Finding Guides

The Museum has created research guides for collections that are frequently accessed or that have additional research potential. These guides provide concise descriptions of the scope and content, provenance and list of materials for each collection.


Forty-five handwritten communications between the printing firm Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, the Postmaster General and Assistant Postmaster Generals and others relate the history behind the production, sale and use of the first federal stamps.
Finding aid for the Panama Canal Zone Post Office collection consisting of correspondence, newspaper and journal articles, government documents, stamp design files, photographs and other illustrations. The files cover the history of the Panama Canal Zone Post Office from 1904 to 1999.
Catherine Lemmon Manning (1881-1957), the first woman outside the sciences to achieve the title “Assistant Curator” at the Smithsonian, tended the National Philatelic Collection for nearly thirty years.
The George W. Brett Papers and Documents Collection consists of 100 banker’s boxes of material ranging from handwritten research notes, copies of historical documents and others, and an extensive collection of his philatelic correspondence.
The Hugh McLellan Southgate Papers and Documents Collection consist of 26 volumes totaling over 6,900 pages of information. Southgate was an important collector and student of the Bureau Issues of the United States. He was a founder and first president of the Philatelic Plate Number Association.
Lipsner's career as First Superintendent of the United States Air Mail Service and his personal collection of documents, photos and other items from that time are summarized here.
This collection of over 4,000 pages will make available to historians and collectors official documents relating to the production of United States postage stamps from 1847 to 1910.
This collection includes the first list of mail salvaged from the wreckage to reach philatelic hands. Postal officials typed the lists in 1937 as they prepared the disaster mail to be processed and delivered to the addressees.


Allen Lee’s “Maps on Stamps” Collection, donated in 1977, is 26 albums illustrating all of the features and types of cartography found on postage stamps.
1959 First day cover, Vienna Philharmonic
The collection is a broad compilation of thematically organized stamps, covers, commemorative sheets, and more philatelic objects. Themes presented in the collection include composers, performers, musical instruments, festivals, and music industry. Dr.
Jascha Heifetz, Russian-born American violinist is associated with musical perfection. He became a U.S. citizen in 1925 and toured the world giving concerts. Heifetz’s specialized collection is about anything connected with music.
This collection is Malcolm MacGregor’s personally amassed collection of autographed stamps, covers, related correspondence, and ephemera.
The United States Post Office Department played a major role in America’s world’s fairs by issuing postage stamps to promote and honor the international expositions and their themes. The U.S.


The Bernard Peyton Collection consists of 13 volumes of stamps, proofs, essays and covers from Peru from 1779 - 1897.
The Col. Hans Lagerloef Specialized Collection of the Aguinaldo Revolutionary Stamps consists of one album of stamps, essay and covers on 45 pages and one cream box with six folders of stamped documentary paper (papel sellos) from 1898-1900.
In April 1926, the Survey Department, a government agency in Cairo, took over the printing of Egyptian stamps. One sheet of each stamp printed by the Survey Department was sent to the Royal Collection.
French postal markings go back a long way before the French Revolution. At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, postal markings had long been standardized and the Revolution soon showed itself in postal history.
The John M. Taylor Specialized Collection of Uruguay covers the specialized early issues from 1858 – 1901, mostly singles, some postal history and Back of the Book Official overprints.
The name ‘John Heinmuller’ is famous among those studying early airmail. Heinmuller was an aero-philatelist and a past president of the American Air Mail Society. He officiated for the 1927 Lindbergh transatlantic flight and other pioneer flights.
This collection of early Chinese die proofs, engraver's models, ink drawings and essays from 1912 to 1928, was donated in 1963 by Robert Hopkins. Hopkins was the son in-law of William A Grant, one of two Americans responsible for establishing the Chinese Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
The collection was donated in two parts. The first gift, made in 1953 by Irvin Hermanoff, William Winokur, Seymour Winokur, and Lawrence Hollander, consisted of 8 volumes. Two years later, Hermanoff and the Winokur brothers made a second donation.
The Specialized Collections of El Salvador consist of three volumes of the John M. Taylor Collection, three volumes of the Charles S. Hamilton Collection, the J & H Stolow Album of the First Airmail Issue, and two volumes from the Michel Postal Stationery of the World Collection.

United States

As an art director for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 15 years, Carl T. Herrman designed more than 50 stamps and guided more than 250 stamp projects, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and Comic Strip Classics.
The Eagle Collection was formed by Clarence H. Eagle in the early years of the twentieth century. The greatest strength of the collection lies in the essays and proofs of United States revenue stamps, especially the private die proprietary stamps.
The Howard H. Koslow Collection of modern U.S. stamp art consists of one box of forty-eight folders containing pre- and post-production materials for nearly every stamp Howard Koslow designed. The folders are arranged into three series.
This collection is a specialized collection of National Air Mail Week cachets from May 15 – 21, 1938. It consists of approximately 7,350 objects arranged into thirty-five binders and organized alphabetically by state and town of origination.