How do I find out more about stamp collecting?

Finding out more about stamp collecting is easy and fun. There are excellent books, newspapers and magazines devoted to stamp collecting. Stamp catalogs will help you organize and value your collection.

A. What books are recommended for beginning stamp collectors?

B. What stamp identifiers are available to help me identify stamps? http://www.askphil.org … click “AskPhil" list of stamp identifiers

C. What stamp collecting publications can I read to find out more about what is happening in the stamp hobby?

  1. American Philatelist – American Philatelic Society monthly magazine http://www.stamps.org/Services/ser_TAP.htm magazine’s web page
  2. American Stamp Dealer and Collector – American Stamp Dealer Association magazine http://www.americanstampdealer.com/ magazine’s web page
  3. Linn’s Stamp News – Amos Press weekly newspaper http://www.linns.com web page for the journal but only subscribers can access the journal itself online
  4. Scott Stamp Monthly – Amos Press monthly magazine http://www.scottonline.com/ magazine’s web page
  5. Global Stamp News – monthly newspaper http://www.revenue-collector.com/gsn.shtml magazine’s web page
  6. Mekeel's/ Stamps – weekly newspaper http://www.stampnewsnow.com/ magazine web page
  7. U.S. Stamp News http://www.stampnewsnow.com/
  8. Other resources

D. What catalogs and price lists can help me organize and learn about my stamp collection?

  1. Scott catalogs – comprehensive US and worldwide catalogs http://www.amosadvantage.com/scottonline/ Amos Press web page, click on Products
  2. Stanley Gibbons – standard catalogs used in Britain and British Commonwealth http://shop.stanleygibbons.com/index.asp?page=pubs&catgrouping=catalogues catalog web page
  3. Brookman Price List http://www.coverspecialist.com publisher’s web page
  4. Mystic Stamp Company Catalog – free full-color price list http://www.mysticstamp.com/ publisher’s web page

E. What books, publications and other literature are available about stamp collecting, and where can I find them?

  1. Libraries
  2. Stamp Publications
  3. Newspaper Columns
  4. Book Sellers go to http://www.askphil.org/b37.htm and enter “literature” into Specialty textbox, without quotation marks, for a list

F. Where can I find stamp collecting organizations?

There are many societies, clubs, museums, libraries and associations that are dedicated to providing stamp collectors help, education and access to stamps and services.

  1. American Philatelic Society – America’s stamp club, 40,000 members worldwide http://www.stamps.org
  2. Smithsonian National Postal Museum – America’s stamp and postal history museum http://npm.si.edu
  3. American Stamp Dealers Association – dealer’s organization over 500 members worldwide http://www.asdaonline.com
  4. Specialty Societies – full list of APS affiliates that specialize in a particular field of collecting http://www.stamps.org/directories/dir_SpecialtySocieties.htm
    http://www.askphil.org/b02.htm
  5. Stamp clubs – full list of APS local stamp clubs, by state http://www.stamps.org/directories/dir_LocalClubs.htm
    http://www.askphil.org/b34.htm
  6. International Stamp Federations and Clubs (FIP) – http://www.f-i-p.ch
    http://www.ukphilately.org.uk
    Inter-American Stamp Federations (FIAF) http://www.fiaf-filatelia.org

G. What resources are available for teachers who want to use stamps to enrich a learning experience?

Teachers find that using stamps in their classroom is a valuable tool to bring history, art, science, mathematics, geography and social studies to life. Stamps make learning fun.

  1. American Philatelic Society
    http://www.stamps.org/kids/kid_YouthLinks.htm
    http://www.stamps.org/kids/kid_StampFun.htm
  2. Stamp Camp USA http://www.stamps.org/kids/kid_StampCamp_Teachers.htm
  3. USPS
    http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/EducationCategoryDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10152
  4. National Postal Museum Curriculum Guides are located at http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/educators/4b_curriculum.html including the following great guides for teachers:
    Letters From Home: An Exhibit-Building Project for the Advanced ESL Classroom
    Grades 8 - Adult

    Enrichment materials for the advanced English as a second language (ESL) classroom. Students use letters to build language and communication skills. Contains activities to illustrate the dynamic power of personal letters and create an exhibition of letters.

    Postal Pack for Elementary School Students
    Grades K - 6

    Collection of illustrated activity sheets that teach about postal transportation history, and encourage letter writing and an appreciation of stamps and historic letters.

    Stamp Mural Mosaics
    Grades K - 6
  5. Stamps are exciting, educational tools! Using stamps, you can explore other countries, learn about history, and experience art. The activities on this web page will show you and your students how to use cancelled stamps for a variety of creative projects.

    Pen Friends Across the Nation: An Intergenerational Letter Writing Project
    Grades 6 - 9

    A guide to setting up a writing partnership between classroom students and older adults in the same community. Use local cultural landmarks to develop an intergenerational letter-writing program. The project involves an exchange of three letters which concludes in a meeting, if possible.

  6. Teacher guides and lesson plans
  7. National Postal Museum resources

    The Postal Museum often presents free workshops in Washington, DC. “Collection Connections,” for example, is an introductory workshop about stamp collecting. Learn the basics of stamp collecting and embark on the world’s most popular hobby— philately! More than just a little piece of paper, everyday and exotic stamps open doors to all corners of culture, history, art, and geography. Start your journey by making your own stamp collection to take home. To find out about upcoming workshops, visit:

  8. National Postal Museum for Educators
  9. Online Quizzes and tests.
  10. Surveys about stamp collecting

APS Stamp Collector Survey 2007 http://www.stamps.org/Almanac/ExecutiveSummary.pdf

H. Is my stamp genuine?

Valuable stamps have sometimes been faked to deceive collectors. Before you spend a lot of money on a stamp, make sure it is authentic.

  1. Philatelic Foundation (PF) – US and foreign stamps http://www.philatelicfoundation.org
  2. American Philatelic Expertizing (APEX) – US and foreign stamps http://www.stamps.org/Services/ser_aboutexpertizing.htm
  3. Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) – US stamps http://www.psestamp.com
  4. Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL) – Great Britain and Commonwealth, worldwide http://www.rpsl.org.uk