By Cheryl Ganz, Philately Department
When visitors come to the opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery on Sunday, September 22, they will see stamp rarities, learn wonderful stories about stamps and mail, and experience philately in ways they never imagined. But one thing they will not see is a small, flat box hidden behind the walls in the post office’s old vault space!
On February 28, 2013, Allen Kane, NPM director (above-left); Glen Hopkins, design and construction manager (center); and Cheryl Ganz, lead curator (right), hid a time capsule. The staff and Council of Philatelists (a museum advisory board of top stamp collectors) contributed to the contents with signed business cards, philatelic journals and artifacts, museum publications and ephemera, and tokens of life in America in 2013. A message inside to those who someday will open the time capsule tells them that it was stowed in memory of W. Wilson Hulme (1946-2007), the Chief Curator of Philately who dreamed of a Philatelic Center of Excellence but died before the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery was conceived.
In addition to the time capsule, during construction, staff and the Council of Philatelists signed beams and the stairwell recently put in place by Clark Construction Group. Many left messages so that, if the building is ever dismantled, future generations will know how very excited we all are to share the creation of the world's largest postage stamp gallery.