany (1842-1897) of St. Louis, Missouri is considered one of the earliest stamp collectors (known as philatelists) in the United States and belongs to the American Philatelic Society’s Hall of Fame. Tiffany was also the first president of the society in 1886 and was re-elected the following ten years, until he decided to stop running. In addition to having been an avid stamp collector, Tiffany created one of the largest library’s on the topic of stamps during his era, along with publishing books, catalogs and indexes on the topic. The National Postal Museum Library contains a manuscript copy from 1880-81 of Tiffany’s Philatelic Index.
On May 20, 1927, at 7:52 a.m., Charles A. Lindbergh, an air mail pilot, flew from New York to Paris, arriving at 10:22 p.m. the next day. He flew 3610 miles and became the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic alone, breaking the non-stop distance record for an airplane. The sources listed below provide a window into aviation history and help capture the excitement and romance of a major breakthrough in air travel.