Sources of Historical Information on Post Offices, Postal Employees, Mail Routes, and Mail Contractors

old photo image of carrier & customer dated approximately early 1900's

Publication 119

October 2011

The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.

Title 39, United States Code, Section 101

The history of the United States Postal Service® is one of innovation and adaptation—from the first use of railroads to carry the mail in the 1830s, to online stamp sales in 1997, to new developments in the 21st century. Within the history of the Postal Service lies the history of the nation as a whole, as mail routes and Post Offices™ spread westward, keeping the growing nation connected.

Historians, postmasters, genealogists, and others who want to learn more about the history of their communities will discover valuable sources of historical information on Post Offices, postal employees, mail routes, and mail contractors in this publication. Sources are listed chronologically and then discussed by subject. Following that, they are described in alphabetical order. The final pages list addresses for these resources and provide further references.




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