How Do I Find Stamps For My Collection?

How do I find stamps for my collection? If you have a topical collection, the American Topical Association, which is an affiliate of the American Philatelic Society, has published a number of books on specific topics with checklists.

A stamp catalogue is a book which shows pictures of stamps and identifies the stamps, when they were issued, their denomination, their color. Some of the nicer catalogues are actually printed in full color. They also give a value in unused and un-canceled condition and if they have been used or canceled condition. The most common catalogue in use in the United States is the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, which is available at many public libraries. There are actually six volumes which go through the countries of the world from A-Z, so that volume one is letters A and B, volume two is C through F, etc. It values basically just about every postage stamps ever issued by all countries of the world from 1840 when Great Britain issued the first postage stamp until the present, with a bit of delay in publishing of course.


If you have a topical collection, the American Topical Association, which is an affiliate of the American Philatelic Society, has published a number of books on specific topics with checklists. So you could get a list of stamps that have been issued related to blood donation from the American Topical Association. If you are collecting stamps related to dogs, you can get a list of those and it would be a very large number.




There are other resources as well. Our website www.stamps.org is very helpful. You just click on Library and we have an online card catalogue where you could type in the subject term and you would probably get a list of books related to that subject on stamps.

Are there complications in getting stamps from other countries?

Not really. Some people prefer to just stick with their home country or a country of specific interest, but most topical collectors would be interested in all stamps from all countries.

You can use the stamp catalogues to identify stamps from any country. So you don't need to speak the language of the country necessarily. If you want to get brand new issues that are just being released, in some cases you may need to contact the countries. Many post administrations would have websites and those websites are available in English even if it is not the native language of the country. If you go to the website of Sweden, there is a version in Swedish and one in English.

© High Speed Ventures 2011