Smithsonian National Postal Museum Holds Holiday Card Workshop

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Postal Museum was bustling with visitors Saturday as the museum held its annual holiday card workshop.

Visitors of all ages attended the event, at which they could design their own holiday greeting cards.

NPM Attendees

As visitors entered the museum atrium, they started by choosing two pieces of cardstock, one large and one small. They then moved to embellish their cards with stickers, twine, and other materials available at the various craft stations. Visitors could sit at the tables in the atrium to assemble their cards with glue, scissors and other materials.

The museum’s Post Office was open for visitors to mail their cards affixed with the museum’s special postmark.

The museum also provided a photo booth for visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #nationalpostalmuseum.

Sponge Bob MailboxIn addition to the card making, visitors had the opportunity to write holiday messages to families at The Children’s Inn, an organization that provides housing and support for families with children receiving care at the National Institutes of Health. Visitors wrote messages on Spongebob-themed postcards and deposited them in a special Spongebob-themed mailbox. Director of Education Matthew White said he saw both parents children deposit postcards.

Referring to the Spongebob postcards, Public Programs Manager Motoko Hioki noted in an email, “The letter writing set up is still there in the museum atrium…if anyone wants to participate in the letter writing, they are welcome to do so at the museum until Thursday, December 14th.”

The Postal Museum holds several public events throughout the year, including another card workshop around Valentine’s Day. Volunteer Coordinator Maggie Sigle said the museum also does letter writing campaigns around Veterans Day for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and letters to U.S. troops and first responders.

Hioki, who organizes the museum’s public events, detailed their Wine and Design program, available as a once-a-month happy hour event. At these programs, people can come to the museum after hours and complete various postal-related arts and crafts. The events typically occur once a month.

Hioki was instrumental in starting the Wine and Design program at the museum. “People don’t write letters anymore,” she said. “Encouraging people to write is something important to me.”

The Postal Museum continues to provide educational activities for the general public to learn more about stamps, postal history, and the stamp collecting hobby. It is open seven days a week, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

 by Tasos Kalfas, @TasosKalfasWRGW

All photos courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum

Nominations Sought for Prestigious Crawford Medal

The prestigious Crawford Medal of The Royal Philatelic Society London will be awarded in 2018 “for the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the relevant period.”

It is open to all authors, whether members of the society or not.

Crawford MedalThe medal, in silver-gilt, features a portrait of the Earl of Crawford, bibliophile extraordinaire, and was instituted in 1914 but not awarded until 1920 owing to World War I.

Nominations are invited of books published in 2016 or 2017 to be considered by the selection committee, who will make a recommendation to Council. Nominations close on February 1.

Brief details should be submitted by e-mail to: secretary@rpsl.org.uk or by letter to the Society, 41 Devonshire Place, London WS1G 6JY, in every case using the subject “Crawford Nomination” or marking the envelope in the same way.

The society solicits nominations from as wide a selection of books as possible and would expect to have a copy in the society’s library. If the book is not in the library the nominator will be requested to supply a copy for the committee to consider.

The medal is open to worldwide competition. In the case of joint authorship the Council of the Royal may award a medal to each author, but in the case of books compiled as a result of collaboration on the part of more than two authors, the Council may award a medal to the sponsors or editors of the work instead of to the authors.

Chicagopex Features Three Book Signings, Two Convening Societies

The blockbuster Chicagopex 2017 show will feature nearly 300 frames of competitive exhibits, 75 dealers, a literature competition, two convening societies, book presentations and signings, and more when it meets November 17 to 19 at the Westin Chicago Northwest.

Here is a glimpse of the highlights, submitted by Melanie Rogers, publicity chair.

The annual philatelic exhibition celebrates 131 years of the Chicago Philatelic Society (www.chicagopex.org).

Columbian Expo TicketThis year’s show theme is “Celebrating the 525th Anniversary of Columbus’ Sailing.” Special souvenir show cachets and cancellation will be available for all three days of the show. There also will be an exhibit of material from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place in Chicago.

There will be 290 frames of philatelic material on display with something of interest for all attendees. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the philatelic literature competition with the books and other materials on display. Chicagopex judges also evaluate electronic literature such as websites, blogs and online articles.

The show bourse will feature 75 dealers from the United States and Europe. They will offer an array of material to interest everyone from the beginning collector to the advanced collector and exhibitor. The U.S. Postal Service and the U.N. Postal Administration will attend.

Two societies will convene: the Society of Israel Philatelists and the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group. These groups will present special exhibits of stamps and postal history as well as hold meetings open to the public.

The following groups also will meet at the show (all are open to the public):
Chicago Philatelic Society (Saturday)
Germany Philatelic Society Chapter No. 5 (Saturday)
Illinois Postal History Society (Sunday)
• North Shore Philatelic Society (Sunday)

Many of these groups feature expert guest speakers giving talks open to the public. The full schedule will appear in the show program, which will be available at the hospitality desk in the hotel’s atrium. It’s also available at the show website.

There is one book signing each day:

• 1 p.m. November 17 – The Pictorial History of Walt Disney’s First Superstar: Mickey Mouse, Volume One, by Edward Bergen
• 2 p.m. November 18 – U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875), by Hugh V. Feldman
• 11 a.m. November 19 – Holocaust Postal History, by Justin Gordon

Facebook PageCopies of the books will be available for sale. Visit the Chicago Philatelic Society’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicagopex) to find specific events and the show program, including specific conference rooms.

The show includes a youth booth with free stamps and supplies.

Attendees are asked to contact the hotel to make reservations and to mention Chicagopex for the special room rate. Admission and parking are free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday night will feature a catered awards banquet. Tickets must be purchased in advance ($60 each) and dress is business casual. Please see the Chicagopex website for the reservation form. Special diets can be accommodated upon request.

Three-Day SESCAL Show in Southern California Opens Friday

SESCAL MedallionThe 73rd annual Stamp Exhibition of Southern California, a three-day show popularly known as SESCAL, opens Friday at a new venue.

The show – presenting dealers, exhibits, and presentations – will be held at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario. World War I is the show theme.

The U.S. Postal Service and United Nations Postal Administration will be on hand offering their latest products. Thirty-four dealers will have booths, along with the Rossica (Russian) Society, the United States Cancellation Club, and the American Philatelic Society, which will be represented by Executive Director Scott English.

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions is the official auctioneer and will have auctions every day.

Meetings or presentations are planned from members of the Éire Philatelic Association, Mexico Philatelic Society, Hawaiian Philatelic Society, U.S. Cancellation Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, American First Day Cover Society, Rossica Society, the Plate Number Coil Club, and Iran and Japanese study groups. John Hotchner, of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, will lead a forum on exhibiting. Anyone interested in these groups is invited to attend.

Forty-one exhibitors have submitted 200 frames of material for the show, which is part of the World Series of Philately. The titles include “The Coronation Year of King George V,” “The First Modern U.S. Postage Stamp,” “Liberia Ship Letters and Stampless Mail, 1830-1880” and “California Express Companies, 1849-1895.” The grand award exhibit winner will be eligible to compete in the APS’s Champion of Champions competition.

Youth activities are scheduled every day.Facebook Page

Admission every day is free, though there is an $8 daily charge for parking at the convention center.

For more information, visit the show website at www.sescal.org.

Omaha Stamp Show, September 9–10, Omaha, Nebraska

The Omaha Stamp Show will take place September 9–10 at Metro Community College, 2909 Edward “Babe” Gomez Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

This APS World Series of Philately event features 13 dealers and multiple exhibits.

APS Chief Operating Officer Ken Martin is one of the exhibit judges at the show.

Additional information can be found on the show’s website.