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Spellman Museum brings postal history to life

Founded in 1963, the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History is located on the grounds of Regis College in Weston, where it serves as a philatelic trust, promotes the hobby of stamp collecting, and acts as a resource for historians, researchers, and the public.

Henry Lukas, education director at the nonprofit organization since 2004, offers gallery tours, school and scout programs, and presentations about the history of stamps and the postal system, during talks at public libraries, historical societies, social clubs, senior centers, and independent and assisted living facilities.

Q. How has the museum changed over your 14-year tenure?

A. We’ve increased the types of programs to bring more people into the museum. The goal is to educate people about stamps, and how important they are to understanding history, geography, and many other subjects.

Q. What is on display now?

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A. Some of our current stamp exhibits celebrate Women’s History Month, presidents, and the inauguration, and describe how mail was carried on trains, buses, trolley cars, dog sleds, and the Pony Express. We have postal games that kids used to play, antique stamp cases, and a dress made out of stamps hanging in one of the galleries. We also offer a video on stamps online. You don’t have to be a stamp collector to enjoy the Spellman.

Q. Do people ask about the value of their stamps?

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A. So often that we offer an evaluation service of personal collections for $40. We tell people not to throw their stamps away because they don’t know what’s valuable to a collector. If they decide to make a donation, we accept all types of stamps and philatelic materials. Children receive a free packet of stamps at every visit, and we use lots of donated stamps in our educational programs.

Q. What is your ultimate vision for the museum?

A. We’re always looking for more volunteers to help visitors learn how important the postal history system has been to the country, and to the world. We also hope more children will begin to collect stamps, and that we can encourage more schools to use our resources for learning about many different subjects. Hopefully we’re introducing people to an educational, lifelong hobby.

The Spellman Museum is located at 241 Wellesley St., Weston. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 781-768-8367, e-mail info@spellman.org, or visit spellmanmuseum.org.

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.
com
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