Postal files at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Library (Beta)
Welcome to the National Postal Museum Library's online finding aid to the postal and philatelic files. This is a beta site for the initial identification and description of Library's vertical files but this site will be updated regularly. So enter your search terms and begin to discover the riches of these files!

To search for our traditional library material, please use our online catalog here:

Or to experience a more indepth look at Smithsonian-wide information here:

The National Postal Museum Library is one of the largest and most important research facilities for the study of philately and the history of postal services in the world. Supplementing the collection of monographs on philately and postal history are major archival collections including:
  • Post Office Department files of the Third Assistant Postmaster General, including original letters sent to various post office officials and replies discussing stamp issues and related postal subjects. Especially strong from 1920 to 1970, the files are organized by Scott number and subject.

  • Other Post Office Department publications — press releases, reports of Postmasters General and other post office officials, documents concerning National Airmail Week (1938), records concerning the development of the zip code system, etc.

  • Aerial Mail Service collection includes correspondence, newspaper and journal articles, government documents, photographs and other illustrations relating to the Aerial mail Service. A sizeable portion of the collection is devoted to biographical information and photographs of early air mail pilots.

  • Panama Canal Zone Post Office collection consists of correspondence, newspaper and journal articles, government documents, stamp design files, photographs and other illustrations. It covers the history of the Panama Canal Zone Post Office from 1904 to 1999.

  • Please take a look at the finding aids and let us know your reaction.