I’m the Postal Service’s historian and also manager of the Corporate Library at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.
I’ve worked in this office for more than 26 years — first as a summer intern, then as a temporary clerk, and later as a researcher under contract. I was offered a career position in 2006 and was promoted to historian in 2012.
Before I became a career postal employee, I worked a few other odd jobs, including a year at the World Bank as a bilingual secretary and a season as a field hand on an organic vegetable farm.
Being an old-timer is an advantage in this job, since experience makes it easier to find information. I love to research, write and learn new things, and I frequently get to do all three. Postal history is so vast that opportunities for research are endless.
Over the years, technology has opened new avenues of research. Many historic records have been digitized and are now searchable online. Ten years ago, I might have spent 30 minutes searching for information in the Postal Bulletin; now I can go to www.uspostalbulletins.com and find the same information in 30 seconds.
I supervise a staff of three. We respond to requests for information from employees and the general public and research and write for the Postal History pages on usps.com and other publications. We also manage the Postal Service’s collection of historic artifacts, records, photographs and publications, and we maintain Postmaster Finder.
We serve a dual role — we provide access to information, and we also help preserve information for future generations. That means everything from saving obsolete postal manuals and forms, to preserving different types of postal equipment.
Employees are encouraged to contact us at email@example.com before disposing of anything that might have historic value. Although we’re not part of the National Postal Museum, we frequently collaborate with its staff and coordinate the transfer of postal artifacts to the museum’s collection.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, a retired Army officer who now works for the Defense Department. We’ve been married for five years. Every day with him is a joy. We live in a semi-rural area in Virginia and have four dogs and three chickens.
“On the job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.