For Researchers

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Philatelists working in the library

The Museum supports a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects which address topics of importance such as current and future postal operations, as well as philatelic and postal history. Our efforts are a resource and point of reference for research and wider investigation by historians throughout the United States and the world.


With more than 40,000 books, journals, catalogues and archival documents, the National Postal Museum Library is among the world's largest postal history and philatelic research facilities.

National Postal Museum Archives

Founded in 2023, the National Postal Museum Archives collects materials that strengthen and support the Museum's goal to be a global leader and advocate for the research, study, and exhibition of postal operations history, philately, and the mail.

Forensic Laboratory

The Museum houses a laboratory with a unique combination of equipment for the analytical or forensic study of philatelic materials.

Maynard Sundman Lecture Series

The Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting.

Symposia and Lectures

List of upcoming and past symposia and lectures.

Research Funding

The Museum is pleased to announce funding for the research of philatelic or postal topics leading to publication.

Finding Guides

The Museum has created research guides for collections that are frequently accessed or that have additional research potential. These guides provide concise descriptions of the scope and content, provenance and list of materials for each collection.

Research Articles

The Museum would like to share research and educational materials through these online articles.

Topical Reference Pages

Browse these pages to discover resources organized by topic.

External Research Links

Links to philatelic and history museums, non-profit philatelic and postal history societies, and philatelic and postal history archives and libraries around the world.

The NPM Awards for Scholarship in Postal History

The National Postal Museum sponsors three biennial prizes for scholarship on the history of the postal system in the United States and its territories, and their antecedents.

Appointments to Research Objects

Only a fraction of the museum's vast collection is ever on display. An appointment is necessary to research objects that are in storage.