US Stamps

Museum hosts Sundman lecture Nov. 7

Oct 27, 2014, 11 AM

Chris West, the author of A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, will be the featured speaker at the 12th annual Maynard Sundman lecture in Washington, D.C.

The event will take place Nov. 7 from noon to 2 p.m., in the Discovery Center at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Admission is free, and no reservation is required.

West’s talk will be followed by a reception and book signing. The first 100 attendees will receive a free copy of the book.

West has written several books, including mystery novels set in China, a bestselling business guide, and First Class, A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps.

“He inherited a love of history from his father and an Edwardian ‘Lincoln’ stamp album from his great-uncle as a child,” according to the National Postal Museum. “His love for stamps was revived when he found that same dust-covered album in his attic as an adult.”

West lives in Cambridgeshire, England.

“The National Postal Museum’s new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is all about stamps and mail, seen as a window into the larger context of history,” said Daniel Piazza, philatelic curator at the museum. “Chris’ similar approach to American history made his book a great fit for this Sundman Lecture.”

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, visit the museum online at, or call 202-633-1000.