Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian Launch a New Online Collection

December 18, 2008
News Release
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The Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian have collaborated to create a beautiful digital collection called “The American Indian on Stamps: Profiles in Leadership, Accomplishment and Cultural Celebration.” The collection can only be viewed at It features 40 images of the approximately 70 stamps that the U.S. Postal Service has issued of Native Americans since 1875. The unique technology of the Web site enables viewers to magnify images to almost the size of their computer screen and see details that a magnifying glass cannot provide.

“Arago is a tremendous educational tool for people of all ages. It is beneficial for grade schoolers who are writing a report, for an adult who wants to learn more about philately or for somebody who is trying to learn more about their culture,” said Allen Kane, Postal Museum director. “We are trying to bring these educational opportunities to people across the globe—not only the ones who visit Washington, D.C.”

“One of the most intriguing aspects of this one-of-a-kind Web site is that it shows the American Indian presence on stamps for over a century alongside with actual objects that inspired their creation,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche), director, National Museum of the American Indian. “We are pleased to partner with the National Postal Museum to provide the historical context of these stamps.”

The U.S. Postal Service’s American Indian-related stamps are now accessible to the public as never before. The stamps are accompanied by information about the artists and mediums used to create the stamps, and they are juxtaposed with objects and historical images from the collection of the National Museum of the American Indian. The dynamic and user-friendly site will serve as an exciting resource for philatelists, historians and students.

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