The Moroney Awards for Scholarship in Postal History


The United States Postal Service created the Moroney Awards for Scholarship in Postal History to encourage scholarship on the history of the American postal system, and to raise awareness about the significance of the postal system in American life. The awards were named in honor of Rita Lloyd Moroney, the Postal Service’s first historian (1973–1991).

From 2007 through 2018, winning entries in two prize categories — senior and junior scholarship on American postal history — were selected by a volunteer academic review committee led by Professor Richard Kielbowicz of the University of Washington. Scholarship by junior scholars (undergraduates and graduate students) was eligible for a $1,000 award; scholarship by senior scholars (faculty members, independent scholars, and public historians) was eligible for a $2,000 award. The Moroney Awards were sponsored annually from 2007 through 2012, and thereafter biennially. A list of winners appears below.

In 2019, sponsorship of the awards was transferred to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. At that time, a third prize category was added, for digital public history, and the awards were renamed the National Postal Museum Awards for Scholarship in Postal History.

Winners of the Moroney Awards for Scholarship in Postal History
2018 Senior Award — Winifred Gallagher, How the Post Office Created America (New York: Penguin Press, 2016). Ms. Gallagher is a freelance journalist, science writer, author, and editor.

2018 Junior Award — Christy L. Pottroff, "Slave Narratives and their Circulatory Systems," a chapter from her dissertation "Citizen Technologies: The Post Office and the Transformation of Early American Literature."  Ms. Pottroff wrote the chapter while a graduate student at Fordham University.

2016 Senior Award — Peter A. Shulman, "Ben Franklin's Ghost: World Peace, American Slavery, and the Global Politics of Information before the Universal Postal Union," Journal of Global History, July 2015. Mr. Shulman is an associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

2016 Junior Award — No winner selected.

2014 Senior Award – Roman J. Hoyos, “The People’s Privilege: The Franking Privilege, Constituent Correspondence, and Political Representation in Mid-Nineteenth Century America,” Law and History Review, February 2013. Mr. Hoyos is an associate professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

2014 Junior Award – John Nathan Anderson, "Money or Nothing: Confederate Postal System Collapse during the Civil War," American Journalism, 30 (Winter 2013). Mr. Anderson wrote the article while a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

2012 Senior Award – Eric Jaffe, The King's Best Highway: The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route that Made America (New York: Scribner, 2010).  Mr. Jaffe, a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, is a contributing writer for The Atlantic Cities, an online magazine focusing on urban transportation.

2012 Junior Award – Kelly E. Gonzalez, "Joint Forces: A Military and Postal Partnership on the American Frontier."  Ms. Gonzalez wrote the paper in 2010 as her master’s thesis in military history while a student at Norwich University.

2011 Senior Award—Philip F. Rubio, There’s Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010).  Mr. Rubio, a former postal employee, is an assistant professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University.

2011 Junior Award—Joseph M. Adelman, "‘A Constitutional Conveyance of Intelligence, Public and Private’: The Post Office, the Business of Printing, and the American Revolution," published in the journal Enterprise & Society, 11 (no. 4, 2010). Mr. Adelman wrote the article while a doctoral student in history at Johns Hopkins University.

2010 Senior Award--Allison Marsh, "Greetings from the Factory Floor: Industrial Tourism and the Picture Postcard." Professor Marsh’s article was published in the October 2008 issue of Curator: The Museum Journal. She teaches in the Department of History, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

2010 Junior Award-—Sheila A. Brennan, "Stamping American Memory: Stamp Collecting in the U.S., 1880s-1930s." Ms. Brennan wrote the paper in 2009 while a graduate student at George Mason University, as her Ph.D. dissertation.

2009 Senior Award--Anuj Desai, “The Transformation of Statutes into Constitutional Law: How Early Post Office Policy Shaped Modern First Amendment Doctrine,” and “Wiretapping Before the Wires: The Post Office and the Birth of Communications Privacy.” Professor Desai’s articles were published in the March 2007 Hastings Law Journal and the November 2007 Stanford Law Review. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

2009 Junior Award--Philip Glende, "Victor Berger's Dangerous Ideas: Censoring the Mail to Preserve National Security During World War I" (paper presented at the 2007 conference of the Economic and Business Historical Society and published in Essays in Economic and Business History, Volume 26, 2008). Mr. Glende wrote the paper while a Ph.D. student in the University of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

2008 Senior Award--David A. Gerber, Authors of Their Lives: The Personal Correspondence of British Immigrants to North America in the Nineteenth Century (New York: New York University Press, 2006). Professor Gerber teaches in the Department of History at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

2008 Junior Award--Ryan Ellis, "Binding the Nation Together: The Politics of Postal Service." Mr. Ellis was a University of California San Diego graduate student when he wrote the paper.

2007 Senior Award--David M. Henkin, The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). Professor Henkin teaches in the Department of History, University of California-Berkeley.

2007 Junior Award--Jesse Vogler, “‘Correct and Perfect’: Post Office Design Guidelines and the Standardization of the National Postal Landscape” (paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 2006). Mr. Vogler was a student in the Master of Architecture program at the University of California-Berkeley when he wrote the paper. Back to Top ›

Note: The Moroney Awards were sponsored annually from 2007 through 2012.