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The National Postal Museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution that houses one of the world?s largest collections of stamps and philatelic materials. Located in Washington, D.C., the museum features interactive exhibits about sending, receiving and delivering mail, including postal history material that pre-dates stamps, vehicles that were used to transport the mail, mailboxes and mailbags, postal uniforms and equipment. The various hands on exhibitions and public programs bring to life the colorful history of the nation?s mail service.

Opened to the public in 1993, the museum was created through an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service. For more than 70 years, the museum is housed in the Washington City Post Office, a Beaux Arts-style building with six galleries that explore America's postal history from colonial times to the present, the importance of letters, and the diversity of postage stamps. The museum also offers special programs including workshops, films, family programs, lectures, and guided tours. More than 40,000 books and archival documents are housed at the National Postal Museum Library.

The National Postal Museum highlights the beauty and lore of stamps, recognizing its value as more than just physical evidence that postage has been paid. Stamps can be miniature works of art, treasured keepsakes, and rare collectibles. The museum?s past and current stamp exhibits include John Lennon: The Lost Album, Queen's Own: Stamps That Changed the World, and Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp. Although it?s not a stamp exhibit, the ?War Letters: Lost and Found? exhibit features original letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam that were lost or abandoned and then rediscovered by strangers.

The museum?s "What's in the Mail for You? exhibit produces a souvenir envelop with visitor?s name printed on it and a coupon for the museum gift shop that sells stamps, books and other gift items. As a Smithsonian museum, admission is free.
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