Agency history, 1990-

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  • Bretos, Miguel A
  • Bruns, James H
  • Collins, Herbert Ridgeway 1932-
  • Kane, Allen
  • Gruber, Elliot
  • United States Postal Service
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) National Philatelic Collection


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • From Dream to Delivery, Washington Post, August 13, 1993
  • Washington Post, February 20, 2002
  • National Postal Museum, National Postal Museum Funding [], 02/01/2000
  • The National Postal Museum was created in 1990 as the result of an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service. Under this agreement the Smithsonian installed its National Philatelic Collection in space provided by the Postal Service in the Washington City Post Office, designed by Daniel Burnham, completed in 1914, renovated, and reoccupied in 1991. Both the Smithsonian and the Postal Service contribute to its operations.
  • Curators at the National Postal Museum research the history of the American postal system and collect American postage, special stamp editions of famous individuals or subjects, postal stationery, Post Office equipment and uniforms, and foreign stamps primarily for what they show about American history.
  • Herbert Ridgeway Collins served as the first Director of the National Postal Museum, 1990-1991, and was succeeded by James H. Bruns, Deputy Director, 1990, and Director, 1991-2001. Miguel A. Bretos was Acting Director, February 2001-February 2002. Allen Kane succeeded him, serving February 2002-2017. After Kane retired, Elliot Gruber became director in September 2017- .

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1990
  • 1990-


  • Postage stamps
  • Postal museums
  • Stamp collecting


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00134

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