Smithsonian National Postal Museum Hosts Wine and Design: Sealed Secrets Renaissance Spies and Europe’s Postal Services

By Editorial Team on April 12, 2021
Post rider receipt, 163, National Postal Museum, Object #1993.2002.15
Event: Wednesday, April 14 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm EDT

Register here.

Join Smithsonian National Postal Museum for their virtual April Wine & Design as they explore Renaissance espionage and intrigue. How did early modern letter writers keep secrets safe from prying eyes? Dr. Rachel Midura (Virginia Tech) will give a short presentation on espionage, cryptography and communications security in the age of European postal systems (fifteenth-eighteenth centuries). She will follow this presentation with a demonstration and discussion of sealing letters with wax.

Registration is required for this free, virtual program, and a Zoom link for the online event will be sent to participants 24 hours before the program. Register through Eventbrite here.

Questions? Please email

Supply List: Candle, Spoon, Crayons, Button

Speaker Bio: Rachel Midura is an Assistant Professor of Digital History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She completed her PhD at Stanford University in 2020, where she was a senior graduate research fellow at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. She is currently at work on her first book, tentatively titled Going Postal: Privacy, Publicity, and Europe’s Communications Revolution (1530-1730). She collaborates in projects arising from the Stanford Mapping the Republic of Letters Project, such as the Grand Tour Project ( and Early Modern Mobility Research Group (, which critically examine surviving early modern corpora, increasing accessibility and historical knowledge through digital curation and annotation. Personal website at