Call for papers issued for 10th Blount Postal History Symposium next November

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. has issued a call for proposals for the 10th Blount Postal History Symposium, which will take place Nov. 1-2, 2018.

This year’s symposium focuses on the First World War and its immediate aftermath.

On Monday, Nov. 11, 1918, the First World War came to an end. Wrought from militarism, nationalism and imperialism, the Great War broke empires, challenged established gender and race relations, and destroyed millions of lives. Mail became the critical link for the families separated and desperate for news. Governments responded to these developments and the disruption of communication networks, and struggled to determine who should be able to communicate with whom and about what.


In addition to a one-page proposal, each individual should submit a one-page curriculum vitae with contact information (e-mail, phone, address).

The deadlines for proposals is June 15.

Notification of acceptance will be mailed on or about Aug. 1.

Final papers are due by Sept. 1, 2018. Accepted proposals must result in papers of 4,500-5,500 words, including bibliographic material, citations, and image titles. All articles must be formatted according to the guidelines of the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Images should be placed and discussed within the text and image permissions must be acquired. Writers will have the opportunity to revise their papers after the symposium and before the papers are considered for publication.

Possible topics include:

  • disruptions and shifts in mail transportation systems;
  • communication alternatives to the mail;
  • censorship of and by postal systems;
  • war-saving and thrift-saving stamp programs;
  • war propaganda and the mail;
  • war-time supply issues (inks, papers, etc.);
  • changing demographics and policies towards postal employees;
  • postal systems in occupied territories;
  • the rise of airmail; and
  • stamps of new countries.

For more information on formatting and permissions, click here.

Proposals or questions can be sent to


The American Philatelic Research Library, the American Philatelic Society, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum jointly produce the Blount Postal History Symposium, which has been held since 2006. The symposium offers a forum for philatelists, academic scholars, postal historians and the interested public to present and discuss philatelic research within the broader context of world history.

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