The Postal Workwear oral history project seeks to document the experiences of current and past postal workers, uniform manufacturers, and uniform distributors. We want to record 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. Lines of inquiry may include questions about how workers—both those who have uniforms and those who do not have regulations for clothing—feel about it; how they select and adapt their workwear clothing to fit their daily needs; and how suppliers select, design, produce, and sell uniforms and wearable equipment.
The project emerged through a collaboration between the National Postal Museum and New York University’s master’s program in Costume Studies, wherein dress is interpreted as central to the creation of professional, community, and personal identities. As we launched this project during the Covid-19 pandemic, the necessity of safety protocols and protective equipment is one of the topical areas considered for some interviews. The project began in 2021 and collecting is ongoing.
Museum staff and New York University participants are currently contacting narrators and the first of these interviews will be posted in 2023.
For further information about this project and to volunteer to participate as a narrator of your own oral history, contact: email@example.com