National Postal Museum Presents British Stamps in a New Online Collection

October 28, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and Stamp Magazine have collaborated to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary by launching the featured online collection “The Sun Never Sets on the Stamps of the British Empire.” The exhibit explores 19 stories relating to the stamps of Great Britain and its colonies between 1847 and 1965 and illustrates the history of the first pictorial, bi-color and diamond-shaped stamps issued in the British Empire. It is on the museum’s award-winning Web site Arago at

The British Empire was at the peak of its power in 1934; the relatively small nation controlled or influenced many territories across the globe. Stamp Magazine, a publication devoted to stamp collecting, debuted in Britain the same year. For the past 75 years, the magazine has reported on news and events related to the hobby.  

Arago is dedicated to the online presentation of the museum’s vast collections and contains high-resolution images and associated stories presented by curators, expert volunteer researchers, museum staff and guest writers. Since the image of a woman first appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 1893, the U.S. Postal Service has represented female politicians, social activists, educators, artists, business women and performers on more than 200 stamps.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285. Visit the museum Web site at

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