Founded in 1960 as the Western Postal History Museum, the Postal History Foundation is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to postal history and research. Renamed in 1990, the Foundation's mission is to promote an appreciation of stamp collecting and postal history through the preservation of philatelic collections, literature and documents, and the enhancement of youth education using stamps as teaching tools.
The Foundation houses a postal museum, a research library, an education department, and a working post office. The Peggy J. Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library houses a collection of over 30,000 books, journals, catalogs, photos, maps, and other reference items related to postal and philatelic history, as well as materials related to the Civil War. In addition, the archival collections include materials documenting the postal history of Arizona and California.
A pioneer among philatelic museums, the Postal History Foundation operates the only organized teaching program using stamps in the country. Originally part of a therapeutic program for asthmatic children begun in 1964, the unique youth education service now reaches more than 8,000 children each year. Based on the evidence that collecting, sorting, studying and appreciating the beauty of stamps can enhance and reinforce classroom lessons from kindergarten through junior high, a series of curricula have been developed by educators at the foundation. Whether the focus is matching stamp designs for kindergartners or writing an essay in sixth grade geography, a teacher can find a series of stamps to bring the subject alive.