Wonderful Women Wednesday: Catherine Lemmon Manning

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Catherine Lemmon Manning was the philatelist and curator of the National Philatelic Collection at the Smithsonian’s United States National Museum between 1922 and 1951. She served as curator emeritus from her retirement to her death in 1957.  

Referred to in newspapers as the “first lady in the world of stamps,” Manning organized Smithsonian’s philatelic collections, processed objects from the Universal Postal Union and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, published articles, and was a leader in the field of philately.

Manning was the first woman to ever hold office in the American Philatelic Society. She was a charter member of the American Philatelic Congress and an active member of the Washington Philatelic Society. In 1990, Manning was inducted into the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.


Photograph of Manning holding up an award in the shape of a round dish.

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