Oral History

silver-colored portable audio micro cassette recorder
Recording equipment formerly used at the museum for oral history projects

The National Postal Museum’s oral history projects and collections provide public access on subjects related to the organization’s mission. Oral histories add personal experiences into historical context, enabling the museum to expand areas of interpretation, understanding, and knowledge while highlighting voices and perspectives not readily found in objects or written records.

Postal Workwear

The Postal Workwear oral history project records what postal workers wear on the job and the role of management, unions, manufacturers and distributors in shaping the experience of uniforms and workwear. The goal is to use discussions about clothing to learn about postal careers and work cultures. This project began in 2021 and collecting is on-going.

The Railway Mail Service

Between 2007 and 2009 museum internship projects to record first-hand histories of Railway Post Office clerks produced interviews with former employees from around the country. The conversations range from a few minutes to over an hour and include unique perspectives on moving and sorting the mail in the twentieth century. The museum is not currently adding to this collection.

Women in the U.S. Postal System

Women in the U.S. Postal System oral history project included discussions of diverse job experiences. Excerpts from interviews conducted for a museum internship project in the early 2000s cover topics such as work environment, physical work, co-workers, women’s programs, promotions, discrimination, opportunities, past and future, family live, and working while pregnant. The museum is not currently adding to this collection.