The United States Postal Service provides a wealth of resources, reaching back to its roots in colonial America, for those interested in its history. Last summer the Historian’s Office redesigned their Postal History web site. It provides access to the essays, reports, and lists they have written and compiled about people who have worked at the Post Office as well as information on Stamps, Postage Rates, Mail Transportation and Delivery, Postal Uniforms, Post Office Buildings, and Historical Statistics for the Post Office. The Photo Gallery displays a small fraction of the pictures held in the Post Office collection grouped by people, vehicles, buildings, equipment, airmail, and railroads. Research Sources links to other significant postal history collections and provides a link for contacting the Historian’s Office.
Postmaster Finder is one of the most valuable resources. This growing database contains the names and dates of service for postmasters who served at more than 15,000 Post Offices, a number that increases weekly. It includes nearly all postmasters appointed after 1986 and for some post offices, the records stretch back to the 1700s. Besides personal names, the data can be searched by city, county, state, ZIP Code, or dates of establishment and discontinuance for post offices.
The USPS corporate library supports the information needs of the headquarters staff and is open to outside researchers by appointment. While its strength lies in the documents, reports, and magazines produced by the Post Office as well as Congressional reports and hearings about the Post Office, there is also a good collection of postal history books. For access, contact Raymond Plante, 202-268-2906 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the library, or Jenny Lynch, 202-268-2074 (email@example.com) and Melody Selvage, 202-268-2532 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Historian’s Office.