Subject Guide - National Postal Museum Library

Welcome to the NPM Library Research Guide. This is a comprehensive list of freely-available resources for students and researchers to learn more about the many fields within the discipline and some of its major personalities. Please feel free to contact us at with suggestions for additional resources or with questions.  See links to specific guide categories below:

Top Resources

  • SIRIS: The Smithsonian Libraries catalog, offering in-depth catalog records on the most important books.
  • Smithsonian Institution Collection Search Center: The Collection Search Center allows users to freely search over ten million records, including two million online media files, for books and objects.

Internet Resources

  • American Airmail Society: Promotes aerophilately through its publications, member auctions and an annual meeting held at stamp shows. It also holds a major airmail show at the American Philatelic Society headquarters in Belefonte, PA. One most important contribution by the Society has been the American Air Mail Catalogue which covers all areas of aerophilately.
  • American Philatelic Society Library (APRL) :The APRL has one of the world's largest and most accessible collections of philatelic literature. Its nearly three miles of shelving contain more than 23,000 book titles and 5,700 journal titles.
  • American Topical Association: The American Topical Association (ATA) was founded in 1949 and is now the largest philatelic society devoted specifically to topical stamp collecting. Serving almost 3,000 members worldwide, it is the best source of information, fellowship and authority in this field.
  • Duck Stamps: The primary purpose of the National Duck Stamp Collectors Society (NDSCS) is to promote and encourage the collecting and study of migratory waterfowl hunting and conservation stamps. The NDSCS is the only stamp collecting society devoted exclusively to duck stamps.
  • First Day Covers: Devoted to the advancement of First Day Cover collecting. Founded in 1955, the society has a membership of approximately 1,500 active first day cover collectors. The AFDCS holds a national annual convention (Americover) and publishes a journal (First Days).
  • Tedesco Index: The Index of Literature in the English Language that Describes Postage Stamp Forgeries, Fakes, Reprints, fraudulent postal markings, and other obliterations.
  • Indians at the Post Office: This virtual exhibit shows murals depicting American Indians’ political, economic and cultural lives. Their ability to rise above the mainstream non-Native world is exceptionally shown. I recommend turning the page, looking at the art, putting yourself in the artist’s shoes, and imagining how you would paint them.
  • Metered Mail: The Meter Stamp Society is dedicated to the collection of metered and digital postage stamps. These include topical slogans on postage meter stamps, computer vended postage (CVP), framas, photostamps and similar items.
  • Ernesto Cuesta: Annotated bibliography of Cuban philatelic literature. 
  • Stamp Collecting for Novices
  • Stamp Libraries and Museums
  • Stamp Shows
  • The Story of Our Post Office
  • US Postal Bulletins / PL&Rs



Smithsonian Institution Resources

U.S. Government