The Spellman Museum was founded in 1961 to house and share the collection of Cardinal Francis Spellman.
He had been introduced to wonderful world of stamps by seminarian Lawrence Killian while they were together at the North American College in Rome, Italy. Cardinal Spellman loved to use stamps as souvenirs, having stamps signed to commemorate events in the church and in the world. Over his years spent in Europe, he shipped packages of stamps he collected to Sister Fidelma Conway, his Regis College colleague, in order to keep them safe. With the size of his collection larger than could easily be housed at Regis, ground was broken on the campus of Regis College in 1961 for the museum, which officially opened in 1963.
Sister Fidelma Conway, CSJ, continued to act as caretaker for The Cardinal’s collection. In 1950, he wrote a sentiment by which the Museum continues to operate, “Stamps are miniature documents of human history. They are the means by which a country gives sensible expression to its hopes and needs; its beliefs and ideals.”
In 1961, the National Philatelic Museum in Philadelphia, aligned with Temple University, was dissolved and most of its equipment, literature, and philatelic holdings were transferred to the newly incorporated, not for profit, 501c3, independent and self-supporting Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum. In 2020, the museum refreshed its name to The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History.