Smithsonian National Postal Museum

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Stamp Collecting

Stamp collecting resources on the National Postal Museum's websites:

circle Inverted Jenny postage stamp   Introduction to Stamp Collecting
The National Postal Museum celebrates the beauty and lore of stamps, showcasing rare stamps and covers from the Museum's renowned collection. A stamp is much more than the physical evidence that postage has been paid. Stamps can be miniature works of art, treasured keepsakes, and rare collectibles.
circle Learn About Stamps   Learn About Stamps
WELCOME to the WONDERFUL WORLD of STAMP COLLECTING, a hobby where fascinating new stuff for your collection is as close as your mailbox! This portal is your entryway to finding out all you need to know to begin a collection or learn more about the stamps you have saved already. Stamps are beautiful works of art.
circle stamp image   The Complete Collection of U.S. Postage Stamps
One of the world's most popular hobbies, philately is the study and collection of stamps. Many hobbyists collect regular postage stamps, others collect special-use issues—some of which are unrelated to postal service. National postal administrations or smaller political entities and their lawful competitors issue stamps. So too do local posts, express companies, and even forgers.
circle Learn About Stamps   ALPHABETILATELY
ALPHABET + PHILATELY or Alphabetilately is the alphabet of philately. Alphabetilately presents an innovative way of looking at the hobby of stamp collecting, via a philatelic alphabet in which each letter stands for an aspect of the collecting of stamps or the sending of mail.
circle World map   Collecting Ancestral Homelands
Why should you consider collecting the stamps of your family’s ancestral homeland? You should collect them because they will teach you a lot about the history, the politics, and the culture of that country. Even more important, they offer insights into your own family’s past and experiences, and so they will teach you something about your own heritage.
circle The Queen's Own: Stamps That Changed the World   The Queen's Own: Stamps That Changed the World
The National Postal Museum is pleased to present a selection of extraordinary materials from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's personal philatelic holdings. The Royal Philatelic Collection includes the world's finest and most comprehensive collection of British and Commonwealth stamps.
circle open vault door   Rarity Revealed: The Benjamin K. Miller Collection
Now online is the legendary Benjamin K. Miller Collection of The New York Public Library. Miller’s collection has been called the “crown jewels” of U.S. stamp collecting. Donated in 1925, it was displayed at the library for more than 50 years. But after a theft in 1977, the collection was locked away until the Smithsonian National Postal Museum exhibit which opened May 27, 2006 and closed March 1, 2009.
circle John Lennon: The Lost Album   John Lennon: The Lost Album
John Lennon, along with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr achieved superstardom as the rock and roll band, The Beatles. But before Lennon travelled the globe playing music with The Beatles, this boy from Liverpool, England saw the world in a whole different way - through stamps. Lennon's older cousin, Stanley Parkes, inspired the future Beatle's interest in stamp collecting and gave him this album.
circle Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II postcard   Kristen Ollies Collection
The National Postal Museum is pleased to present this online exhibition of an award-winning private collection of stamps about Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The collection shows the fun and enjoyment that can be found in stamp collecting at any age, especially when the collector chooses an interesting topic or specialty.
circle detail of Cuban stamp   The Pichs Collection
Explore Cuba's postal and aviation history in an ongoing research and exhibition effort to study and bring to the public an important research resource for the cultural history of Cuba, the Roberto Pichs collection of Cuban postage stamps.

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