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Post Offices of Europe 18th – 21st Century

A Comparative History


Edited By Muriel Le Roux and Sébastien Richez

The cursus publicus, established by the Roman Empire to connect all its conquered territories, may be considered to be the ancestor of all modern post offices. Therefore, mail service networks are part of an organization, dating from Antiquity, which is common to the entire European community.
From the 18 th century onwards, the French mail service network may be divided into three successive phases. First, the consolidation of the transportation system that was being set up. Second, the development of the system’s ability to deal with increasing traffic (through broader human resources). Thirdly, the diversification of its operations and the development of its technical modernisation.
What was the situation in other European countries? Are there similarities and differences in how their networks were set up and organized? Finally, how did European Post Offices cooperate with each other in spite of their differences?
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The Spanish Postal History. Historiography and Research, the State of the Art: Gaspar Martínez Lorente & Pedro Navarro Moreno



Spanish postal history is a narrow field that used to be researched by a small group of scholars who, because of their affinity with the postal field or perhaps because they were ahead of their time, have only left traces of their scientific efforts as monographic studies with no plans for the future. There has not been a school for postal studies, only a rather long list of individuals who had a fascination with the postal field. One of the problems that researchers, today as well as in the past, have had to face, (and this is in great measure the reason for the lack of interest in postal studies,) is that sources are widely dispersed or have been lost.

All of this changed during the 1980s. The lack of historiography on the subject of postal history began to be corrected when Professors Angel Bahamonde Magro and Luis Enrique Otero Carvajal together with the Postal Museum Assessor, Gaspar Martínez Lorente, started a project to promote the study of Spanish postal and telecommunication history. Following the signing of an agreement with the Secretaría General de Comunicaciones (National Communications Office), a Base de Datos para la Historia de las Comunicaciones en la España Contemporánea (Database for the History of Telecommunication in Contemporary Spain) was produced. At the same time, planning started for an international congress under the title: Communications between Europe and America: 1500-1993. This congress...

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