Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Philatelic Dissertation

John Finch, Stamps Guide, posts on his blog, "Sheila Brennan, is one of two winners of this year's Rita Lloyd Moroney Award for scholarship in the area of American postal history and the postal system. Her Stamping American Memory: Stamp Collecting in the U.S., 1880s-1930s traces the growing popularity of stamp collecting in earlier years."

Shilea writes that, "This dissertation investigates the relationships and intersections among stamp collectors (philatelists), non-collectors, and the postal service and the influences that such relationships have on concepts of nationalism, consumption, and memory making in the United States."

She goes on to say, "My study begins after the American Civil War, when collecting stamps emerged as a leisure time activity approximately thirty years after the postal revolution began when Great Britain introduced the postage stamp."

"The fact that stamps existed to serve the needs of empires makes it unsurprising that collecting stamps often mimicked imperialistic tendencies, but on a much smaller scale. Stamps often acted as official and visual press releases to the world announcing the establishment of a newly-independent nation, the ascension of a new monarch, or the election of a national leader."

To read her entire (all 303 pages!) dissertation, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM