Polar Philately and the Wilkes Antarctic Expedition. The 19th Annual Maynard Sundman Lecture

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November 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Area Studies, Communication, World History / Studies

November 1, 2022, 4 PM ET Online on Zoom

Registration free

Hal Vogel, Professor Emeritus, Rowan University

In 1838, the US Exploring Expedition (1838-42) began its examination of Antarctica, in what would become this worldwide adventure’s most remembered legacy leading many to remember it as the “Wilkes Antarctic Expedition”. The expedition created what organized philately, including one of its specialties, polar philately, refers to as “archival mail,” or ordinary mail that serves as written testimony to aspects and personalities of an historical event. Unfortunately, although discoveries of this type of mail from polar expeditions do still occur, (archival) mail still is unknown from a number of the earliest expeditions. Mail from the Wilkes Antarctic Expedition only began to surface in the 1980s. Using the postal history of this expedition as an example, the talk will introduce the field of polar philately –  its geographic scope, categories, and periods –  and examine how the intriguing mail of this exciting polar expedition helps document its highly historic events.

About Dr. Hal Vogel

Dr. Hal Vogel is a leading polar philatelist and the winner of this year’s American Philatelic Society’s Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research. His most prominent publications are the books, Essence of Polar Philately, edited by Alan Warren and published by ASPP in 2008, and Ahead of the Pack: Postal History Sampling of Heroic Age Polar Expeditions, written with Serge Kahn and published in 2015 by The Museum of Stamps and Coins of Monaco. Vogel is a former President of the ASPP and a member of many national and international philatelic organizations. He is also a nationally accredited philatelic and literature judge and an award-winning exhibitor. Vogel is a retired Army special operations and intelligence officer who also is a professor emeritus and former department chair at Rowan University, New Jersey.

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Susan Smith, smithsu@si.edu

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