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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spellman Stamp Museum

See Gatehouse News story.
This pair of stamps is a wonderful example of the geography lessons that can be explored with stamps. Some places are made significant by the monuments that people erect, and the two shown in this image are among the best-known in the United States. They are framed in this view by cherry trees that were a gift to the United States from the country of Japan. The annual blossoming of the cherry trees draws visitors to Washington DC in the spring of each year, reminding us of the connections between the two countries, and of the similarity of climates between the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and much of Japan.

The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History is full of lessons of this kind. The museum opened on the campus of Regis College in Weston on May 4, 1963. It is one of only two dedicated stamp museums in the United States, the other being part of the Smithsonian Institution. Cardinal Spellman built an impressive  stamp collection through his own travels and gifts from church members and friends.

The museum built around that personal collection now serves thousands of visitors each year. The Spellman Museum's education programs provide insight into the history of stamps and postage systems, as well as general education on geography and many other subjects. With both permanent and changing exhibits, the Museum is an excellent destination for field trips and repeat visits, as the Gatehouse News recently reported.

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