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Spellman Museum Newsletter October 2011

October 12, 2011

Celebrate National Stamp Collecting Month

Stamp collectors across the country are celebrating the great hobby of philately this month. Several Museum members are now displaying portions of their unique collections in the Museum's main gallery. Make sure to come by some time this month to view these exhibits that include: Tannu Tuva, Weston Postal History, "Win the War", Graf Zeppelin 127, Reader's Digest Philately, Sesquicentennial Envelopes and "A Few of My Favorite Things." We also ask that visitors vote both for the most educational and their favorite display.

Banned Books

Continuing in the Main Gallery is the exhibit specially prepared by Curator George S. Norton featuring authors on stamps from Hans Christian Andersen and Ernest Hemingway to Leo Tolstoy and Mark Twain who have had one or more of their books banned or challenged over the years.

Record Attendance

Harry Potter fans helped the Museum set a new attendance record for the month of September. Almost 700 people took advantage of Museum offerings for the month. Can you help us set an October record as well?

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Upcoming Events

Old And Rare Book Evaluations
Wednesday October 26 7:00 to 9:00

Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of the nationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston's Downtown Crossing will give a talk entitled, "Is There Value in Your Old and Rare Books" on Wednesday October 26 at 7:30 pm at the Museum. Following his talk, Mr. Gloss will give verbal appraisals of all old books brought in by audience members. Admission is free for members and a $5 donation for the general public.

The program is being presented in conjunction with the Museum's current exhibit Stamps and Banned Books.

Annual Halloween Family Day
October 29 Noon to 4:00

Decorating pumpkins and treat or treat bags with stamps plus stamp scavenger hunts for prizes are just some of the fun activities planned for our annual Halloween Family Day. Kids and adults are welcome to come by any time that afternoon. Stamp prizes will be given to all who come in costume.

Save The Date For The Gala Opening Of Our New Gallery And Exhibits Room
Saturday November 5 7:00

More information will be sent to members soon. This opening is part of the Museum's on-going 50th Jubilee Anniversary Celebration.

Also don't forget the annual WALPEX 2011 Stamp Show on October 29 and 30 at the Minuteman Science and Technology High School in Lexington from 10:00 to 5:00 on Saturday and 10:00 to 4:00 on Sunday

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In The Store
by Anne O'Keefe, Store Manager

October is the last month in 2011 that the Post Office will be issuing new stamps. The holiday stamps including Madonna and Child and the Holiday Baubles are out on October 13. The Kwanza and Hanukkah stamps are out on October. 14. And speaking of holidays, it is not too early to start your holiday shopping. Please visit the store to see all the great jigsaw puzzles and board games for kids and adults. Many of them have a philatelic theme.

Wanted Dead But Better Alive - Since the Post Office has announced that they are considering putting living people on stamps, the Museum is asking visitors if they have any suggestions. Please send us yours and/or your opinion about this proposed new policy to info@spellman.org. We wil share replys in our November newsletter.

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In The Library
by Phil Untersee, Volunteer

"A vivid and fascinating look at American history through the prism of the country's most storied highway, the Boston Post Road" is how the dust jacket starts its description of the book donated by a Museum volunteer: The King's Best Highway - The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route that Made America by Eric Jaffe. Covering a span of nearly 400 years, the book draws numerous connections between the well-traveled route between Boston and New York and the social, cultural, economic, and political changes of the nation. It's a lively read! You'll find it on display in the Library. The Museum is also hoping to have Mr. Jaffe speak to members and the general public sometime in the new year.

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Education News

School programs have started and Education Director Henry Lukas will be making his annual trip to the fourth grade classes at the Barrows School in Reading for the program The History of Stamps - Pushing the Envelope. A Brownie troop from Weston is also coming for their merit badge program and to see the Harry Potter exhibit. Lukas will also be making a presentation to the Wellesley-Weston Lifetime Learning Program as part of their fall-term program.

The Museum was also pleased that over 200 children and adults attended the October 2 Eyes on Owls programs presented in conjunction with the Harry Potter exhibit. Pictured to the left is Naturalist Marcia Wilson who along with her husband showed slides of owls they have seen plus the six owls they brought with them. Included was a snowy owl, similar to Hedwig, the owl in the Potter stories who carried the mail.

Lukas is also working with Willamarie Moore, the Education Director at the Museum of Fine Arts to prepare a program about daily life in Japan scheduled for the school holiday, November 11 at 10:30. Moore is the author of two books about Japan and is excited about sharing her stories with Spellman visitors.

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Annual Members Reception And Dinner

Ms. Elln Hagney, the Executive Director of the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation (left) was the guest speaker at the Museum's annual Members Dinner. Saying that she has been involved with museums since she first volunteered at one at age 15, she shared many exciting ideas about how small museums like the Spellman can attract more visitors and members through a variety of new methods. She was joined by the their current Artist in Residence and their Director of Operations. Ms. Hagney also added a personal note; her mother was a postal worker and she remembers helping him sort the mail when she was young.

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Monthly Trivia Contest
by Henry Lukas

Congratulations to David Gregg for being among our readers who correctly answered last month's question: "Why is a British Penfold mailbox located in the center city of Lucerne, Switzerland?"

The answer: It as a gift from its sister city Bournemouth, England and was presented in honor of the 700th anniversary of the founding of Switzerland. David will receive a $10 gift certificate to the Museum store.

This month we ask two questions: "Why might you have to stand on your head this month to get a better view of the stamps up for auction at the Cherrystone Auction House and what famous mailman celebrated his 30th birthday on Sept. 16, 2011?" Submit your answer by Oct. 18 to info@spellman.org to win this month's prize (you must answer both correctly).

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Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History

235 Wellesley St | Regis College | Weston | MA | 02493

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