National Postal Museum Library

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. The museum uses exhibits, educational public programs and research to make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors and visitors from around the world. The National Postal Museum Library is one of 21 specialized libraries in the Smithsonian Libraries system. The National Philatelic Collection was the basis of the Library when it was established in 1993. Now, with more than 40,000 books, journals, catalogues and documents, the National Postal Museum Library is among the world's largest postal history and philatelic research facilities.


Although the resources at the National Postal Museum Library focus on the postal history and philately of the United States, the collections are international in scope.

  • More than 12,000 books, 9,000 serials, manuscripts, photographs and many auction and stamp catalogues
  • Our holdings include files of:
    • Third Assistant Postmaster General
    • Highway Post Office
    • Aerial Mail Service
    • Railway Mail Service
    • Panama Canal Zone Post Office
  • Private collections include those of:
    • Thaddeus Hyatt
    • Frederick Melville
    • George Turner
  • Rare book collection includes:
    • J.W. Scott & Co. Monthly Price List
    • Annotated copies of the Catalogue of the Philatelic Library of the Earl of Crawford, K.T.
    • Catalogue of the Royal Philatelic Collection.