From 17 — 22 October 2007, the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will meet in Washington, DC, and celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. As part of that celebration, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will host a one-day symposium on the history of communication technologies on 17 October. The event’s organizers are the Mercurians, a Special Interest Group of SHOT, and the National Postal Museum. The symposium will be open to the public.

Proposals for papers and panels on any topic related to the history of communication technologies are welcome. The term “communication technologies” is construed in the broadest sense to include all traditional electrical and electronic forms of communication, such as telegraphy, telephony, radio, and television, as well as postal systems, semaphores, print media, and telematics, which combines computer and communication technologies. Proposals from those new to SHOT and the Mercurians—as well as those who are not yet members of either—are welcome, regardless of discipline or academic status (graduate student, independent scholar, or professor).

The symposium will take place at the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, which is next to Union Station, a terminus for rail (Amtrak and Marc) and Metro lines, making it convenient for those attending the SHOT meeting and those coming from out of town. The submission of proposal guidelines will follow SHOT guidelines, which are posted at:

In general, paper proposals should be no more than one page long and be accompanied by a one page c.v. Panel proposals must include a description of the session that explains how the individual papers contribute to an overarching theme, a list of the presenters’ names and paper titles, and a c.v. for the chair, session organizer, and commentator (if applicable), in addition to a one-page abstract and one-page c.v. for each presenter. In any case, please make known your need for audiovisual equipment (slide projector, PowerPoint, etc.).

Please email complete proposals to Allison Marsh [email protected] and Andrew Butrica [email protected]. Notification of accepted papers will be made in August 2007. Symposium papers will be posted on the National Postal Museum’s website and will be considered for possible publication.